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Octavia Waight Centre and Help Age Celebrate Print E-mail
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Thursday, 20 December 2012 00:00

DeputyThe Octavia Waight Centre in San Ignacio held its yearly Christmas Party on December 16th. The home for the elderly held its party for the first time at its own Convention Hall. It was a community effort, in the season of giving, to Belize’s developers of the past.

The party for the Octavia Waight residents and some three hundred other guests involved much singing and music by Magana’s Band, a local band from San Ignacio. Noted signer, Lucille Mendez was present to entertain everyone. Deputy Mayor of the Twin Towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, Bernadette Fernandez says that it has become traditional to invite members of the community to the party in order for the residents to socialize with them.

The party for the elderly and community was made possible through kind contributions by Belize Telemedia Limited. Other contributors were Alberto August, Hodes Place, Running W Brand Meats, Chuc’s Gas Station, Cayo Chemical Laboratory, Maya Mountain Lodge, Tropigas, the Saint Martin’s Credit Union, Greedy’s Pizzeria and many others.

The Octavia Waight Centre is a home for the elderly, which currently shelters some twenty seven residents. The fourteen females and thirteen males come from around Belize. The Centre opened its doors in 1986 and works closely with Help Age Belize.

Help Age Belize for its part has also coordinated Christmas Parties in various parts of the country. Belmopan Help Age held a party, also on Sunday, with much music, singing and a special turkey dinner was also served.

The Chairman of Help Age Belize, Evan Dakers, says that Help Age has much to be thankful for in 2012. It was this year that a new Help Age Centre was built in Benque Viejo, courtesy of the BNE Trust Fund. Both the Dangriga and Hopkins Help Age Branches have been able to obtain tables and chairs. Hopkins Help Age was also able to get two bathrooms renovated this year.

Despite the progress for Help Age Belize, many challenges remain for the elderly. To address some of these situations, Dakers says that he recently met with the authorities and introduced them to the ‘Elderly Friendly Clinic Model.’ Dakers said that he would like the Ministry of Health to adopt this model across the country, giving more focus to fulfilling the medical needs of the elderly.

Help Age Belize now has some nine branches country wide, except for the Corozal District. According to Evan Dakers, more volunteers are needed to service those branches. Help Age currently has difficulties with transportation at many of its branches.

“We are hoping that we can get some assistance in that area because it is very costly to move people around; the cost of fuel is so high,” he said.