Tha B.U.M.P Let Girls Learn in Belize

Educating girls is essential to healthy and thriving communities. However 98 million girls worldwide are not in school, and barriers to adolescent girls’ education continue to persist. We understand that all girls should have the opportunity to gain the skills, knowledge and confidence to break the cycle of poverty, raise healthier families, and help build their communities.

“Let Girls Learn Day” in Belize was a four day adventure. Deborah Ann Sewell Managing Director Love Foundation Belize & Cynthia Turnquest-Jones Founder of Tha Brown Urban Mother Partnership “Tha B.U.M.P.” partnered up in Belize, Central America. We met in 1986 at The Westchester Business Institute, graduated with business degrees & continued feeding our minds together at Iona College. I really do not understand how it happened, but we studied, partied, and spent many days on beaches. We never had a plan. We both separately understood the dream, obligation, and power. 

Love FM New and Music Power live from Belize welcomed Tha Brown Urban Mother Partnership on their Morning Show. This was the kick off to Let Girls Learn Day in Belize. Girls were invited to engage with one another, speak on the importance of education and reading.  The Girls received a free bag with supplies: notebooks, pencils, erasers, pencils sharpeners, pens, and a ruler. New books were donated from various supporters, Let Girls Learn t-shirts, and Spanish/English dictionaries. They participated in a STEM challenge and a Nook Tablet was given to four girls, one in each village. These girls exemplified high level in her writing skills and articulation during the science experiment. A mirror was placed in each bag for a discussion about being beautiful while the girls listened to “Beauty in the World” by Macy Gray.

We traveled to Ladyville, Belmopan, Dangrega, and Hopkins. These girls were excited and enjoyed themselves. Their conversations about the “chemical reactions” when using water, oil, alka seltzer, and food coloring were critical, creative, and differentiated. Those who were struggling were encouraged to draw and label during the experience. 

Some of the girls were from the Liberty Children’s Home and all were interested in their future. Margret & David Sewell provided lunch for our girls while we were in Ladyville, Belize community center. Each girl were able to chat and chew on delicious chicken fingers, coleslaw, sandwiches, and a cupcake. 

Jahrefa Brown, Ladyville “The water made the pill explode like a volcano.”

Melody Williams drew a picture while Kayla’s Roland used text savvy “when I saw all of these things I was like OMG this is cool.”

While traveling thru villages I realized that I could not wait to wake up and start a new adventure. We were invited to a Saturday 6:00am Morning Show on PlusTV in Belmopan, Belize with “Fem Cruz”. Fem was interested in how parents can assist children who were struggling and needed to be evaluated. Lee Barry, assisted with the Special Education questions.

The girls in Belmopan were brave and wanted more alka-seltzer tablets once they realized that the interaction with various liquids would create effects. Cherene Valerio-Rivero started the group CAYA and her sister leads them. 

Laisha Pol, Belmopan “I can tell that the alka-seltzer has acid and carbon dioxide.”

Kahli Rodriguez, Belmopan “I don’t really care if I don’t get any of the prizes, today was the best prize.” 

It was a pleasure rocking out at the POWA Productive Organization for Women in Action in Dangrega, Belize which is lead by Michelle Irving. They have a group called “Girl Power”. Let Girls Learn Day in Dangrega, Belize was incredible.

Lourdes McKenzie, Dangrega, Belize “I learned that with simple components you can make a beautiful reaction.” 

Thandiue, Dangrega, Belize “Empowering session, interactive, educational and fun!”

Hopkins, Belize was our last stop. Barbara Nunez, Principal at Holy Family Primary School took time out during her summer vacation to gather anxious girls from her school. The girls were waiting under a tree when we arrived and ready to embrace the unknown.

Ambria Diego, 11 years old “I liked the activity we participated in and the people that helped us #letgirlslearn thanks to Miss Cynthia and others. 

Samara Noralez, 11 years old “When you look in the mirror you should always say you are beautiful.”

Tuwani Sagasa, 12 years old “They should do this more often so girls can learn more.”

Let Girls Learn in Belize created opportunities while Transforming Lives With Love.

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