The Bahamas – Louis Bacon’s Moore Bahamas Foundation announced today that a substantial share of its $250,000 commitment to the islands of the southern Bahamas devastated by Hurricane Joaquin would go to helping children and teachers return to the classroom and begin to regain a sense of normalcy by supporting the replacement of destroyed school supplies.
“In the weeks following the hurricane, it became apparent that to regain any sense of normalcy it was critical to get children back into classrooms,” said Bacon. “While the Government of The Bahamas was and is doing all it can, one of our long-time partners in the conservation movement, Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation (BREEF), proposed assisting officials by providing chests of supplies and we are very proud to support them in this effort.”
The Foundation will award $50,000 to BREEF to re-equip students with individual supplies and re-stock classrooms in Acklins, Crooked Island, San Salvador, Long Island and Rum Cay with collateral including marine-related posters, books and information intrinsically linked with lives on islands where fishing and the surrounding waters are critical to livelihood and at the core of the island culture.
Some schools were totally destroyed, others suffered roof damage or windows blown out. Even in school buildings still standing and in need of basic repairs, almost all equipment was flooded or washed away.
“There are approximately 125 teachers in 19 schools on the affected islands,” said BREEF’s Executive Director Casuarina McKinney-Lambert. “Most schools need to replace all supplies and other educational content, particularly related to marine conservation. BREEF has had a long-standing relationship with teachers and schools in these island and previous grants from The Moore Bahamas Foundation in support of BREEF’s Field Education Programme have contributed to providing supplies and resources to these special remote communities over the years. Due to the hurricane, many of these supplied and educational resources have been completely destroyed and we propose to assist with replacing them to get the schools and communities back on their feet.”
The contribution to BREEF follows last week’s announcement of a $120,000 grant to the Rotary Clubs of The Bahamas and the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation for REBUILD BAHAMAS, a long-term project for the restoration of commerce and provision of clean drinking water.
Announcement of the final recipient of the $250,000 pledged by the Foundation is expected to be made within the week.