Wednesday, September 9, 2009

International Friends of Belize

Hi! I know it has been a long time and I don't have a lot of time to write, but I thought that I would post this to let you know more about International Friends of Belize. It is a great organization that makes a big difference in the peoples' lives that receive the scholorships.
Unlike in the US, school is not free in Belize. Families pay for uniforms, books, transportation (in most areas), and lots of other things we take for granted. Many Peace Corps Volunteers know of kids that have not been able to go to school because they didn't have bus money. While school is compulsary until kids are 14, this is impossible for many families for financial reasons.
So consider not stopping for fast food once or twice this week and sending the dollars you save to a kid who may not otherwise get a chance to go to school. With the hard economic times, every cent is appreciated even more.
Food pantrys around the world are going bare. If you are not interested in sending money abroad, consider donating that can of food in the back of your pantry, that you don't really like/need, to a family that is going hungry.
All the Best!

International Friends of Belize

E-News: Make Back-to-School Season happen with International Friends of Belize!

It’s in the air-you can almost feel it. Back to school time. New backpacks for kids, school buses on the roads again and fall is just around the corner. And for the International Friends of Belize-our annual Back to School fundraising effort. For the past four years, International Friends of Belize has granted needs-based scholarships for Belizean secondary school students and grants for community development and environment programs. Our first project was born in 2005 when a small group of individuals threw money in a hat to create a scholarship fund for Stann Creek. Since then, hundreds of generous individuals have contributed thousands of dollars to support this small country that holds a special place in their hearts.

As you may know, Belize’s economy is directly tied to the U.S. economy with a large percentage of the country’s GDP related to tourism and travel-one of the first items go from someone’s budget if things to go if the economy is sluggish. So if the U.S. is feeling it, Belizeans are feeling it even worse. Students and communities really do need our assistance. In Belize, back-to-school season is a time of busy preparation –uniforms are sewed and ironed, shoes are polished, backpacks are filled with sharpened pencils and blank notebooks, and the hope for a bright future is renewed. Yet sadly, for far too many deserving Belizean students, back-to-school season is time of anxiety if their family cannot afford the mandatory school fees.

Today our program has expanded to assist students from all corners of Belize. Our work aids bright young scholars intent on furthering their education, but who do not have the financial means to do so. Since 2004, our collective efforts have funded a total of 39 Secondary School Scholarships of up to $500 USD each - including some multiple-year funding for renewing scholars. IFOB’s Community Grant program has funded 9 community projects thus far with grants of up to $1,000 USD and we will be accepting applications soon for three more additional projects.
Now, more than ever, International Friends of Belize needs your help to support a new generation of Belizean thinkers and doers. Will you help us make a positive change in the lives of Belizean students by becoming a member of International Friends of Belize? If you are already a member, please consider an additional donation to help out students as they prepare for the next school year.

Our goal for the next month is to raise $6,000 to support scholarships and small grants for the coming year. An ambitious goal, but we’re confident that we’ll be able to raise the funds to continue supporting Belizean students and small communities. A one-year annual membership is just $21. Become a lifetime members at $200. You can mail us a check or donate online.

Do you know of others who have connections to Belize? Please consider asking them to join us by becoming members as well! The International Friends of Belize now also has a group on Facebook. Please consider joining this group as a way to stay connected and also consider posting a message about our Back to School Fundraiser on your own page and helping us spread the word about this worthwhile fundraiser.

Help us reach our goal of raising $6,000 by September 21, 2009 –Belize's Independence Day.

Thank you!

Please visit our website at to find out how to donate, renew your membership or made an additional contribution.

International Friends of Belize is a volunteer-run, nonprofit organization (501c3) supporting community-based projects and secondary school scholarships in Belize.All contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

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