Thank you to everyone!

This January will be our last working trip to Belize. Our priority is to complete all scholarships for the students in the school where they are studying now. Unfortunately, several students will be denied our help to go to the next step in their schooling. But all the students will receive the help that they have been promised.
The primary reasons for closing the Belize Project is my advancing age, the difficulty of fundraising in the Covid climate and of course, I think we have accomplished a great deal with your support and encouragement.
I apologize for the bulk mail but you will appreciate that there are a great number of persons who have been very generous towards Belize.
I do not have a final invoice from the Ecumenical College in Dangriga but our priority for the donations are as follows.
Scholarships for the students to complete their current schooling and any promises of help we have made.
Secondly is to provide a food delivery to St Matthew Anglican School and Christ the King Anglican School. Possibly the Gulisi Community School. The majority of students at Gulisi are decedents of African slaves and these are the poorest of the poor students. Two years ago, the principal advised me that 70% of the parents had not paid their annual school fee of $25.
The Garifuna museum is on the school grounds. One year we were able to secure a copy of leg shackles worn by slaves when they crossed the Atlantic. The staff were absolutely thrilled and devastated because the national museum learned of our gift and came to reposition the article to the capital.
To put the Belize Project into perspective: For every 100 students that begin in grade one only one of them will graduate from high school because of poverty and because the family needs the children's help to pick fruit, in order to survive.
15 students will be high school graduates by the end of this project.
There were 25 students who received primary school diplomas because of the help they received.
There will be 9 students who will receive a college diploma.
Finally, 4 students will receive a university degree. One has already graduated and works as a high school Spanish teacher.
We also helped Alex who is now working as an electrician at a high-end resort.
In addition to the educational assistance, the program also accomplished the following:
We painted a 10,000 square foot convent that had its previous paint job in 1947.
We painted Christ the King Anglican Church and installed a fence around the property.
We purchased three major kitchen appliances for school use.
We purchased approximately 3000 pounds of food for the school lunch programs.
With the help of Computer Solutions Plus, we brought 45 refurbished laptops for schools, students and a church.
Several farmers and schools received fruit trees especially lime trees to replace the limes imported from Mexico..
There are too many suitcases of clothing, soccer balls and toothpaste to itemize them all.
All of the above was accomplished with zero administration expensed against donations during the seven years the project was active...
This was not accomplished by one or two people. Over the years, 24 persons came to Belize to help.
Many supporters in our community came together to help especially with past auctions. Of special note is Don and Margaret Winslow and St John's Anglican Church in Ida and Bev Hilditch who worked tirelessly in support of Belize.

We thank you and the Belizeans are grateful for your gifts.

Andy and Maureen Harjula

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