Founder and CEO, Sonnie Dean was born in Belize into a family of ten, raised by his single mother, Shirly Menzies, in an environment of extreme poverty. He and his siblings were some of the more fortunate because they had a mother who worked tirelessly to raise them as best she could with self-respect, Christian values, and love; despite their circumstances. They grew up within a social system designed to break them, where making ends meet became impossible, leaving the children in dire need of basic housing, health, food, and nutrition. Sonnie Dean, vowed, even as a child, to make sure no other children would have to suffer in the way he did… and The Menzies Philanthropic Foundation is his commitment to that childhood promise.
Menzies Philanthropic Foundation was founded based on two main principles, “It takes a village to raise a child”, and “if you teach a person to fish, they have food for life.” These principles are based on Shirley Menzies’s own values that she provided and instilled into her children.
The Menzies Seven Pillars of Support
The Menzies Foundation was created to help provide the orphans of Belize support in the same way CEO, Sonnie Dean’s mother, Shirley Menzies, worked hard to provide for her 10 children without help. We call these basic areas of need, the Shirley Menzies 7 Key Needs and we have designed the scope of our support to address the 7 areas of Housing, Health, Nutrition, Education, Family, Faith, and Love; providing resources, tools, training, and systems to enhance each children’s with holistic, regenerative solutions.
We will Raise Funds, Procure and Distribute Supplies, Train and Deploy Support Staff (Both Full-time and Volunteer), Develop Systems of Support Based on the 7 Key Pillars, and Procure Corporate Donors for hard assets such as Food, Clothing, Building Supplies, Educational Supplies, Etc. and disburse all resources and support to the current 7 orphanages in Belize.
“Where there is Love there is Life”
We look to help the orphanages evolve into true Child Care Homes that become an atomic family for each child to experience deep love and nurturing. This ideal will be further developed within our ‘Me is We’ conscious community model, where we will create a loving, supportive family unit for those who come; giving each person no matter their age the opportunity to become responsible and accountable to the whole village. They each become integral to maintaining the ecosystem of the entire village.
We intend to organize Medical, dental, and psychological teams to evaluate the health, dental, and mental conditions of all children, and provide the needed services.
“Teach a man to fish and he will never go hungry again”. We are dedicated to teaching the orphanages and families we serve how to garden, farm, and cook so they aren't dependent on others for food. We will also provide nutrient-enriched meals and supplements from our donors, to ensure that everyone has the proper nutrition for healthy development.
Traditional coursework will be enhanced with mentorship in life skills, business skills, self-development, and esoteric arts in the form of workshops and afterschool programs. We will also bring in Mentors for specific trades and entrepreneurship to round out the business training.
We will assess the needs of each orphanage and distribute building, electrical, plumbing, and kitchen equipment and human resources skilled in renovation and repair; based on the assessment of needs. As hurricane season is always a concern, we will be looking for donations to provide each children’s home with a generator and fuel.
Often, there has been so much trauma, neglect, and abuse in their short lives, that they have a hard time imagining a different life. Menzies provides restorative programs and experiences to build up these beautiful souls and strengthen their journey of healing and self-actualization.
We at the Menzies Foundation, believe that investing in love and support for at-risk children and families is one of the best investments we can make to improve the health, wellbeing, productivity, and longevity of our society. This is why absolutely every initiative we create, every partnership we make, every dollar we raise, and every decision we make, is made with an open heart and Unconditional Love.
We not only teach and promote “Heart-centered Giving”, We Live It!
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We are excited to have you involved in making a difference in the world with us! Currently we are in need of monetary donations – however if you have donations for one of our five pillars such as building materials, medical supplies, seeds for farming, books, or would like to live in community with the families, let’s connect! We appreciate each and every one of you who say yes to Menzies Mission! We couldn’t do it without you.