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#446283 - 09/10/12 09:08 AM Harvest For Kids: Planting Seeds Of Hope
Marty Offline

By now we hope you have heard about “Harvest for Kids” an initiative of Belize Camping Experience, a non-governmental organization which is seeking to make a difference in the lives of Belizean children through summer camps and follow-up programs.

The 40 acres of corn planted and designated to BCE’s “Harvest for Kids” project in San Carlos and Banana Bank is growing healthily. On Aug 18, 2012, Belize Camping Experience took 22 of the children from their programs in Belize City, to the field in San Carlos. On that day the children not only got to learn more about what it takes to farm corn, but participate by hand harvesting some select corn which they boiled up and enjoyed a meal with farmers of the area. The children were also able to take up to 8 heads of corn home to share with their families. While the corn may be good to eat already, this corn is being left to mature longer that it may be made into a product used for such purposes as corn tortillas and chicken feed.

On the day of the Harvest you are invited to watch Harvest for Kids set a record, doing something that has never be done before in Belize. They are expecting to have at least 10-15 combine machines harvesting 20 acres of land simultaneously. The harvest will take place some time in early October.

Money made from the harvest and subsequent sale of the corn will go to subsidizing Belize Camping Experience’s program in Belize City. BCE’s programs include summer day camps, and follow-up programs in select elementary schools and children clubs around the city.

This past summer BCE was able to reach 1057 kids with their summer camp programs and they will now pursue follow-up with all of these kids during the school year.

Belize Camping Experience is asking for your help in subsidizing the costs of this Harvest Project. While the labor and machinery has been donated the rest of the expenses will take away from the profit going to the children, unless caring citizens partner with them through donations. If you are interested in making a donation please contact Alexander Perez at: 621-5541 or Sashà Garnet at: 622-9239. Any size of donation will be appreciated.

The Star

#446290 - 09/10/12 11:38 AM Re: Harvest For Kids: Planting Seeds Of Hope [Re: Marty]
Cara Offline
I love seeing stories like this. I was part of a group of local master gardeners who started a similar childrens' gardening program in our area which we called Harvest From the Heart. The children loved it, their parents got involved as well, and it was great to give this beautiful bounty back to those who needed it in their town. So Yay to BCE and Harvest for Kids!!!! All children should know where their food comes from, and how easy it is to be able to feed yourself with a little love for Mother Earth.

#448609 - 10/12/12 07:35 AM Re: Harvest For Kids: Planting Seeds Of Hope [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

The Harvest Moves To Orange Walk

On Monday, we showed you the Harvest for Kids effort, which the members of the Belize Camping Experience made over weekend at Banana Bank.

They had 11 combines going all at once - to harvest a 20 acre corn field in 26 minutes.

It was organized by the Belize Camping Experience, an innovative outreach program that seeks to take at-risk children from Belize City out of the cycle of violence, and show them a different way of life.

Today, another mass mechanized harvest was held in San Carlos. We attended that harvest and found that traditional Mennonite communities who don't use combustion engines also participated.

Here's what the Mayor of Blue Creek, and the Director of the program told us:

Abe Dyck, Mayor, Blue Creek Village
"What happen here is a project for Harvest for Kids where we were invited to join with different farmers and with the Belize Camping Experience to raise funds for the camping program that is going on in Belize City and we were invited to join them and we they were asking how we could raise some funds for that project and as farmers this is one way that we can try to help support that. We decided that all together we will go ahead and plant 21 acres of corn and whatever the proceeds from that will go towards helping send children to camp in Belize City."

"We are really surprise at the response that we have gotten. We are very pleased with the response. It's a lot more than we expected; we had very positive response from when we started planting, people were excited about and when I got here this morning - we had a meeting as a committee on Monday and then thought that we would have about 5-6 combines and this morning we came here we had 11. I believe there was one that couldn't make it. Four of them are from Shipyard and one from Indian Creek, we are very excited that those people joined us in this effort."

"Some of the combines that you would have notice on the video that you took - we have some combines there on steel tracks - their religion does not allow them to use rubber tires. We have a very good relationship with them in business and such but they do have different beliefs but that is what makes it so awesome that we were able to work together; different churches, different beliefs - we were able to get together and do this. Even though there've been other projects that we have been involve but it's none of them that ever been involve all together at this extent. I am seeing big things happening from here."

Alexander Perez, Director, Belize Camping Experience
"Today is the harvest. We have been waiting for the harvest for 4 months and we have been working hard to make sure that we fundraise for the fertilizer, chemicals and the seed. Today what you see is the hard work that we put in; the farmer planting the seed and harvesting it - but what you saw today is something that has never been done before in Orange Walk, so that is to lined up 11 combines right here in San Carlos Lamanai where we have harvested our corn in minutes. To see this site makes you emotional because the reason why these combines came from so far; some came from Blue Creek, San Carlos, Shipyard, some came from Indian Church is because of the children. Because they want to help the children in Belize and they want to do that through Belize Camping Experience and so a harvest for kids is beginning."

"I believe that these men will get involved now that they have seen our work and commitment."

Daniel Ortiz
"I know that they are certain Mennonite communities out here today which they tend to keep to themselves. How did you manage to convince them that this is a project that they would want to support?"

Alexander Perez, Director, Belize Camping Experience
"One of the things is that I visited them a lot and one of the things that is really interesting is that they know the violence that are happening in Belize City. One of the things that also helps is that they were following up on Harvest for Kids for the 7 months - they have been hearing about it and reading it in the newspapers and so when I visited them last week for the 5th time I ask them to bring their machines for those kids and here is where they drop all differences; this is not about the Mennonites, nor the Spanish, nor the Indians - this is about those kids and I ask them to bring their machines. When I presented it in that way they responded and they said to me in Spanish "El futuro de Belice es nuestros ninos" and they understand that. I believe to see Shipyard involve, that's exciting because that's something that tells you that these men believe in the future of our country and so we just want to say to Belize to please get involve in whatsoever we do. It doesn't have to be BCA or Harvest for Kids, it can be many other ways - get involve and by you getting involve you would bring change into our city. As with the other Harvest, the proceeds of the sales go to keeping the program running. The organizers already have plans to expand the program further."

Channel 7

#448674 - 10/13/12 07:51 AM Re: Harvest For Kids: Planting Seeds Of Hope [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

It Was A Bountiful Harvest

Last night, we showed you the Harvest for Kids, which the farmers and the Belize Camping Experience held in San Carlos. Now, The Belize Camping Experience has gotten international attention.

Today, we spoke to the Director, and he explained the significance:

Alexander Perez, Director, Belize Camping Experience
"It has been a success. We are so glad that the two harvests are finish. It was lot of work working for a few months already and we are finish and we are very excited because a lot of farmers and people are excited with us that we were able to accomplish such a great harvest. It something that Belize has never seen before and because of that it really gives a lot of encouragement to continue. I just want to say to the people especially the farmers - the agriculture department that helps us out - to the business community that are involve in farming in some way partnered with us. We never had any supporters except for Circle R as a farming company that was supporting us. We would love to invite them to partake with us as Harvest for Kids is coming to a development and it can be done next year. We are looking forward to plant more acres of sugarcane or corn or beans or something. We are looking forward to keep this program going."

According to Perez, combining the yield of both harvests, they were able to bag 1,950 sacks of corn which are all ready to be sold. Expenses for the Banana Bank still have to be paid form the proceeds, but in San Carlos, 100% of the costs were covered by sponsors. The proceeds of the sales - after expenses will go towards children's programmes in Belize City.

Channel 7


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