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#418612 - 10/13/11 09:31 AM LOCAL UNSUNG HEROES AWARDED
Marty Online   happy
Two Belizeans were awarded today for their contributions to their community. The award was presented by First Caribbean through its Unsung Heroes program. It was first initiated in 2002 in Belize and is carried in sixteen countries where First Caribbean is located. The program was established to recognize the efforts of men and women to improve their communities. One of today’s awardees is Joel Robinson, also known to many as “Dara”, has been running a feeding program for forty school children in Belize City for five years. The second of the awardees is Doctor Beatriz Thompson who provides care to terminally ill people through the Belize Hospice Palliative Care Foundation. Rosanna Villanueva is the Local Coordinator for the Program.

Rosanna Villanueva – Local Coordinator, Unsung Heroes
“Dara recruited his ever willing wife Melody and her mom and took off with their plan. Other challenges presented however as they had no means of transport and had to depend on the goodwill of neighbors to deliver the food or dip into meager resources to pay taxi fare. Eventually they decided to have the children go their home for lunch so now each day the children congregate at Dara’s home, they get a hot meal, a cool drink, some lessons in table manners, of course the children are also encouraged to stay in school as one of Dara’s criteria for being in the feeding program is that the children must be enrolled and attending. Doctora Beatriz is quite the powerhouse; she works from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. as an anaesthesiologist at the KHMH each day and then starts her palliative care after. The visits to see patients often take her and the other volunteers across the country at their own cost and much of the work is done in the evenings and on the weekends as most of the volunteers have full time jobs and other responsibilities. The emotional toll of this work is very high and Doctora Beatriz reminds her volunteers that due to the nature of their work, they will eventually be losing patients both young and old. No patient is ever turned down and there is always someone else who needs care. The nature of her work may seem very clinical but as Doctora Beatriz pointed out during her interview, palliative care is not simply about easing the pain of a suffering person but more importantly it serves to preserve their dignity and to help them understand that they are loved and will be cared for when they need it most.”

The recipients of the award both expressed their gratitude but reiterated that what they do is not about obtaining personal glory.

Joel Dara Robinson – Award recipient
“I have been chosen as a hero but the real heroes are the people who make sure their kids each every day. As I said before I can’t talk about oil drilling, I can’t talk about gang banging, but I can talk about hunger because I lived that life. My wife and I have enough experience when it comes to that. I don’t do things to be a hero but I do it because it is important. I am grateful and I am asking people to continue support, enough thanks to First Caribbean Bank.

Dra. Beatriz Thompson – Award recipient
"We are not doing no superhuman thing, nothing to be so exemplified but just to see the suffering that happens and if we can do something to contribute, to lessen that suffering and to put yourself in the place of that person that is suffering then definitely you will want to do something for that person. That is why we’ve done this and continue doing it and we go across the country. We go from PG to Corozal, from Belize City to Cayo to the Benque Viejo border and we work. Our volunteers work hard, our volunteers get burnt out when they see their patients just dying, when they see children dying they cry, everybody cries and they say it is sufficient to go through it with the family, why do we have to go through it with other people’s family but because you know you can comfort them and they are worthy to be comforted, that is why we do it. And we hope that people will come on board and join us and do this work because it is worthy and it brings glory to God.”

Both Robinson and Thompson were awarded a plaque and a cash prize of six thousand US dollars each. They will now be taking part in the regional competition. The winner and two runner ups for this next phase will be announced in November.


#418719 - 10/14/11 08:28 AM Re: LOCAL UNSUNG HEROES AWARDED [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Dara’s Praises Are Sung

First Caribbean International Bank announced its unsung heroes for 2011 yesterday. They are Joel Dara Robinson and Dr. Beatriz Thompson. They were selected from among more than 25 nominees for their community work. Typical of those who are unsung, they were gracious in accepting their donations of 12 thousand Belize dollars each towards their causes:..

Joel "Dara" Robinson "Doing the work to me bring a lot of insult because people judge you, but they don't know my heart. It may sounds like I want to cry but I do feel happy. That is just me, I am grateful. I have been chosen as a hero, but the real heroes are the people who every day makes sure that their kids eat. Trust me, there are some days where my girlfriend and I only have $7 and I would tell her that we will cook today no matter what. We would leave on the motorcycle to buy stuff and when you hear Ms. Catherine wins the boledo and that is how some things would come by. But it is a struggle and many people ask me why I do this and that, but then like I tell Ms. Audrey, I can't talk about the oil drilling, I can't talk about gang banging, but I can talk about hunger and I can talk about what I am doing because I live that life."

Dr. Beatriz Thompson
"We don't focus on the problem, we focus on how to get it solve and how to plow on get through it and make sure that that person who is suffering will have comfortable days and will be able to have a dignified way of going on to the next world to see his savior."

"Sometimes very much if you think that it is being heroic but we are just doing our part and I hope other people get involve and try and make in their field to make it better for the other that come and for the people who are with us right now."

Dr. Thompson runs the Belize Hospice Palliative care Foundation. As the local unsung heroes - they now enter the regional competition.

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