Rooted in humanitarian principles, Cornerstone Foundation focuses heavily on solving key issues that greatly impact our community. Our programs are developed with the goal to improve the lives of children and adults through empowerment and support. We advocate for the rights of women and children and we help individuals and families find the resources they need to better their situation. Critical to our success, Cornerstone has worked with hundreds of volunteers and organizations locally and from around the world to offer the following programs to the people of San Ignacio and Santa Elena.
Women of Belize face a variety of educational and vocational challenges. Cornerstone Foundation provides resources and serves as a refuge for women seeking a safe environment to learn new skills, fellowship and receive support. We offer training courses in sewing, cooking, computers, jewelry making and job skills, in addition to domestic violence support and women-centered event planning. We empower women to help themselves, which benefits their families and our community.
Poverty impacts about a third of the population in Belize. Even with government provided healthcare, a lack of basic nutrition and inadequate water sanitation remain immediate concerns for many residents. Cornerstone Foundation is working to combat these and other issues by offering health education and outreach, support for seniors, individual physical and occupational therapy, special education tutoring, clinical work and a natural healing program.
Dozens of youth in San Ignacio and Santa Elena are impacted by Cornerstone Foundation programs and services each day. We offer mentoring, life skills training, tutoring, summer camps and courses, mural painting and other activities to area youth as alternatives to negative influences that exist in the community. Key initiatives also include improving literacy rates, HIV/AIDS awareness, and crime and drug prevention.
Raising awareness of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Belize is a priority for Cornerstone Foundation. Youth and those living in poverty are most at risk for contracting the disease. Though cultural stigmas about HIV/AIDS persist, open discussions are critical in fighting the spread of the disease. We use community outreach initiatives and partnerships with local and national programs to educate the public about prevention and disease management.
Relief & Aid
The burden of poverty in the community is a leading concern for Cornerstone Foundation. Each day we provide nearly 100 hot meals to children and elderly residents in need, and we assist those with disabilities who are unable to prepare their own food. In addition, we offer medical assistance and special clinics for those struggling to pay added healthcare costs. We also provide emergency preparedness services when natural disasters threaten.
Financial strain and poor-performing public schools severely impact literacy in Belize. While public school education is free, annual registration fees, uniforms, books and supplies are substantial costs for families. High rates of grade repetition, a hefty dropout rate and low achievement on standardized tests plague schools nationwide. Cornerstone Foundation offers courses in ESL, computers and English, scholarships and other programs to counter these challenges.
Cornerstone Foundation is strengthened by the work of dedicated volunteers. Our Community Linking program gives groups of six or more volunteers an opportunity to complete a project that will benefit the community. From mural painting to building projects to health clinics, the possibilities are endless. We work with these groups by providing project coordination, transportation to the project site, activity supplies and equipment.
In addition to our core programs, Cornerstone offers additional resources for residents who are affected by illnesses and other serious health issues. Those issues include, but are not limited to, diabetes, high cholesterol, teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and domestic violence.