News for April 2011

Resource Centers International (RCI) completed its third mission this March, opening 4 new Centers in the Toledo District of Belize. The nine member mission team helped setup the centers and train community personnel in their operation.

Important contacts were established with the University of Belize, Punta Gorda campus. They would like to use the centers for student field experience in education and computer curriculums, and also to lend support to each of the communities.

The RCI website has been updated and pictures of the March 2011 mission have been posted. Click on the link to access the photos of this and our previous missions: (http://resourcecentersinternational.org/index.php?i=pictures)

Continue reading

News for March 2011

In Brief

February had been a relatively quiet month as the project team prepared for the March mission, to the Toledo District of Belize, where we will be setting up four new resource centers. The container sent in late January, 2011 arrived in the port of Big Creek on February 5th. Because of issues at the port the container was not released until March 1st. Everything has been unloaded and stored in the community building at Silver Creek.

This past month we received a generous contribution of $500.00 from the Rotary Club of Lima, Ohio. The warehouse is now relatively empty of equipment and supplies designated for Resource Centers International. We will start collecting again for our next mission which is tentatively planned for December 2011 when we will again open 4 new resource centers in Belize.

-Mel Honig, Newsletter Editor

News for February 2011

In Brief

January has been another busy and productive month for Resource Centers International.

  • Four Mayan communities have been ‘adopted’ by the Findlay Rotary
  • With great appreciation donations were accepted from
    • Lima Rotary Club 12 computers
    • Findlay Rotary Club $2000.00
    • Oberlin Rotary Club $ 250.00
    • MESA shipping subsidy $1000.00
    • Home Depot $ 50.00
    • Sam’s Club 1000 sq ft of exercise flooring sold to RCI at cost.
    • Private donations $ 225.00
  • Presentations were given to the Bellevue and Findlay Rotary Clubs
  • All the equipment and supplies for the March mission were shipped to Belize and will arrive on or about February 5th.
  • The March mission team is set and ready to start work. Continue reading

News for January 2011

In Brief

December was a very productive month for the Resource Center International project team. We completed 4 new resource centers in the Spanish Lookout area of the Cayo District of Belize. We also contracted to set up 4 new centers in the Toledo District of Belize in March 2011. New Rotary contacts have been established with the Rotary Club of Punta Gorda: their participation being very important to the implementation of the March mission.

Two District 6600 Rotary Clubs have now ‘adopted’ communities in Belize, and a third has given us financial support. Next month several District 6600 Rotary Clubs will be given presentations about our work in Belize. If you would like your club to have a presentation please contact Mel Honig at gailmel75@yahoo.com, phone 419 843 4459.

 

THE DECEMBER MISSION

The December mission team was composed of:

Jeff Gast, Lima Rotarian, who was our team engineer. Not only did he do the necessary wiring to support the computers, but also helped build ten tables that were used in the four centers, and several bookcases at three of the centers. Jeff will be remembered by the team as a hard working and dedicated Rotarian and by all the children of the communities as the ‘candy man’.

Judy Riggle, Oberlin Rotarian completed her second trip as a trainer for the women who would be running the centers. Not only did Judy help train the women, but she also brought with her valuable educational materials that were an instant success. Judy worked tirelessly telling stories and sharing ideas with the community children.

David Gonzalez, Belmopan Rotarian set up the computers, printers and speakers. He also trained the high school students, who in turn would be training the members of their communities in computer usage.

Elana Honig, a non-Rotarian was participating in her second mission. She helped train the women in running the centers, and wrote the manuals that the communities are using in the running and maintenance of the centers. Being bilingual Elana was a great help in ‘connecting’ with the Latino communities we were working in. She also acted as translator at several meetings, working late into the night. Bringing along her two bilingual children, ages 5 and 2 also helped to make the mission more child friendly.

Jasmine Martinez, a non-Rotarian was on her first mission, and was an ice-breaker at each of the centers by engaging the children in games and play. This was very important because it showed how the centers can be used to have fun while improving social, physical and mental skills.

