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The Backpack Project

NEWSLETTER The  Backpack  Project  Newsle er  #3

December  2013

ABOUT THE BACKPACK PROJECT ENSURING  THAT  EVERY  CHILD  IN  THE  CARIBBEAN  HAS  THE  TOOLS  NEC-­‐ ESSARY  TO  RECEIVE  A  BASIC  FORMAL  EDUCATION

The  Backpack  Project  is  a  non-profit  ini a ve  aimed  at  promo ng  health   and  educa on  among  Caribbean  students  between  the  ages  of  5  and  18   years.  The  Backpack  project,  which  was  started  in  December  2008,  assists   students  of  impoverished  families  to  pursue  their  educa onal  goals   through  the  shipment  and  distribu on  of  pre-packaged  backpacks  con-­‐ taining  school  and  personal  supplies.   Students  are  iden fied  by  Caribbean  educators  who  then  no fy  the  or-­‐ ganiza on  of  the  students’  needs.  Once  eligibility  is  confirmed,  backpacks   are  then  assembled,  shipped  and  distributed  to  the  students.  Upon  re-­‐ ceipt  of  the  backpacks,  the  students  then  maintain  regular  correspond-­‐ ence  with  The  Backpack  Project  regarding  their  progress  both  inside  and   outside  of  the  classroom.  

EDUCATION  IS  THE   MOST  POWERFUL   WEAPON  WHICH  YOU   CAN  USE  TO  CHANGE   THE  WORLD -  Nelson  Mandela

IN THIS ISSUE About  the  Backpack  Project……1 Christmas  Gree ngs……………….2 2013  Year  in    Review……………...3 BPP  in  the  Community……………4 Our  Students………………………….9 Our  Sponsors  ……………………….10 What’s  in  Our  Backpacks?......11 How  to  Get  Involved…………….11 Upcoming  Events………………….11 Health  Ar cle……………………….12

Tutorial  High  School  (Guyana)  teacher  presents  backpack  to  student  recipient

Some  Fun  Stuff……………………..13  1


SEASON’S GREETINGS ‘Tis  the  most  wonderful   me  of  the  year  for   most  of  us,  as  we  spend  quality   me  with  our   loved  ones  celebra ng  Christmas.    At  this  special   me  of  year  however,  let  us  not  forget  those  less   fortunate  than  our  ourselves.    We  ask  that  you   give  generously  so  that  can  con nue  to  improve   the  lives  of  Caribbean  students  one  backpack  at   a   me.    May  God  con nue  to  bless  you  richly,  as   we  move  forward  into  what  is  hopefully  a  pros-­‐ perous  and  produc ve  2014. Warm  Wishes, The  Backpack  Project  Team

Above:  The  Backpack  Project  Team  Canada  (From  left  to   right):  Michael  Omitiran,  Ayana  Billy,  Melissa  Enmore,   Jonelle  Douglas,  Kenita  Cumberbatch-Walcott,  Kimani   Williams  Jamohl  Rutherford

 

Above:  The  Backpack  Project  Team  Trinidad   (from  left  to  right):  Karelle  Clark,  Michelle  Kan-­ dasammy,  Daniel  Yearwood

Help  us  eradicate  poverty  in  the  Caribbean  and  make  a   difference  in  children’s  lives  one  backpack  at  a  time.    Your   can  contribute  to  The  Backpack  Project  by: 

Donating  financially  through  our  PayPal  account  at   our  website  www.backpackproject.ca

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Donating  in-kind  items  (a  list  of  items  can  be  found  on   page  10)

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2013 YEAR IN REVIEW BPP Update—Trinidad: Thanks  to  your  generous  dona ons  and  support,  The  Backpack  Project   team  has  been  able  to  provide  115  children  from  9  schools  and  2  communi-­‐ ty  organisa ons  in  Trinidad,  with  backpacks  containing  the  necessary  tools   for  their  educa onal  pursuits  and  personal  hygiene  items  for  their  health.   Your  dona ons  will  provide  students  with  the  educa onal  tools  they  need   for  the  next  6  months.   The  Principals  have  indicated  that  the  students  are  mo vated,  excited  and   apprecia ve  of  the  comprehensiveness  of  our  backpacks,  as  there  is  a  need   for  personal  hygiene  items,  which  is  o en  overlooked  for  Primary  School   students.  We  are  proud  of  all  of  our  students,  par cularly  those  who  wrote   SEA  (all  of  whom  were  successful): •2  students  from  Nelson  Street  Boys  R.C.  School  passed  for  CIC  and  St.  An-­‐ thony's •  2  students  from  Arima  Boys  Government  Primary  passed  for  Queen's  Royal  College Although  these  victories  may  seem  small  to  the  average  person,  we  know  that  they  are  not.  Your  contribu ons   go  a  long  way  and  The  Backpack  Project  team,  as  well  as  the  children  we  serve  are  full  of  gra tude  for  your  gen-­‐ erosity.    Again,  thank  you  for  all  you  do  for  our  kids.  You  are  a  part  of  their  lives  too.

