|Overview||2011 participants share their stories||Past experiences|
Since 2008, the PwC US firm has continued to provide educational support to thousands of students in Belize and further develop our people's responsible leadership skills. Learn more about our virtual program in 2009 and 2010, and read personal stories from our partners, staff and interns who participated in Project Belize 2008.
As an extension of the Project Belize 2008 program, our efforts in 2009 and 2010 allowed summer interns to virtually reconnect with hundreds of children in four schools in Belize City, Belize.
In 2009, our virtual program focused on a letter exchange, a supply drive and student scholarships for selected students at the four Belizean schools:
Through our virtual program in 2010, we continued to collect educational supplies for our four schools in Belize and fund scholarships:
From June 28 through July 3, 2008, a selective list of 100 interns, 17 staff and four partners experienced the impact that one person can have in the life of a child, and the dramatic impact that a team of people can have on the lives of others. The project involved refurbishing four schools and building a Leadership Development Center, which includes a new library and a computer lab.
Explore their stories below:
I am one of the partners participating in Project Belize. I also spent two months in Ethiopia last year for Ulysses. Partnering with Peaceworks has provided us with a unique opportunity to deliver something of incredible value to the children of Belize while also enabling our people to gain an amazing insight into another world. A world where a child's next meal is very uncertain and their future as unclear. A world where you are unsure what difference you could possibly make until you see a smile light up a sad child's face and feel their little hand suddenly reach into yours. I am so very proud of all of our people here in Belize for truly demonstrating what it means to be distinctive through their energy, optimism, teamwork, commitment, and leadership. I am proud to part of PwC.
Regrettably, this is my last night in Belize and this is my first blog entry. There are no amount of words that can describe the impact that Project Belize has had on me both in the terms of my leadership skills and personal views. I have learned that teaching is a two-way avenue, which constantly builds knowledge on both ends. Not only have I helped to physically better a community, but I have had countless opportunities to impart knowledge on other and in turn better myself. On one night, I was designated to debrief the entire Project Belize staff on the events that had taken place that day, and the opportunity to speak in front that many people about something that I cared about passionately is something I will never forget. Just a short list of my personal skills which I feel have noticeably developed in the past week are my speaking skills, my teaching skills, and my awareness of the need to share my time and opportunities with those who may not be fortunate enough to have them. I wish I could write everything that this trip taught me, but it would literally take hours, maybe even days. Ultimately, Project Belize is an experience that I will always remember, and I honestly believe that it has changed me forever… In short, it has been unBELIZEable!
I cannot believe this experience is coming to a close. I am feeling so many emotions--gratitude, sadness, love, hope, fondness for the people, country, and memories I have gained, and more. Today as we were saying goodbye to the children, it took everything inside of me to not cry. Their faces, wide-eyed and smiling, are forever engrained in my memory. Everyone here at Project Belize worked so hard this week, and I know the kids felt our love for them through this service. One girl in particular kept asking "why do you have to leave?? Can you stay here forever?" It made me so sad, because deep down I know I may never see her again. But I know that the love we have shared in these last three days is a love that is deep and true, and that somehow the memories we have created will last forever. Today I felt that we really made a difference. But what is so amazing is that I think these children have taught me more than I could have ever hoped to have taught them. I have never been loved so much in so little a time. These children were so trusting, welcoming, and anxious to let us into their lives. I am forever grateful for the opportunity I had to be a part of their lives for these short three days. God bless Belize.
This trip has been a great learning experience. The children of Belize are so beautiful, and have taught me some important lessons. One lesson that I learned is to be more appreciative. Many of these children have very little, and appreciated the physical things that we brought to the schools. However, a young girl named Jennifer wrote a note for me after one of the days teaching and thanked me for being nice to her. I think that I could be a little more aware of the many people that are nice to me as well as being a little nicer to others. Children really are divine.
I cannot believe this is my last night in Belize. This trip has truly been amazing. I cannot believe that PwC actually pulled this off the way they did. Today, I had to say goodbye to my kids which was one of the hardest things I have had to do in a long time. You want to promise the kids that we will be in touch however; I hate to think that I may never see these kids again. While I was saying goodbye to one of my kids named Christian, he wrapped his arms around me and just started balling his little eyes out. This kid has so much potential and it warms me knowing that I brought a sense of encouragement in his life. I hope that I can continue my support for him from so far away or that someone else will come into his life that may continue to inspire him to chase his dreams. Thank you once again for this opportunity.
Today I sadly write this blog at the finale of our epic, arduous, and inspirational Project Belize. I stand here in this room with 150 people. We all come from unique backgrounds, all from different cities, different cultures, different colleges, and overall differing personalities. But we are all here for a common goal: to inspire…to add value to a city in desperation: a city that WAS in need of inspiration. And we came through. We provided. I have never felt so proud and welcome in a group like this one this week. Never have a felt more surrounded by intelligent, inspirational, motivational, accountants, but also people who care; people who are willing to give up there week both mentally and physically for a high expectation program where we represent the entirety of a corporate and renowned firm. There were many expectations coming in: not only are we representing ourselves, our peers, our managers, our country, but we are representing the type of impact that corporate "responsibility" can really have. We are representing impact that is undefined. When we change lives, when we inspire, and when we give out time so lovingly this is where we can create impact. I am sad to leave this new home. I leave behind the 20 Jaguars we taught, the incredible student body and staff of Queen's Square, and a piece of my heart. However, I leave with a root of ownership in this firm, in this country, and in the hearts of all the children that I was able to touch. I leave PWC Project Belize with memories of the greatest people I have ever surrounded myself with, and with memories of the most intelligent and inspirational children I have ever had the privilege to meet. I leave you with this story of appreciation from one child in particular.
One child and I were walking back from the closing ceremony, after the children had received their medals of completion. The children were presented each individually, with a medal that they could cherish in remembrance of their experience. There were a couple of children in our class (four or so) walking in front of myself and this particular child named Kevin. They were throwing there medals around the basketball court, and already making the medals of hope and memories into a household play toy. Kevin, the particular child that was walking with me saw my despair in these children playing with these "toys" and commented "They don't appreciate these medals." And I stood in silence, while he so lovingly stated "I appreciate them." I knew that he meant he didn't just appreciate this piece of medal, but he appreciated our time, and our love. I do hope that these children were able to experience the lasting memories that I will always cherish. Thank you Belize. Thank you PWC. I am so proud to be a part of this wondrous, eye-opening, awe-striking program.
Our 2008 participants share their experiences from Project Belize.