Gail Odneal, a non-Rotarian and also on her first mission is a Nurse Educator. She gave classes not only to the four new sites on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and diabetes, but also to one of the sites we established last March. We asked the communities for their input on what classes they wanted. All the communities were especially adamant about Gail presenting a class on STDs.

Justin Kendall, a non Rotarian was scheduled to go on the mission, but lost his funding at the last minute. This would have been Justin’s second mission trip as our computer expert. Justin lent valuable assistance in preparing the computers that were sent to Belize.

Mel Honig, Sylvania Rotarian and project coordinator conducted several meetings with each of the Resource Center Boards, the high school students and the communities as a whole. He also helped Jeff with the construction of the tables and bookcases. Mel was also the designated driver getting everyone where they needed to be on time… or at least on Belizean time.

The four communities in the Spanish Lookout area

Mel met Benjamin Cano at a meeting of the Village Council Presidents in March 2010. The purpose of that meeting was to promote our project to the communities of Belize. Mr. Cano invited Mel to Billy White, and from there we found our 3 other communities: Duck Run I, Duck Run III and Bullet Tree Falls. Each of these communities is primarily Latino and bilingual, speaking English as their second language. Although they have only recently received the modern conveniences of electricity and running water, the villagers enjoy a rich community and family life and are eager to advance economically and socially through education. Please click on the link to view the pictures of the communities and our work in establishing the centers:
Setting Up
Classes and Meetings
Using the Centers

At three of the communities, we set up complete programs which the communities embraced whole heartedly. We were especially moved when we were guests of honor at ceremonies at Billy White and Duck Run 3 at the end of the mission. At Bullet Tree Falls we set up a Resource Center limited to computers and library books. This was not our decision, but theirs.

Meetings, training sessions and health presentations lasted from early morning until late at night at the first three communities. Training was limited to computer usage at Bullet Tree Falls. All sessions were well attended by community members eager to learn and participate. Each community selected a board to oversee and be responsible for the center. The boards elected a president, the youngest being Jasmine, only 19, and the oldest, Jose in his late 60s. The communities also identified contact people who would be responsible for dissemination of information between their community and Rotary District 6600.

THE MARCH 2011 MISSION…. Planning ahead

Selecting the four communities in the Toledo District of Belize

The communities chosen to be sites for the next mission were selected as follows:

Jeff Gast and Mel Honig met with the Peace Corps project directors Valentino Shal and Austin Arzu to get a list of communities that we would be potential resource center sites. We have been working with the Peace Corps since the beginning and they have been helpful in identifying not only possible communities, but also the demographics of those communities.

After obtaining the list Mel met with Rick Mallory and Nana Mensah of the Punta Gorda Rotary Club. We went over the list and narrowed it down again; prioritizing the communities in the order I should visit them. Part of the consideration was having a Peace Corps volunteer in the community. Our criteria for selecting a community is one that has electricity, a community center, but still does not have computers, has no or a limited library, and does not have the resources to acquire computers or books.

Initial meetings were held with the village chairman and alcalde (mayor) of the following communities: San Felipe, Santa Ana, Silver Creek and San Miguel. Meetings were then set up with each of these villages in which the entire community was invited……. or at least the men, as women in general still do not participate in the decision making process in Mayan culture. It must be noted though that some women did attend one of the meetings and took an active part. This was democracy in its truest form as each member of the community had a voice. How do you call a meeting? The end of a conch is cut off and one men of the community blows into the cut off end. Yes, it is a loud bellowing noise. One of the communities has gone modern and actually invested in a horn.

Before Resource Centers International would place a center in a community we had four questions that needed to be answered at the community meeting:

  1. Is there an adequate location?
  2. Will someone in the community stand up and take responsibility for the center?
  3. Is the community willing to support the center?
  4. Do we have of a contact person that has an email address?

In each of the chosen communities we found a location, a president of the Resource Center Board, a contact person, and although they did not take an actual vote, the community response to having a center was very positive.

Although each of the villages is unique they have some commonalities:
The villagers are all Q’eqchi speaking Maya.
They have populations of around 300 to 500 in each village.
There are limited resources in the community.
Farming and animal husbandry is the primary occupation.
The villagers are bilingual, with most of them speaking fluent English.
They are off the main road, thus isolating the villagers to some extent.

