On Tuesday we told you about the over $200,000 in donations ranging from computers to a fully stocked library to improvements to school infrastructure made by Lifeline Foundation in six schools in the Orange Walk District. Orange Walk’s District Education Manager Carla Alvarez discussed with PLUS News the importance of the donation.
We visit all the schools. We see where it iis that there are needs, for improvement in terms of infrastructure and otherwise. I was asked to select some schools that really needed assistance, and so the schools that we have visited today are those that really need help, in terms of infrastructure, equipment, resources, that kind of thing.
At Fireburn Government School, which has 37 students, principal Ruby Varela says the new library will fire up a love of reading in her charges.
Ruby Varela – Principal;
Our families here are Spanish-speaking, so literacy is a problem here in our school. It is a rural school. It has no electricity. They love to read. Any time that they have, they will take a book and read. Why not motivate them in doing so. I believe that a library will definitely help the school system a lot, and I am glad for that.
At the much larger Carmelita Government School, Principal Keith Augustine paid tribute to Lifeline’s efforts.
Kieth Augustine – Principal:
The kids here in Carmelita have child-friendly classrooms. I’m really glad to hear that we have a donation of ten computers. That was on my wish-list that I was going to give you! It surprised me the school doesn’t have a lab, and so far in making this a reality, and taking the school one step closer to what a school should be. Our kids were graduating without the knowledge and background of basic typing skills, which is very needed for research and so forth. So, again, I’m very thankful for that.
Special Envoy for Women and Children and patron of Lifeline Kim Simplis Barrow shares the difficulty of their choice for deserving schools.
Kim Simplis Barrow:
The six schools were chosen through the Ministry of Education. We normally ask their recommendation, “Which schools do you think are the most needy schools in Orange Walk?” What they do, they give us a huge list of schools. So it’s really very difficult. Then we do our own assessment. Then we make a final decision on which schools. Again, It’s not an easy decision. It’s a very difficult decision, as each school has different needs and different wants. We went to one school, which was Fireburn School, and they needed a library. They’re very into encouraging the students to read. It was really good to go back and see all the students in the classroom, reading and enjoying their new space.
At each stop of the journey students excitedly received the donations and thanked the donors.