Project 61 Belize is based in San Antonio Village, Corozal, and aims to reach children and their families for Christ through after-school eduction assistance, sports, arts and discipleship programs. Through this, the hope is to raise up godly community leaders in all aspects of life throughout Belize!
Goal: partner with the village to bring programs for youth. Developing after-school programs to give vision through long-term relationships.
Project 61 Belize is a new ministry of The Belize Project that was born out of a friendship between Nashville, TN natives Carver Morgan and Charles Cranford, and SA village native, Israel Gilharry.
Growing up in San Antonio, Israel longed for a prosperous village full of godly leaders to bring up the next generation, but instead he watched his home turn to drugs and violence. As a young man Israel began working with the youth of his village, hoping that somehow they could grow up in a different environment than he had himself. Unfortunately, lack of funds and time led to little success, and Israel soon moved away from his home, not planning to return. However, a brief encounter with a young American named Carver Morgan began to change his heart. Having met Israel and learned of his heart to work with the youth of San Antonio in 2008, Carver felt called back to Belize to meet up with Israel and return to his village. Along with his friend Charles, a fellow Nashville native with a heart for Belize, the two returned and took part of the first of several “San Antonio Outreach” projects conducted by Israel, who brought a group of vibrant youth from his home city of Belmopan to take part in the ministry. During that week, the cloud of oppression that had so long hung over San Antonio and made it undesirable and forbidden to the rest Belize slowly began to lift. Carver had chosen the scripture of Isaiah 61 for the theme of the trip, and it seemed only appropriate that the beautiful imagery mentioned in the passage stick around as the project moved forward.
In August of 2014, three years and multiple outreaches later, Carver and Charles asked Israel if he would like to return to his village to work and serve with the youth full time. Following an emphatic yes, Project 61 Belize officially became a reality.
In August of 2015 the project officially launched with its main focus starting as an after-school program for the village kids and kids of surrounding areas. Due to the struggles in education for the village and Belize as a whole, education is a natural way to impact the lives of the local children through helping them stay in school and learn to be leaders in their communities.
In August of 2016, Charles and Nancy Cranford married and returned as a leadership team to continue the programs that were seeded and expanding. Together they are building on a local resource team that provides families encouragement.
Working with the schools, clinics and churches helps provide children with avenues to use their gifts and passions such as sports, music, art, and free supplemental education. The hope is that through daily investment, lives will begin to change and with disciples of all ages being raised up from the village.
Israel serves as the ministry/outreach director while Charles has put together a seasonal teams to assist with education needs and train up future Belizean teachers to inherit those roles.
As the project expands, the hope is to add adult education programs, Bible studies, and sustainability opportunities throughout the region. First and foremost, the mission will remain to empower local leaders and share the love of Christ.