Please click on the links to view the pictures of each of the villages:
Santa Ana
San Felipe
San Miguel
Silver Creek

The March mission team will be comprised of:
Approximately 6 to 8 members of the Rotaract Club of the University of Findlay and their advisor Bob Rustic (Findlay Rotarian) and his spouse.
Susan Shafer, Sylvania Rotarian, librarian
Mel Honig, Sylvania Rotarian, project coordinator
Susan Honig, non-Rotarian and Occupational Therapist
Justin Kendall, non-Rotarian and computer expert and mission engineer. Justin was also a team member on the first mission.
Dan McCormick, non-Rotarian and computer expert. Dan was also a team member on the first mission.

Additionally, numerous individuals have expressed an interest in going on the March mission, but have not fully committed. If you would like to be part of the mission please contact Mel Honig; gailmel75@yahoo.com, phone 419 843 4459.

Most of the equipment and supplies have already been collected. What are still needed are computers, educational games and toys. Also needed are funds to pay for shipping and purchasing rubberized interlocking flooring tiles for all the centers. To make a donation please refer to our website: http://resourcecentersinternational.org/

A note on shipping: Until recently we have had shipping subsidized by the Belize Natural Energy Trust. This subsidy is not available at this time and we have to pay for our shipping. I checked with the U.S. Embassy in Belmopan and their next cargo flight to Belize is full. They do not have another flight scheduled until after the March mission is completed. We will continue to work with Tim Tam and the Word at Work on shipping as they have given us excellent support in the past. Rick Mallory and Nana Mensah of the Punta Gorda Rotary Club offered to find temporary storage from the time the product arrives until it can be distributed to the villages.

REVISITING OLD RESOURCE CENTERS

Gail Odneal and Mel Honig visited two of the first three Resource Centers we established in March 2010. The third at Salvapan was closed for winter break as it is run by the University of Belize. All three are still viable, almost a year after their establishment.

In meetings with the Resource Centers Board Chairpersons at Armenia and St Margarets, Job and Lilly brought us up to date on issues and needs of the centers. Their greatest challenge is to maintain enthusiasm among the young mothers to come and participate on a regular basis. Each of the two communities is resolving the problem in their own way.

Gail gave a presentation at St Margarets on the issue that all the communities are most interested in: sexual transmitted diseases (STDs). Brochures on Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) were left with the University of Belize, the Prison at Hattieville and the Resource Center at Armenia as well as the centers where presentations on this important issue were given. Literally hundreds of brochures on health and nutrition were also distributed to each of the Resource Centers. The brochures, in Spanish and English, were donated by the Ohio Department of Health.

-Mel Honig, Newsletter Editor

News for December 2010

Fund Raising and Donations

Presentations to District 6600 Rotary Clubs have continued in an effort to increase awareness of the work Resource Centers International is doing in Belize. To date two District Rotary Clubs have ‘adopted’ Resource Centers in Belize. The Rotary Club of Galion has adopted the community of Duck Run 3; and the Rotary Club of Hicksville has adopted the community of Bullet Tree Falls. Presentations are scheduled for the Bowling Green Rotary Club on December 2nd and the Findlay Rotary on Club January 17th.

We have almost everything we need to send the next container to Belize. What is still needed and is critical to the mission are computers. We are short at least 20, but will take as many computers as we can get. Also needed are educational and manual dexterity games and toys. These items are most helpful in the development of young bodies and minds and in creating positive social interactions. You can make donations by contacting Mel Honig: ph. 419 843 4459, or email: gailmel75@yahoo.com.

December Mission to Belize

All the equipment and supplies shipped in early November from our MESA warehouse have been received in Belize. This was an especially difficult shipment to put together because of the last minute unexpected loss of funding. Great thanks has to go to Tim Tam and Tim Hagen at the Word at Work, Jeff Gast of the Lima Rotary, as well as Eric Maas of the Belmopan Rotary who arranged getting everything into Belize in a very cost effective manner….and through customs duty free. The additional funds necessary to make this shipment came from MESA, and Jeff Gast.

