Belize’s most famous entrepreneur Marie Sharp has teamed up with the U.S. Embassy in Belize to raise funds for victims of domestic violence. Sharp has crafted a new pepper sauce called Pure Love – and the monies made from the sales of this special pepper sauce will be used to fund the Haven House. This is a safe shelter for battered women and their children where they can get transitional help such as skills and counseling. The new pepper sauce was launched today in Belmopan at the residence of the U.S. Charge d’affaires and News Five was there. Reporter Andrea Polanco tells us more.
Andrea Polanco, Reporting
“Pure Love” – it’s a new addition to the line of the Marie Sharp’s world-famous pepper sauces. The pure pineapple pulp-based habanero pepper sauce adds another notch of flavorful heat to the well-known brand. This new pepper sauce, available in five-ounce bottles, hits the local and international market on Friday. But this pepper sauce will do more than just satisfy your taste buds – the money from every bottle of this pepper sauce sold will be used to help victims of gender-based violence. It’s a sauce that Marie Sharp had been holding on to for just the right moment.
Marie Sharp, Entrepreneur
“It was a formula that I had for some time, but I didn’t market it. When Natella came up with the idea for the gender-based violence and what we could do to help, it came to my mind that we could use this and make a go of it. So, since I wasn’t using it, I just created it then and put it for the gender-based violence. It is just pure pineapple pulp and habanero pepper. We are using the yellow habanero at the moment but I think I will have to make a switch because the yellow habanero is getting very scarce and I might have to change and put some red in it. But the formula is the same as the one I invented years ago and didn’t market; so I market it for this event. I know that everybody loves Marie Sharp sauce – and so I thought that if we use it in a pepper sauce I could get much more funds available because all of this will go to the Haven House in Belize. So, I thought it was one way of generating money fast enough because I know that every product I put out there is good and the market will accept it. I know that Belize is not the only country with the problem and the Germans made it clear when they came and saw the label on my desk. They said it is a problem they also have so it something that they could use. So, I know that it is not only Belize that suffers from this, it is worldwide, and so I know that this label can really go.”
The monies will go to the Haven House which isa not-for-profit organization that offers a safe space for women and children who have left abusive homes. Haven House has been in existence since 1993 – and these monies will be used to provide transitional living opportunities, as well as intervention services such as counseling, court advocacy and referrals to women survivors of domestic violence.
Dr. Sharmane Saunders, President, Board of Directors, Haven House
“The Haven House has provided emergency accommodations services to over one thousand three hundred women and their children. Have House adult residents have ranged from the age of eighteen to sixty-years old. And the child residents have ranged in ages from three-days old to seventeen days old. The shelter works by referrals either via the police department, the domestic violence unit of that department or the women’s department. In order to access the services of the shelter, women experiencing repeated incidence of domestic violence, seek a safe place to escape along with their children.”
Every year, the U.S Embassy in Belize carries out a series of activities to raise awareness on gender-based violence in an effort to stem this violation of human rights. And since last year they set the ground work to partner with Marie Sharp’s because they wanted to reach as many homes to spread the message that gender-based violence must end and until that happens we will see the benefits it will bring to homes, communities and the wider Belize.
Keith Gilges, Charge d’ Affaires, U.S. Embassy of Belize
“It is no secret that societies that empower women to participate fully in civic and economic life are more prosperous and peaceful. Ending violence can ensure that women can unlock their potential as leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs. The United States is committed to advancing gender equality and to preventing and responding to all forms of violence against women and girls. All around the world we have seen how modest investments in the abilities and potential in women and girls can yield transformative results, not just for them but for their entire families and communities.”
Source: Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.