BPP Update—Canada: This  year  (2013)  has  been  a  good  year  for  The  Backpack  Project  team  in  Canada,  par cularly  with  the  expansion   of  our  team  which  now  comprises  7  commi ed  volunteers.    Thanks  to  the  hard  work  of  2  of  our  volunteers   (Jamohl  Rutherford  and  Phillip  Lewis),  we  were  able  to  revamp  The  Backpack  Project  website,   www.backpackproject.ca.,  a er  which  our  summer  collec on  drive  began  in  the  summer.      The  collec on  drive   was  a  success  and  backpacks  were  assembled  and  shipped  to  3  schools  in  Guyana    (Queen’s  College,  St.  Roses   High  School  and  Tutorial  High  School)  and  1  community  organiza on  in  Hai  (Neges  Founda on).   Not  only  were  we  able  to  provide  backpacks  for  our  students,  but  we  were  able  to  get  more  involved  in  our  com-­‐ munity  with  a  booth  at  the  Last  Lap  Lime,  an  annual  Guyanese  event,  and  a  booth  at  the  United  Way  of  Peel’s   third  annual  Unity  in  Diversity  Gala.    Several  important  partnerships  were  formed  as  a  result  of  our  involvement   in  these  events. With  the  con nued  growth  and  expansion  of  our  team,  we  hope  to  con nue  to  grow  and  expand  our  organiza-­‐ on.  We  thank  you  for  your  con nued  support,  as  we  con nue  to    strive  towards  allevia ng  poverty  in  the  Carib-­‐ bean,  one  backpack  at  a   me.  3


BPP IN THE COMMUNITY: TRINIDAD

Above:  The  Backpack  Project,  in  col-­ laboration  with  REPSOL,  delivered  20   backpacks  to  the  students  at   Guayaguayare  Roman  Catholic  Primary   School   Above:  Michelle,  staff  from  new  sponsor  Lucky   Dollar  who  sponsored  backpacks  for  10  stu-­ dents  at  Arima  Boys  Government  School  for   2013,  and  Arima  Principal  Mr.  Fleming

Above:  Delivering  backpacks  to    Trinidadian   student  recipients

Above:  Karelle  and  volunteers  who  came  out  to  help  The   Backpack  Project  team  sort  items  and  assemble  back-­ packs  for  September  2013  

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BPP IN THE COMMUNITY: TRINIDAD

Above:  The  Backpack  Project,  in   collaboration  with  REPSOL,  deliv-­ ered  19  Backpacks  to  Mayaro  Gov-­ ernment  Primary  School  

Above:  The  Backpack  Project  team  (Karelle,  Daniel  and  Michelle)  is   joined  by  a  junior  volunteer,  while  sorting  and  assembling  back-­ packs  for  September  2013

Above:  Some  of  the  items  found  in  our   backpacks  include  soaps,  deodorants,   lotions,  shampoo,  pens,  crayons  and  rul-­

Above:  BPP  in  collaboration  with  REPSOL   Above:  Karelle  and    bpTT  staff  who  sponsored  backpacks  for   delivered  20  Backpacks  to  the  students  at   students  at  Nelson  Street  Boys  in  2013   Mafeking  Government  Primary  School  

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BPP IN THE COMMUNITY: CANADA

Above:  Jonelle  and  Kenita,  new  members  of   The  Backpack  Project  team,  pack  back-­ packs  for    Haitian  student  recipients

Above:  Kimani  and  Melissa  promote  The  Backpack  Pro-­ ject  at  the  United  Way    of  Peel  Region’s  3rd  annual  Unity   in  Diversity  Gala    at  the  Garden  Banquet  and  Convention   Centre  in  Brampton,  Ontario  (September  2013)

Above:  Tutorial  High  School  alumnus  Joan     McLean  sorts  backpack  contents  for  stu-­ dents  at  her  alma  mater  in  Guyana