With the last minute withdrawal of the computer team from Owens Community college are asking the University of Belize to help us in meeting our Information Technology needs during the mission.

March Mission to Belize

After the December mission, our next mission will be in March, 2011 when we will be opening four new sites. We are already well prepared for this mission. Instead of two weeks as in the December mission we will complete this mission in only one week. Not only do we have almost all the equipment and supplies, but we have the largest team organized set to go. Funding for shipping the container to Belize is still an aspect that has to be resolved. Currently we do not have the finances to ship a container, but are exploring many different avenues to resolve the issue.

The tentative mission team and their job responsibilities are as follows:

  • Six or more Rotaractors from the University of Findlay to include a historian, trainers and possibly information technology specialists
  • Bob Rustic and spouse, University of Findlay advisors and trainers
  • Susan Schafer, Sylvania Rotarian, Librarian and trainer
  • Susan Honig, Occupational Therapist and trainer
  • Justin Kendall, Owens student and Information Technology (IT) specialist
  • Mel Honig, Sylvania Rotarian and Project Coordinator

We still need an engineer and one or two more trainers/I.T. specialist for the March mission. If interested please contact Mel Honig, Project Coordinator: ph 419 843 4459, or email: gailmel75@yahoo.com.

The communities chosen to have Resource Centers for the mission will be determined during the December mission. As of this date three communities have already requested that Resource Centers be placed in their communities.

-Mel Honig, Project Coordinator

News for November 2010

Fund Raising

In an effort to find funding to continue our mission we have initiated an ‘Adopt a Community’ program. The first District 6600 Rotary Club to take advantage of the opportunity is the Rotary Club of Hicksville, Ohio. The program has many advantages. It:

  • Provides the needed funds to outfit a community Resource Center
  • Involves Rotary Clubs in our District 6600 to become active in an International Project
  • Enhances the probability of a Resource Center being sustained by having a Rotary Club monitor their adopted community over time.

 

December Mission to Belize

This December a team of 9 people will travel to Belize to open 4 new sites. The new sites in the Cayo District will be Bullet Tree Falls, Billy White, Duck Run 1 and Duck Run 2.

The equipment and supplies necessary to open the new resource centers are scheduled to be shipped from Camden, Alabama on November 6th. Originally the consignment was scheduled to be sent from the MESA warehouse in Findlay, Ohio, but because of the change in shipping locations we are unable to ship everything. Therefore we will be fabricating tables in Belize and will ship down the rest of the furniture when we return in March. All of the educational materials, computers systems and children’s chairs are being shipped, so there will be no problem in completing the December mission.

At our November 16th meeting we set up a schedule for working at each of the 4 communities. Bullet Tree Falls and Billy White will be the first two communities where we will do training. The following week we will conduct training at Duck Run 1 and Duck Run 2. Simultaneously Gail Odneal will be available to give health education classes at the 4 new sites and also the three sites previously open. Another health educator, Jasmine Martinez has agreed to make the trip to Belize and will be helping Gail as well as doing basic training. Jasmine is our latest team addition and is fluent in English and Spanish. Also joining the team for the first time is Denise Pheils, Professor of Computer Science at Owens Community College. Four individuals from our first mission last March are returning: Mel Honig, Project Coordinator; Justin Kendall, Computer scientist; Judy Riggle, Librarian and Elana Honig, Elementary School Teacher. Finishing out the team are new team members is our engineer, Jeff Gast, and Sheila Ross a Librarian who specializes in computers.

March 2011 Mission

Looking ahead to March 2011 we are already assembling a team to return to Belize. The dates for the mission will probably be March 3rd to the 12th when we will be establishing four or more new centers.

