Plenty Belize is a registered Belizean NGO with its office in Punta Gorda Town, Toledo District, Belize. Founded in 1997 Plenty Belize has a history of working hand in hand with other local groups to address local needs in a sustainable manner. Plenty Belize has acted both as a service provider within projects spearheaded by other organizations and as a project manager.
Our Mission: "Working together for the well-being of the people, communities, and environment in Toledo District, Belize."
Plenty is involved in a variety of programs and projects, including:
• GATE (Garden Based Agriculture for Toledo’s Environment) - GATE works with the primary schools across the Toledo District to teach the principles of organic agriculture. The program aims to create a replicable model of sustainable livelihood focused on community/school gardens. The program started with 4 schools in 2002, currently there are 36 schools involved in the program. Plenty assists the schools with; technical support visits, funding for tools & seeds, educational material (about gardening and methods on how to include the garden into the classroom), and teacher training events throughout the year.
• Solar Energy – Plenty Belize has always encouraged alternative energy sources; solar energy is a great way for us to provide electricity to those without it and to help protect the environment. Plenty works with other nonprofit organizations and private citizens to install a customized solar system at the best price in Belize. We are currently working with villagers from San Benito Poite to establish a solar powered internet computer lab in the primary school’s library. The project will allow both the students and villagers use. Funding is being provided through GEF.
• Small and Micro Enterprise Development - In 2007 Plenty Belize worked as a granting agency for the Belize Rural Development Program (BRDP, funded by the European Union). 48 micro-grants were given out to assist with the creation of small businesses in rural communities throughout Toledo. Since then Plenty has continued its work in Enterprise Development. A new micro-grants program has been running since May of 2008. To date over 40 grants have been given out through this program. It is our goal to continue this type of work in the future.
• Women Issues - Gender issues have always been an important part of Plenty’s work in Belize. Plenty is an active member of the Women’s Issues Network (WIN) Belize. Gender equality is a central part of all our projects. Women’s and children’s health has always been a major concern of ours, and the Traditional Birth Attendant Project that trained midwives in 20 villages across Toledo helped to address this. Each year Plenty organizes the Toledo leg of the National Torch Run to create awareness about Gender-based violence and HIV/AIDS. The November 2008 Torch Run and Awareness Fair had hundreds of participants.
• Home Garden Project: With funding from the Weyerhauser Foundation Plenty Belize started a pilot program to assist 20 families in 4 villages with organic home gardens. The project hopes to expand on the gardening knowledge of the students involved in the GATE Program by brining the garden to their home. Five families were selected from each of the following villages: Aguacate, Forest Home, Pueblo Viejo, and San Pedro Columbia. Each family received assistance in the form of seeds, tools, fencing, and visits from Plenty’s Agriculture Extension Officers. There were 163 family members involved in the program, thousands of pounds of produce were grown, over 1,000 trees were planted and each family made $354 on average.