Above:  Yoleine  Gateau  Esposito,  Co-Founder  of  Neges   Foundation  in  Haiti,  and  Melissa  in  Montreal,  Quebec  load-­ ing  her  van  with  backpacks  for  Haitian  children  (October   Above:  St.  Roses’  High  School  alumni  sort   items  and  assemble  backpacks  for  students   2013) at  their  alma  mater  in  Georgetown,  Guyana

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BPP IN THE COMMUNITY: CANADA

Above:  Melissa  presents  a  Backpack  Project  Certificate  of  Appreciation   to  Grace  Church  for  their  generous  contributions  in  2013

Above:  Kenita    and  Jamohl   promoteThe  Backpack  Pro-­ ject    at  Grace  Church’s  bar-­ becue

“WHEN  YOU   KNOW  BETTER   YOU  DO   BETTER.”   -  Maya  Angelou

Above:  Backpacks  packed  and  ready   for  shipment  and  distribution  to  stu-­ dent  recipients

 Above:  The  Backpack  Project  dona-­ tion  box  overflowing  at  Faith  United   Ministries

Above:  Melissa  packs  the  backpacks   into  a  barrel  in  preparation  for  a  ship-­ ment  to  Guyana  via  Tennessee    Interna-­ tional  Freight  Inc.

Above:  Jonelle,  Melis-­ sa  and  Kimani  collect-­ ing  the  donations  from   Grace  Church

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BPP AT LAST LAP LIME 2013 The  largest  congrega on  of  Guyanese   outside  of  Guyana,  the  Last  Lap  Lime  is   an  annual  social  family  event  held  by   five  non-profit  Guyanese  Alumni  Asso-­‐ cia ons,  which  showcases  Guyanese   culture  through  food,  drink,  entertain-­‐ ment  and  liming  within  the  diaspora.     Our  third  consecu ve  year  at  Last  Lap   Lime,  The  Backpack  Project’s  presence   was  felt  at  the  annual  Guyanese  event,   which  was  held  on  August  5th  2013  at   Woodbridge  Fairgrounds.    This  oppor-­‐ tunity  allowed  for  face-to-face  interac-­‐ on  with  several  of  our  sponsors,  do-­‐ nors  and  educators.    As  well,  with  our   raffle  prize,  dinner  for  two  at  Guyanese   restaurant,  Scarlet  Ibis,  we  were  able  to   secure  new  sponsors,  donors  and  vol-­‐ unteers.      Not  only  did  we  have  the  op-­‐ portunity  to  showcase  our  work  to   date,  but  we  were  able  to  network  with   other  Guyanese  business  owners  who   were  interested  in  collabora ng  with   us,  sharing  a  common  interest  in  the   development  of  Caribbean  children.     Overall,  the  day  was  a  success  and  the   BPP  Canada  team  had  fun  

The  Backpack  Project  booth  at  Last  Lap  Lime  2013  (left  to  right):  Ayana,   Jonelle,  Caesar,  Kenita,  Roy,  Stephanie  and  baby  Lucia,  our  youngest   visitor

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Our  Students The  Backpack  Project  student  recipients  are  identified  by   Caribbean  educators  who  notify  the  organization  of  their   needs.  Once  eligibility  is  confirmed  by  The  Backpack   Project  team,  backpacks  are  then  assembled,  shipped   and  distributed  to  the  students.  Upon  receipt  of  the  back-­ packs,  the  students  notify  the  Backpack  Project  Team,   and  maintain  regular  correspondence  with  us  regarding   their  educational    progress.

Above:  2013  Backpack  Project  student  recipients   at  Tutorial  High  School  in  Guyana   The  Backpack  Project  student  recipients: •  Are  5  to  18  years  old •  Are  currently  enrolled  at  preparatory,  primary   or  secondary  schools  in  the  Caribbean  and  re-­ turning  to  school  for  another  year •  Demonstrate  financial  need

“Our  children  are  the  rock  on  which  our  future  will  be   built,  our  greatest  asset  as  a  nation”   Facts  about  World  Poverty  and  Education 

An  average  of  39%  of  Latin  American  and  Caribbean   youth  live  in  poverty1

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In  Latin  America  and  the  Caribbean,  some  35  million   children  between  3  to  18  years  of  age  do  not  go  to   school  at  all1

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Too  many  children  are  still  denied  their  right  to  primary  educa-­ tion.  Between  2000  and  2011,  the  number  of  children  out  of   school  declined  by  almost  half—from  102  million  to57  million.   However,  progress  in  reducing  the  number  of  children  out  of   school  has  slowed  considerably  over  time.  Stalled  progress   means  that  the  world  is  unlikely  to  meet  the  target  of  universal   primary  education  by  20152