-Mel Honig, Project Coordinator

News for October 2010

Next planned meeting: October 16th we will have a meeting of all those going on or interested in going on the next mission. It will be held at Owens Community College, College Hall, Conference Room 99 from 10 A.M. to 12 Noon. If you cannot attend, but would like to, please contact me.
Mel Honig, Project Coordinator
419 843 4459
Email gailmel75@yahoo.com

UPDATES FROM BELIZE

My trip to Belize (September 15th to the 22nd) was successful in that all the objectives were met:

  • Confirming we had 4 community sites to convert into Resources Centers when we send down a mission team this December 10th-24th.
  • Visiting our first three sites to check on their progress
  • Coordinating the shipping of the materials and supplies to the new sites, and
  • re-establishing ties with old contacts while making new ones.

The following are descriptions of the four new sites. While each of sites shares many similarities such as rapid growth, English spoken as a second language, and women who do not work outside the home, each site is truly unique with their own problems and issues to resolve.

The Four New Sites

Duck Run 1

The community of Duck Run 1 received their supply of running water last year, and electricity 3 years ago. It is comprised of some 100+ families, mostly 1st and 2nd generation Belizeans of Guatemalan decent.

Village Chairman, Enrique Arroyo, says that the community will start work on the conversion of the building chosen for the Resource Center immediately, and it will be ready for us when we arrive in early December.


The current Duck Run 1 school luncheon building will be converted to a Resource Center. The community realizes that this building is too small and will be either adding onto it, or building another community center to house the Resource Center.

Billy White

Billy White is not only close to Duck Run 1 geographically, but also demographically. It already has a very large community building. And very little work needs to be done to get the center ready for the conversion to a Resource Center.


Meeting with the Billy White Resource Center committee in March 2010.

Duck Run 3

Unlike Duck Run 1 and Billy White, Duck Run 3 has been settled from immigrants with an El Salvadoran heritage. Being close to Spanish Lookout the community has had electricity and running water for many years. Still many of the homes do not benefit from these ‘conveniences’……. something we call necessities. They already have a community center appropriate for conversion to a Resource Center.


The holiday weekend and last minute efforts to have a community meeting meant light attendance, but there was no doubt that the community wanted to have a resource center.

Bullet Tree Falls

Bullet Tree Falls is perhaps the most ethnically diverse, and also one of the largest communities in the Cayo District. There are already two Community Center buildings in the community, one designated as a library. We will be putting the computers in the library, and the learning center in the Community building. They already have an outstanding playground.


Above left is the Community Center. The upper right is the library/computer center and immediately above, the center playground.

Status of our first three sites

The concern when the mission team left Belize this past March was the sustainability of the centers and the possibility of theft. It is now almost seven months later and all three centers are still operating and theft has not been a problem. They are still conducting classes for mothers and their children in the mornings and computer classes after school and at night.

Salvapan

The Salvapan Resource Center is located on University of Belize (UB) property and is an integral part of the University and its community service initiative. When I was there the center was still closed due to summer break at the University. With the reopening of the Center will continue to have mother child enrichment classes in the morning and computer classes during the day and evenings. UB students will also continue to work in the Center as part of their educational requirement. All of the equipment and materials are still being used and in good repair.

Armenia

The Armenia Resource Center is now being guided by Peace Corps volunteer Elsa George, the previous Peace Corps volunteer, Zan, has returned home and is now a graduate student at Harvard University.

Above left is the computer center. Above are children playing in the center. To the right is Elsa, the Peace Corps Volunteer, in main room of the Armenia Resource Center.

Saint Margarets

St Margarets village does not have a playground for the preschool. This is one thing that the St Margarets Resource Center Committee asked that I help them acquire, as well as more tables and chairs and toys…. which are very popular with the children.

Resource Center
Computer Stations

Coordinating the Next Shipment

Upon arriving in Belize I met with Eric Maas, the Belmopan Rotary contact, who is coordinating the shipping and storage of materials and supplies we are sending to Belize. Eric and I meet with Deborah Sewell a Belmopan Rotarian and the Director of the Belize Natural Energy Trust (BNE Trust) to discuss not only the shipping but also storage of the sent materials and supplies until everything can be distributed to the communities.

Deborah stated that our program ‘is consistent with the type of effort they want to support; and the BNE Trust will continue to finance shipments as long as we are partnering with Tim Tam (The Word at Work), and as long as they are able’.

