I need your help! During these tough times here at home it is easy to forget that there are many communities experiencing even deeper hardships. It is easy to forget how many of our distant neighbors abroad struggle on a regular basis due to a lack of basic services..
This February I will be joining a team of heath care professionals to travel to Belize to continue efforts to improve the health and subsequent quality of life for members of communities lacking access to adequate healthcare. Here are a few statistics to consider.
*Belize is a small Central American country with a population of 307,000 and limited economic resources.
*Reduced spending has resulted in cuts in health services for rural communities and curtailed services in health posts and mobile clinics.
*50% of the population is defined as "rural"
*Unskilled labor comprises up to 63% of the workers in Belize with an overall unemployment rate of 13.8%
*Only 42.4% of the population 10–65 years old were functionally literate.
*Toledo has the lowest percentage of safe water supply coverage in the country
*Maya children had four times more growth retardation in Toledo District (52%) than in Belize District (12%).
*Intestinal disease is the second leading cause of deaths in males
*Only 17% of the national health budget goes to public health programs
(World Health Organization Statistics)
WHO WE ARE:
I will be joining MedicForce a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization comprised of volunteers from various health care disciplines. This is an established program that has already completed multiple health initiatives in Belize. Our team will consist of engineers, physicians, nurses, paramedics, and educators.
We will be completing phase 4 of a multi-year project that has brought basic supplies and health education training to the rural district of Toledo in the southern most region of the country. Toledo is the most remote part of Belize with the least infrastructure and the most under served communities. As MedicForce volunteers we will be performing maintenance on existing clinics, delivering much needed supplies, and delivering health education focused on pre-natal nutrition, emergency care, and disease prevention.
I believe it is our global responsibility to help our international neighbors in need just as it is to help those in our home countries, states and neighborhoods! As citizens of a developed nation we have the means to provide significant support to members of less developed countries in lasting and impactful ways. The provision of health education and medical supplies can and HAS ALREADY contributed to decreased infant mortality rates and increased life expectancy in Belize!
WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!
I am currently fundraising both the cost of air travel: $675.00 as well as a $650.00 contribution paid to MedicForce which will cover food, transportation for personnel in Belize, and supplies / equipment for the rural clinics. If you believe as I do that this is a worthy venture, that it is our global responsibility to give back to our international families in need, I will humbly accept and forever appreciate any assistance you are able to provide! There are 3 ways that you can contribute financially.
1. Send contributions directly to me. Though not tax deductible, these funds will allow me to apply funding to either air fare OR to logistics and supplies.
2. Send a Tax Deductible contribution by credit card by going to www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/jonathon-bryant/medicforcebelize4. These funds will go directly to Medicforce and will cover on site logistics and supplies.
Finally, thank you so much for sharing my excitement over this wonderful opportunity to improve the lives of others through education and service. Please contact me with any questions or to just catch up. I would love to hear from you!