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December 21
11:24 2018

By Nerfretery Marin

As we watch 2018 fade away and we welcome 2019 – I want to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Xmas and a prosperous new year.

2018 was very challenging for all of us. We experienced many hardships. Our mothers lost sons and daughters without any warning or opportunity to say goodbye due to all the gun violence on the streets of our cities, towns and villages. Children lost their mothers through domestic violence; many lost their innocence and justice never came.

We are a resilient people, and we strive to keep hope alive. In this festive season of love and sharing, this season of giving and receiving, I salute all hard-working Belizeans across the jewel and around the globe for their perseverance and the endurance shown in the face of harsh economic times. It’s with this ever present and clear economic danger that we commend those who give from their hearts and pocket to the less fortunate.

The dignity of the needy is reduced by the seasonal handouts done with much fanfare, and using these as political mileage makes a mockery of the poverty of our people. The levels of poverty have been maintained by both past and present administrations, through a lack of initiatives and political will that would have enhanced the availability of sustainable work programs.

The monies allocated to these area representatives, while not the most efficient and unbiased form of reaching the neediest, are further reduced from efficiency because the very system in place to assure some semblance of efficiency is being circumvented.

Organizations exist that cater to the poor and destitute of Belize. Sister Cecilia and Octavia Weight Home for the elderly, the NMYF victim support unit (serving battered women and their children), the Salvation Army, Golden Haven Rest Home and many children’s homes across our country. Others desperately needs assistance.

While I believe that a gift from our government is not the worst in their destructive history, I believe these monies well allocated and invested in our people would have enhanced the availability of secure employment and by extension promote and enhance the dignity of Belizeans. This method of holding our people hostage to the politicians will only serve to maintain our people in abject poverty. The very hand that it is assumed will help our people is helping them right down the cliff of poverty with no mercy.

While we cannot undo the past, we gather experience and learn lessons from it. Together we can build strength and courage as we embark on the giant and noble task of fighting our common enemies – poverty, crime, a stagnant economy, tyranny, social injustice, nepotistic domination of our industries & available jobs.

In 2019, it is important for us to strengthen and secure our families by getting more involved in them and spending more time with our loved ones, by participating more in community events, and engaging in our political and democratic processes; to effectively reach our common goals – dignity, safety, justice, a sustainable and vibrant economy and equal job and investment opportunities for all Belizeans at home and abroad, regardless of race or political affiliations.

God has given us the gift of a blessed country, Belize; with all the resources and wealth, so that it’s people can each live a successful life.

Let us unite in 2019 and resolve to not be left behind anymore, to not be fooled by empty promises anymore, to not allow tyrants to stop our progress. Let’s unite in an honest to goodness effort to make Belize a better home for all of us and not just the chosen few.

Belize and all its wealth belong to us, to all of us and only we can make Belize work.

In this New Year I make a personal call to youths, teachers, entrepreneurs, civil servants, servicemen and women, unions, community leaders, activists and associations to stand up, join in and participate in building a fairer, equitable Belize – a Belize where we are given the opportunity to become the best we can be, and everyone can live up to their potentials.

My wish for you in 2019 is safety, wisdom, dignity, pride and courage. May the blessings of our heavenly Father pour down upon you and your family in 2019 and always.

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