Establishing New Contacts

The presence of a Peace Corps Volunteer in Armenia has been helpful in insuring the sustainability of the program there, so I was especially interested in meeting with Valentino Shal and Austin Arzu, the two Program Directors at the Peace Corps. Both directors are Belizean nationals and were extremely valuable in giving me insight into how to promote the RCI program to the communities.

They also introduced me to Diana Pook, who is a director at COMPAR (Community and Parent Empowerment Programme), a program within the Belize Department of Human Services. COMPAR, meets with parents and children in one on one situations, as well as conducts parenting training in group settings. In the future we will coordinate with COMPAR and the Peace Corps in the selection of future sites.

October 16th we will have a meeting of all those going on the next mission, or those possibly interested in going. It will be held at Owens Community College, College Hall, Conference Room 99 from 10 A.M. to 12 Noon. If you would like more information about the meeting, or cannot attend but would like to please contact:
Mel Honig, Project Coordinator
419 843 4459
Email gailmel75@yahoo.com

News for September 2010

Changes at RCI

We have put in a request to District’s International arm, Medical Equipment and Supplies Abroad (MESA) to ‘adopt’ Resource Centers International (RCI) as a MESA project. This request has been given tentative approval pending a meeting of the MESA Steering Committee. In the meantime the MESA website now has a link to the RCI website. The MESA website is: http://www.rotarymesa.org/.

The advantages to this relationship is that MESA will commit to ‘supporting it through shipping, publicity and warehousing services’, and ‘to characterize the above project as an official MESA project in RCI’s publicizing and fundraising efforts‘. This affiliation will make it easier to give presentations to the Rotary Clubs in our District with the purpose of promoting awareness and raising funds for the project. The plan is to have individual Rotary Clubs ‘adopt’ a community in Belize. I have already given presentations to the Sylvania and Hicksville Rotary Clubs and have another one scheduled for the Vermilion Club in early October.

The ‘Adopt a Community Program’ will give our District 6600 Rotary Clubs an opportunity to become involved in an International Project with minimum difficulty. The Annual Bike Ride Fundraiser has been important in promoting the work of MESA, and hopefully our efforts in starting resource centers in Belize will also promote increased Rotary Club involvement in MESA.

On September 15, 2010 I will be going to Belize to take pictures of the four communities that have indicated a desire to have resource centers. The project team will be returning to Belize to help establish the new centers in December of this year.

Right now the project team members indicating they would like to go to Belize consists of:

  • Second timers from the first mission
    • Elana Honig
    • Judy Riggle
    • Mel Honig
  • New team members
    • Jeff Gast
    • Gail Odneal

We have many other individuals who have stated their interest, but have not yet committed. We will have an October meeting for all those participating in, or interested in the project, at Owens Community College. The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss and plan the December mission.

– Mel Honig
Project Leader

News from Belize

The following article has been submitted by Dr. Thomasine Baker, Associate Professor of Education at the University of Belize, updating the status of the three centers opened in March of this year. Dr. Baker has been instrumental in starting the Resource Centers in Armenia, St Margarets, and Salvapan. The Salvapan Resource Center is a project of the University of Belize, under the supervision of Dr. Baker.

Status of the Resource Centers in Belize

By Dr. Thomasine Baker

The Sylvania, Ohio Rotary, Family Literacy Center in St. Margaret’s is ready for another session of computer classes. Several of the classroom teachers from St. Margaret’s RC School have volunteered to teach computer classes, the enrollment fluctuates between 20-25 students. We offer two classes for school age students in the village and one class in the evening for adults. The center was closed during most of the summer and is gearing up for registration of new classes beginning Monday, August 30, 2010. We have the support of Dr. Thomasine Baker a UB professor, who has encouraged her student to volunteer for extra credit in assisting students in tutoring and homework centers.


Students working on computers in St Margarets

Armenia has had two summer sessions of computer classes, directed by volunteers from Jaguar Creek; one for school aged children and one for adults, they had a total of 28 participants officially enrolled in the summer program and 10-20 irregular attendees who also participated in football games, picnics on the playground and a community cleanup campaign. Mr. Pedro Garcia is working with a group of community residents in preparation for launching a new program in September. The community has expressed a desire to train more parents in using the computer in hopes of using these newly trained parents to maintain the center for extended hours. They would like to offer a program to accommodate after school tutoring and homework groups. Dr. Baker has arranged to have the students @ UB volunteer for the program and earn extra credit for community service.


