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Canadians Help School To Reopen One Year After Hurricane Dorian Devastates Bahamas

TORONTO, Aug. 31, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- One year after Hurricane Dorian tore through the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama in the Bahamas, one special school is preparing to re-open in September, thanks in part to the generosity of committed Canadians and Food For The Poor Canada (FFPC).

Every Child Counts (ECC) school in Abaco, provides quality special education to students with mental and physical disabilities. But on September 1, 2019, Hurricane Dorian became the strongest hurricane to strike the Bahamas, and ECC was not spared.

The hurricane damaged all of the school’s buildings, including some just recently completed, and left contents under 23 feet of water. The ECC community also lost a dedicated, Canadian teacher, Alishia Liolli, who lost her life in the hurricane.

Despite setbacks and delays caused by the global pandemic, ECC is almost ready to welcome back teachers in September and students in October. Undoubtedly this return to school will look different with some hybrid classes offered to keep students engaged while safe. 

"We are very grateful to all who have supported our efforts to restore our school and to be at the point of gathering our ECC community back together in the Fall."  Lyn Major, principal and founder of Every Child Counts.

Canadians raised over $100,000 to aid with emergency relief and rebuilding efforts. Food For The Poor Canada deployed 1000 tarpaulins as temporary shelter to families left homeless. Solar panels were also provided to support the school with a source of energy even in the event of a power outage. FFPC worked with All Hands And Hearts to help rebuild the school, and the work continues.

Hurricane season 2020 is in full swing and Food For The Poor Canada is committed to respond and support affected communities when needed. FFPC works with a vast network of local partners to build prosperous communities and to respond effectively and efficiently when natural disasters occur.

“As we prepare for another potentially devastating hurricane season, we are working with partners to have supplies ready; we currently have several million water purification tablets on hand to deploy, and are raising funds to purchase tarpaulins or other supplies so that our response is timely,” adds Samantha Mahfood, Executive Director of Food For The Poor Canada.

Please help prepare by donating at

Food For The Poor Canada

Food For The Poor Canada (FFPC) empowers communities in the Caribbean and Latin America through five areas of programming: food, housing, education, health and livelihood. FFPC responds to urgent needs while building community and social infrastructure. FFPC utilizes the pre-existing infrastructure of local affiliated organizations to better sustain and grow the communities they serve and responds effectively to emergencies and natural disasters when they occur. Over the last 12 years, FFPC and its Canadian donors have built 124 homes and 32 schools, as well as shipped and distributed $32 million worth of food, educational and medical supplies. FFPC is part of the Food For The Poor family of charities; the founding organization in the USA is Food For The Poor, an interdenominational Christian organization that works in 17 countries in the Caribbean and Latin America.

For interviews or more information, contact:

Samantha Mahfood
Executive Director
(416) 921-4008

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Primary Logo

Every Child Counts School

Rebuilding continues at the Every Child Counts school after it was destroyed by Hurricane Dorian in September 2019.