Nov 8, 2016

Awareness+ Action=Social Change!

Awarness+Action=Social Change DV Campaign
Awarness+Action=Social Change DV Campaign

Here at Mary Open Doors we love, love, our supporters! Your support empowers us to raise awareness, take action to help those who are ready to start a violence free life, which leads to powerful social change in communities all over Belize! Our work would not be possible without your generosity and we take this opportunity to truly convey our heart-felt gratitude!

The work to rebuild the organization is ongoing. We’ve recently met with our social partners from the Ministry of Human Development and Social Services to discuss a strategy to get the organization up to its full potential. The meeting was productive now we are waiting for feedback from this important social partner.

As we continue the work to fund our current GG project, we never thought garnering support from within our home country would be this challenging. Mary Open Doors is well known in the community as the resource to seek out when women are ready to leave their abusive relationships. I must admit that there is blame to go around as we face the human resource challenge as a grass-roots organization. However, my heart is warmed and happy to know that people who have never been to our country or know us personally would be so responsive to our cause. The outpouring of support from people from abroad is astounding and we simply want to you to know that we value you. We also value our in-country supporters tremendously. We are now tasked to raise more awareness about our work to the greater Belizean public. A well thought our campaign should go a long way in getting more Belizean organizations to join you in supporting us.

There is so much work to do in domestic violence in Belize. We call on our social partners to join us in this important endeavour to strengthen our capacity to improve and expand our services.

As we move close to Giving Tuesday and the Holidays in December, we humbly ask that you think of our work and how this work impact families.

Short Story on our Work:

I will take a minute to share how your support helps us to help others. Imagine this scenario! A mother and her 8 children are ready to leave the abusive relationship she has endured for 15 or more years. She has never worked, never managed money, never built a network of supportive friends, has less than an 8th grade education, and has never been outside of her village. Imagine the courage it would take for her to leave the only home she has known. How will she feed her children? Who will pay the bills, and the fees for her children to go to school? Wait, there is more… She is not feeling well, as-a-matter-of-fact, she has been unwell and knows she needs to see a doctor. She loses hope of ever escaping her situation when she things about the needs of her children coupled with her inability to provide for them.

Mary Open Doors is working in this woman’s village through a women’s group to raise awareness about H.I.V. and its connection to Domestic Violence. They have a meeting and invite women to this meeting where they have a conversation with the women about H.I.V and their basic human rights. Information on the importance of getting tested and how to obtain legal protection and child support for the children is shared. Yes, finally the organization talks about emergency housing in the event a woman need to suddenly leave. Information on how to contact the organization is shared.

Two days later the woman who attended the session called. She has had enough of her abusive spouse and made up her mind to leave with her 8 children. She urgently needs emergency shelter. Mary Open Doors takes immediate action to extend assistance. An intake is conducted to document the woman’s physical and psychological wellbeing, which leads to a plan to provide shelter, food, clothing, medical care, court advocacy, and so forth. This action leads to positive change as the woman learns about her inner strengthens and realize that a new life is indeed possible.

You empower us to raise awareness that leads to action and social change on regular basis. The aforementioned short story shared today is replicated many time at Mary Open Doors. This is all made possible because you choose to support us. On the behalf of our victims and survivors, we are so grateful!

We leave you with this quote.

“One in three women may suffer from abuse and violence in her lifetime. This is an appalling human rights violation, yet it remains one of the invisible and under-recognized pandemics of our time.”  Violence against women is an appalling human rights violation. But it is not inevitable. We can put a stop to this.”
— Nicole Kidman

Links:

Aug 30, 2016

Another Milestone Reached! What's next?

Side view of  newly renovated shelter facility
Side view of newly renovated shelter facility

Dear Donors

In our last report we’ve shared a brief overview on the outcome of being a recipient of the B.A.1 Project funding. Yes, our small staff have received training on the revised Care Model Rehabilitation Approach to meet the needs of women and their families once they are under Mary Open Doors (MOD) care.

Additional training was received by several members of our staff and board on ways to build awareness on the issue of domestic violence in communities otherwise not receptive to the information along with empowering women with the right information on how to safely leave abusive relationships with their children. The B.A.1. Project brought about a number of capacity building seminars and training to strengthen the knowledge base of emergency shelter staff and other community stakeholders directly involved in addressing domestic violence, femicide, and trafficking in persons, which are issues currently affecting Belize.

With the successful completion of the project, MOD now boast a newly renovated emergency shelter facility. Much needed repairs, maintenance, and upgrades were completed such as repairing roof, upgrading windows, adding another bathroom, installation of gutters. We now have a newly renovated shelter facility with new furniture and equipment allowing us to create a more therapeutic environment for our survivors and their children.

Other news from the field! Now that we have a newly renovated shelter and new equipment for our office, we are better prepared to provide a safe therapeutic environment for women who are survivors of domestic violence. Our directors are very interested in strengthening the capacity of MOD to increase training, psychosocial, and legal support services for our women in 2017.

