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".

Feb 9, 2016

2015 Challenges, Opportunities, and Successes!

Community Mural Project in San Ignacio
Community Mural Project in San Ignacio

Reflecting on 2015 brings about vivid recollection of the challenges, opportunities, and successes for Mary Open Doors! Challenges are inevitable when delivering care to mothers and their families with battered bodies and broken spirits. Successful intervention is never an easy or straightforward process but one that requires patients, compassion, and understanding that each woman’s need is unique and her path to healing may be strikingly different from the previous survivor.

There were many opportunities to evaluate, collaborate, and build capacity through a regional project to address domestic violence known as the B.A.1 project. Members of our staff and board participated in a variety of training that will improve breadth and depth of our understanding of the physiological and psychological effects of violence on mothers and their children.

January saw our team participating in the Care Model Protocol training for domestic violence shelters and other agencies who provide varied level of care. This intense two days training further strengthens our ability to provide a level of care that empowers women and their families to move from victims’ status to strong survivors.

Furthermore, 2015 brought us success with our families, volunteers, and with our fundraising objectives. Mary Open Doors measures its success by each tiny step we take to help families. Many of our success stories in 2015 were directly linked to compassionate donors like you who supported our organization in myriads of ways. We are truly grateful for your support!

Both local and international donors made a significant difference in our ability to provide services, which included feeding, clothing, and sheltering women and children. Mary Open Doors and a visiting group of volunteers teamed up to distribute food a week before Christmas. We immediately accepted the opportunity to partner with the visitors to provide 15 families with rice, beans, chicken, and other groceries to help make their holiday season a little brighter. Every bit of assistance goes a long way to make a difference in the lives of our families.

Our end-of-year fundraising campaign was another success not because we met our fundraising goal but because we were able to strengthen our relationship with existing donors while attracting new donors to our cause. Our team endeavor to work even more feverishly to grow our network of supporters as we continue our commitment to secure our shelter.

Other News at Mary Open Doors!

Two mothers and their children recently moved from the shelter after receiving services to rebuild their lives. Our new website is up but is still a work in progress. Work will continue to make the website more dynamic as 2016 continues to unfold. We were assessed by the B.A.1 Project Infrastructure consultant in December. We await their recommendations for funding that would address urgent repairs and refurbishing work at the resource center and shelter.

With the help of our long-term Belizean volunteer Mr. Kenny Chan, we’ve designed a membership program, which we aim to launch in the upcoming months.

Mary Open Doors now eagerly awaits the outcome of the research conducted in January by the Ph.D. candidate from Adler University in the United States. Approximately 13 survivors participated in the research project that investigated the Male Police Officers' Response to Female Victims of Domestic Violence in Belize. Every single achievement in 2015 was only made possible because of donors like you.

Our project still needs help…

The incredible goal to purchase the house with land that houses our shelter is still paramount to the orgaization. We’ve seen tremendous support for this project but still need more supporters like you to get involved to help us reach out goal! With your continued support, we know our project will be successful. Huge thanks to you for making 2015 an incredible year for our communities!

Inspirational Quote

“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become”. C.G. Jung

Survivors promote Shelter project
Survivors promote Shelter project
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