On March 25th, 2020, San Pedro’s Deborah ‘DJ Debbie’ Spain, and Brittney O’Daniel will be honored at the 16th Annual Outstanding Women’s Awards Ceremony. They are among 20 extraordinary women who will be recognized for their contributions to their communities.

Every year, a series of activities are held to commemorate women in March, highlighting issues important to them and their achievements. This year’s theme, ‘#ChoosetoChallenge: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World,’ provides the opportunity to recognize that everyone can challenge areas of concern related to women’s rights and gender equality. The National Women’s Commission (NWC) in Belize coordinates activities dedicated to these role models throughout the month. As every year, several women are chosen for their outstanding contribution to their communities and being role models across the country.

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38-year-old Brittney has made San Pedro her home for the past 9 years. During this time, she has completely immersed herself in the community and culture of San Pedro Town. In 2014, Brittney and a group of like-minded individuals legally formed Raise Me Up - a non-profit organization geared to providing service to the community.

As Brittney became more involved in the community. she learned that there two very important needs; a children's home and a place for DV survivors to access services. In January 2017. she finalized a deal with the Lions Club of San Pedro and began the renovation of the building that now houses Hope Haven Children's Home and Empowerment Center which was inaugurated in November 2017.

Her passion for assisting people is evident as she has facilitated the building of homes for single mothers in our community. Brittney has also formed part and participated in community activities such as. "El Gran Carnaval" as a member of the San Pedro AIDS Commission. She has been actively involved in the NEMO EOC for Belize Rural South and serves on that committee as the Co-chair of Relief & Supplies. She and the rest of the team are currently working on restoring a building that will serve as Hope Haven's Domestic Violence Outreach Center where women will be able to access legal and mental health services free of cost. In 2021, her dream of offering a safe space for domestic violence survivors and a children's home will be completed.

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Deborah Spain, known to us as DJ Debbie has been steadily building a DJ queendom beat by beat. Debbie has brought her sisterhood sounds to dance floors all over Belize since 2009. To encourage women to endeavour into the field of live entertainment. Debbie has been helping other female DJs by booking them for events or by donating her own equipment to create visibility for women DJs and performers. Whether it is her amazing personality, her brightly colored hair or her skills on the turntable. Debbie has always encompassed the empowerment of women and vulnerable communities in the work she does. She does not hold any judgment on anyone and believes that everyone should be treated with respect. equality, and love. or the past 7 years Debbie has hosted an annual Drag Pageant in San Pedro to create visibility of the transgender and gay community in Belize. Amidst COVID-19 and despite all adversities. Debbie. alongside her team. continues to work effortlessly to ensure that this year the show continues. The COVID-19 lockdown has financially impacted Debbie. as with many other live entertainers: however, Debbie makes it her priority to help even beyond the extent of the island. by hosting weekly Women's Night and Sunday Gospel live shows to maintain a sense of normalcy to the country of Belize. For this reason. Our Circle takes the time to honour one of our own community members and supporters, DJ Debbie Spain. for her impact during the trying time of COVID-19.