Group of dedicated Boston Students and Staff will be spending April Vacation building a home for a family in Belize and doing HIV education

A family in Belize needs a home and our students want to build it for them!

The English High School is America's Oldest Public High School. Our students come from challenging backgrounds that sometimes make it difficult for even their basic needs to be provided for. Despite this obstacle, we have a dedicated group of students that are eager to look outside themselves and help another family. We need your help to do this! If you have ever particiated in community service you know that the person doing the service gets just as much, if not more, out if it! We want our youth to have that life-changing experience where they realize just how blessed they are and that they can have a positive life-changing impact on others. This service trip will inspire our youth to return home with a better understanding of themselves and their own circumstances, resulting in increased compassion for all people and a desire to build a more just world.

WE CANNOT DO THIS WITHOUT YOU! THE TOTAL COST OF THE TRIP IS $25,130. WE HOPE TO RAISE $7,000 ON RAZOO TO MAKE THIS A POSSIBILITY. PLEASE HELP US GIVE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO OUR YOUTH!

Our team participated in a similar trip in Nicaragua June 2012, here are some of their reflections:

"Knowing that someone else around the world would do possibly anything just to have what we have, I am now home and everyday thankful for everything, especially my education." ~Mindy

"This impacted me because it showed me that I am capable of doing big things and helping lives improve. How I look at life like it could be worse and when you want something go after it don’t limit yourself. " ~ Alex

"The best part of this trip was handing the house over to the family and giving them their house warming gifts. They were really grateful and I felt extremely appreciated." ~Devon

"I learned that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. I learned now to be more independent because I wasn’t with people who are always with me. " ~Kristina

"This trip also made me want to major in International Relations in college so I can do more service trips like this and impact other communities in developing countries around the world." ~Curtney

Your donation will help make this trip a possibility!! Thank you for your support and generosity!!

Information about Hand in Hand Ministries, the organization we are working with in Belize.

The home recipients must provide proof of ownership of their own land, assist with the building of their home and attend empowerment classes. The success of this program is overwhelming. In less than 10 years, more than 180 families, working with Hand in Hand volunteers, have put a roof over their heads and have begun a new life. Recipeints have also learned to give back to their community by assisting with other Hand in Hand building projects. It’s hard to believe a 16×16 wooden house could have such a big impact on a family – but it does.

Breaking the Stigma

One of the greatest challenges in Belize is fighting the stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS. Very few parents even acknowledge the HIV status of their children and consequently, the essential path of treatment often is not followed. HHM recognized this roadblock and formed parent and adolescent support groups. Currently, eight girls, ages 10-13 now have a safe place to share their feelings about their HIV status and learn to prevent the disease from spreading.


Measurable Results

As a result of both the Center for Children Marginalized by Poverty and Disease and the Mobile Outreach Program, Hand in Hand can point to some very positive statistics that are trending in the right direction:

• Since 2009, the program has reported a 50% reduction in hospitalizations for HIV-positive children
• 90% of known HIV-positive children in rural communities within the Belize district are served by Hand in Hand Ourtreach services;
• 60% of the known HIV positive adolsecents in Belize City participate in support group services

More Than Just Numbers

Hand in Hand’s presence in Belize has produced positive measurable, quantitative results; however, the underlying effects of our efforts are so much greater than the numbers. The people who we touch are provided with knowledge, medication, and nutritious meals, but they also receive hope; hope for a better future for themselves and their children.

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