It has been revealed that the Octavia Waight Center is to gain some foreign support in 2014, with a number of British care workers and nurses flying out to Belize to offer their skills and expertise. For many people retiring to Belize may sound like an extremely attractive option, allowing individuals to while away their twilight years in paradise; however, for some residents it can be hard to get by, and the Octavia Waight Center provides invaluable support for elderly people who need a little extra aid as they grow older.
In 2012, the home for the elderly was visited by Andy Taylor and Angela Fuller from Britain as part of their tour of Central America. The center is run largely by volunteers and has to be paid for by donations, meaning that the charity often finds it hard to make ends meet. In 2014, Mr Taylor and Ms Fuller expect to return to the center accompanied by members of their own care home staff from Britain to share good practice and to support Octavia Waight CenterÂs existing staff.
Talking of the chance to help, Ms Fuller said: ÂBelize is a third world country with average wages of just Â£2,800 a year, and there is little state aid for the elderly. Homes like Octavia Waight are funded by donation and run with the help of volunteers. It struck me that so often money is raised for the young that we risk forgetting that the elderly in third world countries are just as vulnerable.Â Ms Fuller went on to explain that she had talked extensively with the homeÂs manager, Luis, and was delighted when 11 care staff said they would volunteer to fly out to Belize to help.
The group of nurses and care workers will join people retiring in Belize next February and March, with volunteers excited about the prospect of being able to help. Fundraising events have already started, with a charity cream tea, raffles, garage sales and boot sales helping to bring in the funds necessary to fly the staff from England to Belize. Meanwhile, in Belize, the Octavia Waight Center will eagerly await the arrival of the medical and care staff, which will enable the home to offer better support to elderly residents than ever before.