To successfully strengthen our capacity to provide the aforementioned services; we will need your support and the support of our Belizean community stakeholders. We plan to establish a fundraising campaign on Global Giving to specifically address this critical capacity strengthening plan to expand the rehabilitation treatment methods to our survivors and their children.

Your continued support for this project is still needed to achieve success! We’ve successfully completed the renovations, shelter improvements, and staff training over the last couple of months.

Notwithstanding these past few months’ successes, we must be ultimately successful to achieve the goals of the project to purchase our shelter. It’s increasingly more critical that MOD is successful in this project campaign. Together, we can saver the rewards of an incredible accomplishment to purchase property!

Why this project is so critical? Outline below are several responses related to the importance of achieving this significant milestone to own a permanent facility.

  1. As a result of being able to purchase its own facility, MOD will be able to ensure that the recent repairs and upgrades made to the building for it to be an appropriate shelter facility continue to benefit its clients while increasing the sustainability of the organization.
  2. As a result of being able to purchase its own facility, MOD will be able to put in place more permanent rehabilitation and recovery services for clients without concern that items will have to be movable or temporary while enabling the organization to make additional structural changes to benefit client recovery and safety.
  3. To facilitate reorganizing of services to establish more permanence for the facility and ensure a more therapeutic environment for women.
  4. The organization can more confidently provide its program activities, which includes:

          A) Emergency short term shelter accommodation. MOD provides women and children with meals, clothing,   primary health care, all provided free of charges.

         B) Training on personal hygiene, family health, and life skills.

        C) Basic counselling for trauma caused due to domestic violence, and rudimentary behaviral modification therapy.

        D) Legal information and court support to assist women to obtain protection orders, working with law enforcement to explain legal rights, rights over children, property, and protection of basic human rights.

        E) Provision of childcare, food for children, supervision of children, enrollment of children in new schools during shelter stay and while establishing independent living.

       F) Providing women with a road map to enter or re-enter independent living and gainful employment.

       G) Education and prevention campaign outreach to women and the general public on domestic violence while providing support and intervention to survivors.

      H) Providing basic job skill training to women at the shelter.

Although we’ve had some awesome things happen over the last couple of months, we still need your help to meet our project goal to "Purchase a Domestic Violence Shelter in Belize".

We are confident that with your support we will be successful!

Our Inspirational Quote by Mother Theresa: “I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much"

Jun 1, 2016

Brighter Days Ahead...

Mary Open Doors New Logo
Mary Open Doors New Logo

Dear Valued Donors:

We are excited to share that each day that passes strengthens our resolve to continue serving our women and their families to overcome domestic abuse. We are encouraged to put our best foot forward each day. Therefore, with confidence, we lay claim to brighter days, tremendous growth and development of the organization and its capacity to improve and broaden its services to eliminate the scourge of domestic violence in Belize.

Today’s breaking news puts a smile on our faces and especially in our hearts when we reflect on the journey that is taking us to a better place. Mary Open Doors is one of the recipients of the B.A. 1 Project funding. Our proposal did not go unheard, it’s been quite successful.

What is the B.A.1 project? The project is a regional initiative developed to create safer environments while promoting sustainable human development for people from Central America. The project aims to address prevention of violence against women, human trafficking and femicide in Central America. This project was simultaneously implemented in Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. The project seek to improved regional and national coordinator for implementation of prevention response to violence against women, trafficking, and femicide.

Additionally, the project aimed to build institutional capacity within the community of service providers and agencies at the regional, national, and grassroots levels. Human capacity building for shelters such as Mary Open Doors included training on a comprehensive care and treatment model for victims along with counselling based training for those directly involved with administering interventions for victims and survivors.

Furthermore, the project considered infrastructural needs of existing shelters and the workplace for serving agencies such as Mary Open Doors. Through this funding, our shelter and office underwent various renovations that was urgently needed to improve the care setting we provide to women and their children. We are grateful and truly delighted to see the improvements made daily to the space that is offered to so many families. We invited you to read the full Terms of Reference (TOR) for the B.A.1 project to fully understand the tremendous positive impact this project made on all aspects of our services.  

Project update. In addition to staff training, improved equipment through the B.A. 1 project, we are ecstatic about the support we’ve received from one donor this March. Huge thanks to the Word at Work Ministries for their continuous support. They continue to raise awareness on our campaign on Global Giving to purchase the land and building that is used as our shelter. We are very grateful to the donor who made a generous offline donation this March.

We still need your help! Although we’ve had some awesome things happen over the last couple of months, we still need your help to meet our project goal. There are many ways to help, including sharing our project link with families, friends, and colleagues in the work place. It is more important now than ever that the organization successfully reaches its goal to purchase the shelter. Too many resources, time, and energies have been invested over the years and the course of the B.A.1 project to not succeed at this important juncture of growth and development of the organization.

Moreover, we owe it you and other generous donors to remain committed to successfully reaching the project’s goal. We remain dedicated and optimistic about our project to purchase our shelter. Our inspiration comes from our women and children we serve but it also from you our donors and supporters.

Our Inspirational Quote by Helen Keller: “When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another".

 
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