Once again we had the opportunity to assist Liberty Children's Home in their effort to provide sanctuary for Belizean children in need. Liberty's efforts provide a natural environment, love, nurturing, and a high standard of education for abused, neglected, or abandoned children. Situated in Ladyville, on the outskirts of Belize City in Central America, Liberty Children’s Home is unique in its commitment to child-centered care and education.
Hard economic times have increased the need for Liberty’s services while reducing governmental and private funding sources. Within the past year Liberty Children’s Home has doubled their census by adding an additional 20 children for a total of 42 in Liberty’s care. Professionals Without Borders in cooperation with their donors have sponsored critical improvements to assist in creating a safe and sustainable environment for these children.
The student team led by Megan Rahrig (on right) started with a fundraiser for Liberty Children’s Home before we left on the service trip. The fundraiser brought in clothes, coloring books, and other needed items for the children.
The hurricane resistant design of the buildings has proven successful since Liberty’s inception. The dome design has held up well although the exterior coatings have worn due to the harsh rainy season over the years. The roof coatings have become Liberty’s primary concern due to rain penetrating into the children’s dorm style bedrooms, creating the need to move beds and children around to avoid the leaking. Last September PWOB sponsored the purchase and installation of much needed hurricane shutters for the buildings. Continuing the effort to provide a dry environment for the children of Liberty, this year’s trip was to clean and apply an elastomeric roof coating for the dome style buildings which should last for the next 12 years.
Local contractors assisted in the work. We did not feel comfortable placing our students on the provided scaffolding.
In addition to the roofs the team painted doors for installation in the buildings and painted benches and other items outside in an effort to provide a positive outdoor environment.
Other work included placing the finishing touches on the rain water reclamation system that PWOB installed in 2013.
While in Belize we took the opportunity to explore the rich cultural history including Mayan temples, Creole and Mestizo history, while enjoying the unique and diverse food of the many cultures that constitute Belize.
Our team enjoyed petting the baby deer also!