Students helping adults learn the basics of computers in Armenia

The program in Salvapan is growing by leaps and bounds; they have developed a program for the parents of preschool age children to learn and improve their computer skills, and participate in study/tutoring groups in a safe environment. We are asking parents and sponsors to donate books, technical assistance, computer programs, and educational toys to use in the Family Literacy Center Library. Classes are offered on Monday and Wednesday for primary school children and on Tuesday and Thursday for high school students. The programs are scheduled to re-open the first week in September.


Dr Baker outside the Salvapan Resource Center

Newsletter for August 2010

Our inaugural newsletter will be designed to keep you up to date on the latest R.C.I. news. Since our last mission in March 2010 we have made significant progress in attracting interest and support to the project from Rotarians, non-Rotarians and NGOs as well as governmental agencies.

Almost all the equipment necessary to outfit 8 centers has been collected these past few months. They have been donated by (and in some cases purchased):

  • MESA (mainly desks, chairs, tables, file cabinets)…. MESA has also donated $1000.00 to the mission
  • Purchased at school auctions (desks, chairs, bookcases, mobile carts, televisions)
  • Purchased at great discount from the Friends of the Toledo Library (books and VHS tapes)
  • Toledo Museum of Art (VCRs)
  • Perrysburg School System (computers systems). These computers have been checked out and loaded with needed software.
  • Numerous individual donations of games, toys, TVs, furniture.

 

Check out our website at: resourcecentersinternational.org. Justin Kendall has not only put this together and has also volunteered to be our webmaster. If you have anything you would like on the website, please forward it to Justin’s email: jfekendall@gmail.com.

We also have made copies of the DVD produced by CoolMedia Productions: http://coolmediapro.com. If you would like copies of the DVD please contact Mel Honig: gailmel75@yahoo.com.


There was always a crowd of curious onlookers checking out our progress. This picture was taken at St Margarets during our first mission in March 2010.

On a personnel level we have had many new developments:

  • Jeff Gast, team engineer of the Lima Rotary and Gail Odneal, Nurse Educator have agreed to join the team on their second mission in December.
  • Toni Gonzalez, our historian, is currently having one of the pictures she took in Belize shown at the 92nd Annual Toledo Area Arts Exhibition at the Toledo Museum of Art (featured above).
  • Several people have expressed an interest in going to Belize in December, but are unable to commit at this time. They include computer experts, school teachers, librarians, etc. Two of them were recruited through the efforts of Judy Riggle. Several individuals have made monetary contributions to RCI.
  • Mel Honig, Sylvania Rotary, made a fund raising mission to New York and Philadelphia in early July and brought back a truck full of games and toys, and some monetary donations. Hopefully more financial support will come as a result of the trip. Mel has also made presentations at the Hicksville Rotary, District 6600 Conference and the World Community Workshop.

 

News from Belize

The three centers that were established in March are still functional.

Mel Honig will be returning to Belize in September to insure that there will be four more sites to open in December. While there he plans to meet with Valentino Shal, Program Manager, Business and Organizational Development & Youth Development, United States Peace Corps. The continued support of the Peace Corps will be most helpful in ensuring that each site has support after the project team completes their work. He will be also meeting with Eric Maas of the Belmopan Rotary to coordinate shipping and storing of product from the November shipment.

Tim Tam (the Word at Work) and the Belize Natural Energy Trust will continue to lend their financial support by subsidizing the entire cost of the November shipment.

Future Needs

There is still a need to establish a team to return to Belize to open the next four centers. I have three definite commitments and several who would like to go, but cannot commit at this time. If you want to go on the next mission please inform the project coordinator, Mel Honig (gailmel75@yahoo.com).

There is also a need for financial support for physical year 2010 – 2011. We have already raised $7400 of the $17,000 budgeted for the physical year.