Area of Focus: Basic Education and Literacy
Project Title:   Computers for Schools in Belize

Project Description:  
Belize has about 600 schools (pre-school to college and vocational).  Most do not have adequate computer resources and many do not have any computers.  This project provided refurbished computers which were part of a bigger project to setup resource centers (computers, books, etc.) in 40 schools (about 4 to 5 computers / school).  It will benefit about 6000 students the first year and another 6000 over the 5 year estimated life of the computers. The cost of the computers was $6,650.
Project Development
  1. How (and where) was the project conceived?
    • Believe in Belize (, an all volunteer nonprofit, was founded in 2018 in Maryland by Rotary E Club of One World ( member Nabil Bedewi ( , with his wife and daughter.  The first project was to provide 20 computers to a school in Belize. It was small in scope to test the end-to-end process of implementing projects in Belize.  Upon discussion with the president of the Rotary Club of Placencia (Belize), Nabil learned that Rotary District 6600 (Ohio area) has been setting up resource centers in Belize for a number of years.  They were in the planning stages of their Fall 2018 / Spring 2019 deployments.  However, their main issue was they needed 180 computers (including monitors, keyboards & mice).  This need became the genesis of the project expanding from 20 computers.
  2. How was the needs assessment was conducted?
    • Resource Centers International ( operates within District 6600 with the multi-year goal of providing resource centers to schools that need them at the rate of approximately 40 per year. Schools apply through the RCI website ( and are selected based on severity of need.  RCI cycles between the six Districts in Belize so the Fall 2018 deployment was to Stann Creek and the Spring 2019 to Corozal.  Nabil also learned that a school in the Cayo district desperately needed computers and the Rotary Club of Belize Sunrise needed computers for a lab they were setting up.  Since those two districts were not part of the RCI deployment, 25 additional computers were added to the project.
  3. How were the partners identified and the partnership forged?
    • Partners were identified as issues came up in the following order:
      • Believe in Belize was to partner with the Rotary Club of Placencia as part of the initial 20 computers project to deal with the in-country customs, deployment, etc.
      • When RC Placencia made Nabil aware of the District 6600 computer need.  Believe in Belize forged a partnership with Medical Equipment and Supplies Abroad Foundation, Inc. (MESA) within District 6600, the parent organization of RCI (
      • To acquire the committed computers, Believe in Belize partnered with LKA Computer Consultants ( in Maryland which is owned by Larry Aikins  who is also a member of the Rotary E Club of One World.
      • The Rotary Clubs of Belize City Sunrise, Corozal, Dangriga, and Placencia were our partners in Belize for handling in country issues (customs, security, etc.) and assisting RCI as needed with the eventual deployment to the schools.
  4. How was the budget determined?
    • ​​​​​​​The budget for RCI (transportation and non-computer equipment) was beyond the scope of the Believe in Belize computer project.
      • The initial budget for 205 computers was $7,175 broken down as follows:
        • $3,075    Refurbished 64 bit computers (including mice & keyboard) - $15/PC
        • $4,100    Monitors - $20 each
      • The prices where based on LKA Computer Consultants being able to acquire them from a Maryland corporation upgrading their systems and a computer surplus store.  Believe in Belize only paid the actual cost to LKACC.
      • During the course of the project, RCI received a sizable donation of computers from a local college in Ohio for their 2019-2020 deployment and had a surplus.  This meant they needed 170 computers from Believe in Belize.  This dropped the computer cost to $2,550 and the final cost of the computers and monitors came down to $6,650.
  5. How were the performance measures identified?
    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Basically, the ability of Believe in Belize to deliver the required computers and monitors within budget and the ability of RCI to maximize the number of resource centers during a given deployment.
  6. How was the project designed to sustain itself?
    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Ministry of Education has tech personnel periodically go to schools and address issues as needed.
    • Local tech savvy volunteers either on their own or through organizations (e.g. Rotary clubs) support local schools in their area.
  7. How was funding pursued?
    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​RCI committed to funding the shipping of everything from Ohio to Belize.
    • Believe in Belize had to get funding from donors to cover the cost of the computers and monitors.  As usual, Rotarians answered the call.  Specifically:
      • Nabil’s rotary club, One World donated $1,500 which was matched by the District for a total of $3,000.
      • Nabil’s buddy club, Potomac-Bethesda ( , donated $2,000.
      • $1,480 was donated by a number of owners in one of Belize’s developments, The Reserve.
      • $170 came from four donors.
Project Implementation
  1. Mel, RCI’s project manager made three trips to Maryland to pickup the computers. During this phase of the project we also learned that the Rotary Club of Placecnia was supporting a tech training center in Belmopan and they needed computer parts (cases, motherboards, memory, etc.) for hands-on training.  Larry (fellow club rotarian and owner of LKA Computer Consultants) went beyond the call and donated the equivalent of 60 boxes of parts.  Mel, also agreed to ship them all without us incurring any costs.
    • First Trip – Mel & Nabil
    • Second Trip – Mel & Larry
    • Third Trip – Mel optimizing storage :-)
  2. A 40’ container was shipped from Ohio with all the educational products including the computers to the receiving Rotary Club in Belize.  A team of educational professionals then went to Belize to distribute, set up and then train Belize educators in the use and integration of all product sent.  Will Mosby (, a member of the Rotary E Club of One World joined the team during the Fall deployment. 
Pictures below provided by Mel / RCI
Will & Mario checking and combining computer parts
Everything to be distributed

Kent Iler (Rotary Club of Elyria – District 6600) setting up the computers
Will impressing the kids with his IT skills :-)                                                        Kids exploring on their own
Project Outcome and Sustainability
Return visits to the schools show that resources sent were still being used.  Defective equipment is repaired or replaced as needed.
Lessons Learned
Schools (teachers, students, administrators and parents) are very appreciative of what they receive.
Rotary partners in Belize are eager to help make any project a success.
Detailed planning is a must to work out all the potential issues in advance (e.g. clearing customs, finding safe and sheltered storage space).
Nabil Bedewi
Managing Director Believe in Belize

Believe in Belize is committed to expanding our education program (  in Belize so we hope Rotary clubs will contact us for further discussions about international project options (