More Than Just Toilet Paper

by | Jun 28, 2024 | Partnership, The Bahamas

While vacationing in Grand Bahama, Jenny and Derek Rattray were captivated by the beauty and resiliency of the Bahamian people despite the hardships they have endured. Jenny, an early childhood educator, and Derek, skilled in management and logistics, began to partner with local preschools and churches to empower and encourage Bahamian leaders. In 2018, they started the non-profit Hope Garden Project (HGP) and became a program of World Hope International Canada in 2021.

Shipping Hope 

Working together with Matthew 25 Ministries (M25M), HGP has coordinated and received a shipping container of practical, household supplies; items for vulnerable families such as formula, diapers, first aid supplies, household cleaners, and hygiene items.  They secured space with a partner church on the ground to house the supplies until they can be distributed, which Bahamians will lead. Volunteers and partners on the ground have received training to receive, distribute, and track supplies.  The first shipping container arrived on May 15th! 

Shipping container of household supplies

More than Just Toilet Paper 

The Grand Bahama Children’s Home is a Bahamian-based, registered not-for-profit organization providing residential care and refuge for abused, abandoned, or neglected infants and children up to age 14.  The children they serve are neurodiverse, dealing with grief and loss, and going through counselling and therapy.  

On Grand Bahama, one roll of paper towel costs 6.86 USD and a single roll of toilet paper costs $1.83-$2 USD.  The practical supplies the children’s home is receiving reflect a monthly savings of $3,000 US.  These funds are being redirected to hire a therapist that will work with the residents of the children’s home as they heal from trauma. 

Children helping carry household supplies into the preschool they attend

A partner since the start of HGP, Tekanell’s Daycare and Preschool Center is using the money the daycare is saving on supplies, to start a foundation to offer scholarships.  When 2 children in her daycare lost their mother in a car accident, the owner, Teka, took it upon herself to cover their daycare fees.   Thanks to the partnership between M25M and HGP, each year the center will be able to provide 3 children who have lost a parent with scholarships to cover their fees. 

Something to Celebrate 

When people are empowered, they have the opportunity to empower others.  It’s more than just a shipping container of supplies, it’s more than just toilet paper.  It’s transformational development, happening through the people of Grand Bahama. 

“He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.’” MARK 9:36-37 

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals and how World Hope International Canada’s Hope Garden Project is empowering Bahamians to create sustainable change for themselves and their communities.

Volunteer surrounded by people

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