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Belize City Kids take Up Farming Print E-mail
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Written by Dhane D. Williams   
Thursday, 02 August 2012 00:00

Harvest for KidsThere are several organizations in Belize that are working to protect children from exposure to the criminal world. Belize Camping Experience (B.C.E.) is one of such organizations. B.C.E. is a non-profit Belizean organization that was established in 2006. They work with schools, churches and community residents to organize summer camps. Last year, there were over 300 children in B.C.E. camps. After the camp is over there is a follow up program in which members of B.C.E. hold regular fellowship with children from the camp throughout the year. B.C.E. is preparing to host a total of 13 camps this year and is expecting to reach as much as 1,000 children. The increase in campers has caused a need for more resources and Alexander Perez of Belize Camping Experience spoke to the Guardian about the organization’s fundraising strategy.

Belize Camping Experience has started a program called Harvest for Kids. The Christian organization approached two friends who are farmers from the Orange Walk District and asked them to loan the organization 10 acres of their best farm land. Christians believe that all offerings to God should be that of a person’s best. The farmers each loaned 10 acres of their land. Two weeks later, another two farmers loaned ten acres of land to the organization. Those acres are located in the Banana Bank area of the Cayo District. Therefore, B.C.E. has 40 acres of prime farm land to use for the Harvest for Kids program.

In the Harvest for Kids program, B.C.E. has taken children from Belize City to visit and learn about life as a farmer. According to Perez, there are as many as 20 children from Southside Belize City who have visited the farms. Kimberly Conserve told the Guardian that she had a wonderful experience. Her favourite part of the experience was riding on the fertilizer spreader and four-wheeler. She learnt about the invention of several farm machines as well as proper techniques to plant and harvest pepper and other crops. The Harvest for Kids portion of land will be used to plant corn.

B.C.E. hopes to introduce all the children in camps to farming but their focus is on the annual summer camps and follow-up programs. The proceeds from the corn harvest will be used to finance future camps and support programs. B.C.E. is asking the community for support. The organization is asking for donations of seeds, fertilizers and chemicals. The seeds needed for one acre of land cost $236. Fertilizer is $82.75 a sack and the amount of chemicals needed for an acre cost $90. The farmers have gone ahead and provided the seeds, fertilizers and chemicals so that the initiative may proceed. However, B.C.E. is expected to replace those products.
Anyone wishing to make donations to Harvest for Kids can contact Alexander Perez by calling 621-5541. The corn will be harvested in October of this year.