ADRA volunteers in The Bahamas sort out backpacks in a large warehouse in The Bahamas that will benefits 4,100 students across primary and high school in Grand Bahama and and 1,400 for students in Marsh Harbor in Great Abaco islands. The ADRA distribution took place on Nov. 11, 2019, throughout the North Bahamas islands. Photo: ADRA International

November 20, 2019 | Freeport, Grand Bahama, The Bahamas| ADRA International

On Monday, November 11, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) donated 4,000 backpacks for primary to high school-aged children from the Bahamian islands of the Grand Bahama and Great Abaco, which are still reeling from the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.

Each child, who has been in school since September, received a backpack complete with much-needed school supplies and educational resources. Within the Grand Bahama district, over 4,100 backpacks have been delivered to the schools, with an excess of 1,400 backpacks to be shipped to Marsh Harbour for distribution by ADRA. Remaining backpacks will be donated to The Bahamas Ministry of Education for additional students in need of school materials throughout the islands.

“In a continued effort to ensure the Every Child. Everywhere. In School. education campaign is achieved in every country, ADRA has sought to ensure that children, the most vulnerable group in a disaster, are not forgotten, as those most impacted by Hurricane Dorian transition into a new state of normalcy,” says Dr. Henry Moncur, ADRA’s country director in the Bahamas. “We believe that a positive step in assisting the parents and students is through the provision of school supplies.”

From L-R, Dr. Henry Moncur, ADRA’s country director in the Bahamas; Wayne Beitzel, Water Mission volunteer; Robert Bender, Water Mission programs specialist; Mr. Ivan Butler, Grand Bahama district superintendent of education; Frank Reimann, ADRA’s emergency response team coordinator; and Jordan Deshon, Water Mission project engineer; pose for a photo after press conference took place on November 11, 2019 in Freeport, Grand Bahama. Photo: ADRA International

During the backpack handover ceremony, Grand Bahama District Superintendent of Education, Mr. Ivan Butler, was impressed with the number of quality backpacks the students received and was optimistic of the future of the island’s school system. In his acknowledgement statement to ADRA, he says, “Your acts of kindness have definitely helped in expediting the process of our students returning to school in a more comfortable, and safe environment.”

ADRA has also identified that children in the Bahamas also need nutritional breakfast meals and access to clean water. For eight weeks, students at five public schools received breakfast meals sponsored by ADRA. Additionally, ADRA partnered with Water Mission, a faith-based engineering organization, to install and maintain clean water for schools and surrounding communities to access.

“It is our hope that through these small acts of charity, we positively change the lives of the Bahamian community, one project at a time,” says Shavonne Sherman, communications manager for ADRA in the Bahamas.

For updates about what ADRA is doing in the Bahamas, visit: Facebook.com/ADRABAS and Facebook.com/joinADRA/.

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