The Octavia Waight Centre is a home for the elderly.
To provide the elderly with an environment that enhances dignity, self-esteem, and physical and mental well-being.
People are a physically, psychological, socio-cultural beings who are in constant interaction with their total environment. People have the capacity to change themselves and their environment. They live within a family and society.
A society is the sum of individuals living within a defined geographical location, sharing a common political system. A society is made up of classes and groups of people who n turn make up a family. The responsibility for the promotion and maintenance of health to individuals should be that of the society in which the family resides.
Health is a state of well-being. It is the fundamental right of each person, therefore, to be actively involved in maintaining health, through all stages of the life cycle, at its optimum level.
The society is particularly responsible for providing an optimum environment conducive to health for those who have already contributed their productive years to the building of the country. The aged has a right to optimum health.
To provide an environment that will meet the basic needs of the aged, such as shelter, warmth, food, sanitation facilities, companionship, love.
To stimulate and encourage mental and physical activities so that the potential of each resident can be maximized, thereby allowing them to enjoy self-esteem.
To provide the level of care that will allow the residents to live in comfort, peace and dignity.
The Octavia Waight Centre is located on a serene and beautiful 2 1/2 acre plot of land in San Ignacio Town, Cayo District, Belize, Central America. The home currently serves 34 senior citizens with shelter, food, accompaniment and love. Their 7 Care Attendants and Supervisor make sure that all the residents are kept in optimum health and active as much as possible.
The history of the Octavia Waight Centre all started in 1984 with the visit of the then International Coordinator of Help the Aged International, Dr. Ken Tout and his wife Tsai Tout. In that year they conducted a working tour across the country of Belize and decided that the best site to construct the centre for the elderly, as a pilot project, was in San Ignacio Town. This was followed by a ground breaking ceremony by Hon. Philip Goldson shortly thereafter.
After the ground breaking ceremony, in March of 1985, a British team of volunteers under the organization “Operation Raleigh” now known as Raleigh International, assisted in the construction of about 40% of the building designed by British Engineers. The team of volunteers then left in June of that same year.
On March 31st of 1986 another team of British volunteers from the Lord Mayor of Birmingham’s Initiative arrived in Belize to continue with the construction of the building. The team consisted of 20 young persons and a Peace Corp Volunteer, David Wheeler, was co-opted as team leader in the construction of the building.
While work was in progress, the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Frank Carter and Lady Mayoress Elsie Carter visited San Ignacio on the 5th of May in 1986 to observe the work of the team. As part of contribution to the construction of the building, support was received from the San Ignacio & Santa Elena Town Board (Mayors Domingo Cruz Sr., Eulogio Cano and Rene Moreno), the Listowel Boys Training School, Messrs. Escander Bedran, Gustavo Torres, Robert Hales and other community members. Support was also received from the then British High Commissioner, HE John Michael Crosby in terms of kitchen equipment and other amenities to run the home.
The building was completed in June of 1986 and was handed over by His Excellency, John Michael Crosby, to the then Chairman of HelpAge Belize, Captain Raphael Mason. Thereafter, the then Minister of Social Services, Hon. Philip Stanley Wilberforce Goldson officially opened the home on the 5th of September 1986 to receive elderly residents. There were 200 guests in attendance at the opening ceremony.
It was named in honor of the late Octavia Clotilda Waight (a.k.a. Ms Acti), a midwife, traditional healer and a compassionate person who served her community well when health services were practically non‐existent in old El Cayo.
The Octavia Waight Center Board of Directors is comprised of 7 members. These include Mrs. Claudette Hulse as Chairperson, Mrs. Mirna Martinez as Vice Chairperson, Mr. Clemente Cruz as Secretary and Mrs. Bernadette Fernandez as Treasurer. Other Board members include Glory Burns, Carmita Lennan and Josephine Chulin. The Board of Directors is responsible for the overall management of the Centre.
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