Some 400 students in Sand Hill Village, will soon be able to use the latest computer technology and Internet services to do their schoolwork, because their village community centre is about to be transformed into a fully equipped resource centre and library.
The Social Investment Fund will oversee the project, which the Government of Belize officially launched on Sunday afternoon, June 3.
The work is to be financed through a $239,000 loan from the Caribbean Development Bank.
The project will improve the study climate, especially for those students attending classes in Belize City. These have had to stay back after school to use the Leo Bradley or Thurton Library facilities, which limits the time they have to do their work before returning home.
The Center will now have a library, equipped with Internet services and a wide assortment of reference books.
The National Library Service will identify and train a few members of the community to serve as volunteer librarians. Study desks and chairs for both children and adults will be provided as well as six computers with software and accessories, a printer and a photocopier.
Under the project, the existing community centre will be rehabilitated with a one-room extension to serve as a kitchen for skills training. The women of the village will have full use of the Centre, which will also be equipped with a stove and refrigerator.
A temporary partition will be put in to facilitate mobile health clinics.
Sand Hill Village came into being during the heyday of the logwood and mahogany trade in the latter part of the 19th century because of its proximity to the Belize River.
The decline of logwood and mahogany has resulted in social change that has forced residents to commute to Belize City, Ladyville and Orange Walk to find work.
The village has approximately 1,800 inhabitants.
Minister of State Edmond Castro, who is also the Belize Rural North Area Representative, was the keynote speaker. Other speakers included S.I.F. officials and the Sand Hill village council.