Food For The Poor Canada (FFPC) is proud to celebrate the 10th year of working with and for communities in the Caribbean, with the important support of Canadian donors and volunteers. To mark this milestone, a group of volunteers spent the past three days building Hampden Infant School in Trelawny, Jamaica.

Through the generosity and dedication of its volunteers and donors, FFPC has grown steadily over the past decade, building 28 schools in Jamaica, 80 homes in Haiti and Jamaica, shipping tens of millions of dollars worth of medicines, medical equipment, food and educational supplies, supporting numerous livestock projects, and providing emergency relief after natural disasters.

“Canadians are so generous and passionate, they have taken to heart Food For The Poor’s holistic system of sharing: It takes a village to build a village. By building a school this week, we are building both the structure and the opportunity for this village in Trelawny, and next month we will celebrate the opening of the village of Bezin in Haiti – with 30 new homes, a chicken farm, and community water and light.”  shared Samantha Mahfood, Executive Director of Food For The Poor Canada

Hampden Infant School will provide free, quality education to the youngest in the community. Demonstrating their commitment to changing lives through learning, volunteers raised the funds to cover the construction of a school that includes three classrooms, a playground, a water catchment system and a kitchen. Along with the team and contractors of sister charity Food For The Poor Jamaica, Canadian volunteers took leave from their busy schedules to hammer and paint under the hot sun. Energy was high as the building went up, students and teachers watching while expressing excitement about this new space.

Hampden Primary School is finally getting a building for our Infant department, something we have wanted for many years now. I am so excited and I know it will make a big difference in the lives of the children and the community … Many thanks to the Canadian donors and Food For The Poor.”  Remarks from the Principal, Mr. Richard McLaughlin and Senior Teacher, Mrs. Dawn Gordon Pinnock.

The opening ceremony had strong Canadian representation, as the previous High Commissioner of Canada to Jamaica and FFPC’s current Board Chair, Robert Ready, spoke of work done by Canadians over the last 10 years. The current High Commissioner of Canada to Jamaica, Laurie Peters, followed, aptly touching on the centuries-old relationship between the two countries.  The celebrations ended with a ribbon cutting to officially open Hampden Infant School.