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no_photo_iconOver 120 children were engaged in the joy and cheer of the Christmas season as the Custom and Excise Department hosted its 7th Annual Children’s Party at Dreams in Corozal Town. Emelda Hyde is a custom clerk who elaborated on the event.

Emelda Hyde’s - custom clerk one

“We now are celebrating our 7th annual Christmas party and it was started by one of our deputy comptroller of customs, Mr. Recinos and it started out with just some of the under privilege children from the school and they decided to change it and we now do it every year with children with Special needs. Today we started by having them sit down and have eat some snacks but this year we have the clowns that were invited from Mexico so they have a two hour entertainment for the kids after which we also have one of the child who is blind and she is going to be singing and playing the piano for us and we also be having one of our officer doing two songs for us and thereafter we just going to be doing little activities to keep them entertained until about two o’clock.”

Each year, the Ministry of Education is tasked with identifying and inviting the schools that are most needy, including those children with special needs.

Jahmor Lopez – Manager MOE

“This is our mandate and we are the ones who can give directive for it to happen and so we have to applaud the customs department for this initiative and it has been a wonderful collaboration and so we got going in terms of the planning and then we coordinated with the schools, it has been different this year it is much bigger and there are far more students I believe it is a hundred and twenty this year and we went an invitation to all the schools in the Corozal district and we got a responds I believe from out of the 39 that are responsible for 37 of those response and so we are now targeting student with special needs and that is one of the ideas and one of the ideas as well is that we are trying to promote inclusion, there are three Centre here in the Corozal district in terms of a Special education needs Centre but the idea here is about inclusion.”

Hyde claims that it is important that the department gives back to the community especially the children.

Emelda Hyde’s custom clerk one

“It’s important because for us it is in terms giving back to the community, not all of us are privileged to be born with everything functional and so I think that we need to reach out and we need to give back but it is not only with MOE and the Customs Department but we would like to give thanks to all the business that we have reached out to who have given us gifts in terms of money and in terms of food item because we would not have done this without them and we would like to give thanks to the businesses communities who have partaken in this initiative that we have started.”

The Belize Customs and Excise Department is identified as the country's largest revenue source. It is responsible for providing around 53 percent of the total recurrent revenue. It is also responsible for enforcing some thirty Agency duties for other departments, which laws deal with a wide range of issues from moral to financial, and even protecting the environment.

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