Belize Red Cross holds forum in Ambergris Caye

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

Under the theme ‘Everywhere for Everyone,’ the Belize Red Cross held their fourth Volunteer Forum on Saturday, June 10th and Sunday, June 11th in San Pedro Town. Hosted at The San Pedro Town Council Conference Room, the forum discussed the challenges within the organization and ways to improve and move forward in the work they do for the country.
This year, volunteers from across Belize convened to focus on the different challenges volunteers go through in the eight different branches around the country. According to Belize Red Cross Director General, Lily Bowman, everyone shared how they have managed to overcome said difficulties that have affected their performance during the past year. “We look at volunteerism as a way two-way exchange, by being mutuality beneficial to the volunteer as well as to society,” explained Bowman. “The forum also touched on opportunities that we experience when we solve the difficulties that come our way.” At times, the lack of volunteers become an issue. “Some branches may be able to solve their issues faster than others, thus, we shared that information so we are on the same page and work as a team,” she said.
During the two-day discussion, members were reminded of the fundamental principles the Red Cross is governed by: humanity, impartiality, unity, universality, voluntary service, and independence. “Everything that we do has to be guided by those principles,” said Bowman. “These principles have proved to build cohesion, improve networking, open communication and plan together for the way forward.”
The Red Cross has been very active in looking after the communities they serve and in doing so, have been involved in projects to make residents more resilient. According to Bowman, the organization is wrapping up a project in the Corozal and Orange Walk District called ‘Resilience in the Americas.’ The five-year project has been on-going in vulnerable communities. “Our volunteers worked hand in hand with the residents of these communities building their resilience and making them much safer. We also provide first responder training, in case of any emergencies,” said Bowman. There are no large projects for the upcoming months, but at the forum, volunteers were also encouraged by the impact their services have made in their communities.
“The work of the Red Cross is constant,” Bowman reiterated. “Outside of projects, we keep on doing our first aid training, certifications, feeding programs, and working along with our communities all year long in order to better prepare them against any difficulties.” The Red Cross is always looking for volunteers, who can bring new skills to the organization and make their programs more efficient for the communities.
The forum was successful, and it is expected that each branch will continue improving and yielding desired results with everyone’s hard work. After the two- day workshop, participants were able to enjoy some of the amenities La Isla Bonita has to offer.
For more information on the Belize Red Cross, or to be a volunteer visit the nearest branch or contact the main headquarters in Belize City at 207-3319 or via email at [email protected]

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