After several delays in reopening, Hillside is now working to obtain the relevant licenses from the Belize Medical Council and the Ministry of Health and the resources to reopen safely in January 2021 and continue serving the people of southern Belize. We continue to raise needed funds to bring back our staff and volunteers, purchase medications, install extra hand washing stations, procure required personal protective equipment and restart seeing patients.
In 2019 we conducted close to 10,000 patient visits, and the pandemic has affected patient care in 2020. Still, we plan to overcome the challenges ahead and try to adjust to a new normal. The clinic will be open in 2021 for patients, but we anticipate that no students or volunteers will be able to travel until 2022. Most of our partner schools are not allowing students to travel abroad this school year. This impact is two-fold: it dramatically reduces the number of patients we can see and removes one of our primary sources of income (student tuition).
Although we were blessed to achieve our mid-year appeal fundraising goal, we still have a long way to go to meet our budget with increased need due to the pandemic’s effects. Over the past 5 years that I have been at Hillside, things sometimes get very overwhelming but something always works in
our favor so I have faith that this situation will be no different. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we navigate this challenge. Hillside has been here for 20 years, and we plan to make it another 20!