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The  poorest  children  are  most  likely  to  be  out  of  school.    Chil-­ dren  and  adolescents  from  the  poorest  households  are  at   least  three  times  more  likely  to  be  out  of  school  than  children   from  the  richest  households.  Girls  are  more  likely  to  be  out  of   school  than  boys  among  both  primary  and  lower  secondary   age  groups,  even  for  girls  living  in  the  richest  households 2

Sources:  

1.  Unicef  Fast  Facts  on  Adolescents  and  Youth  in  Latin  America  and  the  Caribbean

Above:  Feedback  from  a  Tutorial  High  School  stu-­   dent  who  received  a  backpack  in  2013

2.  The  Millennium  Development  Goals  Report  2013

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WHAT IS IN OUR BACKPACKS? Sta onery  Items   Backpacks   Erasers   Lined  Paper   Notebooks   Binders   Pencils   Pens   Highlighters   Folders   Scien fic  Calculators   Geometry  Sets   Rulers  

What’s happening in 2014? 

“Figh ng  the  Winter  Blues”   BPP  Fundraiser  (January  25th)  

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BPP  Brunch  (Spring  2014)

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BPP  Annual  Collec on  Drive   (Summer  2014)

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BPP  at  Last  Lap  Lime  (August   2014)

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Queen’s  College  of  Guyana   Class  of  ‘99  Reunion  (August   2014) For  more  details,  contact  us  at   info@backpackproject.ca

Health/Personal  Items   Combs   Soaps   Deodorants   Hand  Sani zers   Lo ons   Toothbrush   Toothpaste   Shampoo   Condi oner  

HOW TO GET INVOLVED Let’s  break  the  cycle  of  poverty  one  backpack  at  a   me!   As  a  non-profit  organiza on,  The  Backpack  Project  depends  on  dona ons  from   sponsors  and  individuals,  as  well  as  help  from  our  volunteers.  Find  out  how   you  can  help  to  break  the  cycle  of  poverty  one  backpack  at  a   me.   Become  a  Sponsor   We  are  always  grateful  for  corporate  partners  who  help  us  achieve  our  mis-­‐ sion.  Please  do  not  hesitate  to  contact  us  at  thebackpack-project@gmail.com   to  find  out  how  your  company  can  help.   Become  a  Volunteer   As  a  growing  organiza on,  we  are  in  constant  need  of  addi onal  support.   Whether  you  are  based  in  one  of  our  loca ons  or  abroad,  we  could  always  use   your  help.  Please  email  us  at  thebackpackproject@gmail.com  if  you’re  inter-­‐ ested  in  becoming  a  volunteer.   Make  a  Dona on   We  accept  dona ons  in  cash  or  credit  via  our  Paypal  account,  as  well  as  in-kind   dona ons  of  sta onery  and  personal  items.  For  a  list  of  the  items  needed  and   to  donate  these  items  please  email  us  at  thebackpackproject@gmail.com    10


OUR SPONSORS

Queen’s  College    Alumni  Associ-­ ation  of  Guyana  (Toronto  Chap-­ ter)

St.  Roses  High  School    Alumni   Association  Toronto  Chapter

Tutorial  High  School  of  Guyana   Alumni  Association  (Toronto   Chapter)

Repsol  (Trinidad  &  Tobago)

BP  Trinidad  &  Tobago

Growing  Leaders  Foundation

Hi-Lo  Food  Stores   (Trinidad  &  Tobago)

Soft  &  Silky  (Trinidad   &  Tobago)

Lucky  Dollar  (Trinidad  &   Tobago)

Faith  United  Ministries  (Toronto)

Amara  Organics  

Grace  Church  (Toronto)

Syrian  Lebanense  Women’s  Club

Wrapworks

Ntianu  Hector,  BPP  Newslet-­ ter  Editor

The  Backpack  Project  Team  would  like  to    thank  all  our  sponsors,  donors  and  volunteers  who  contributed   to  our  organization  in  2013.        A  special  thank  you  to  Repsol  for  donating  to  3  schools  (59  students)  in  Trin-­ idad  and  to  the  Volunteer  Centre  of  Trinidad  &  Tobago  for  heeding  our  call  for  volunteers  this  year.    We   greatly  appreciate  the  expediency  and  professionalism  of  the  volunteers,  who  made  our  work  so  much   lighter.    We  are  grateful  for  the  generosity  of  all  our  sponsors,  donors  and  volunteers,  and  look  forward  to   your  continued  support  of  our  organization.    We  would  also  like  to  acknowledge  and  say  a  special  thank   you  to  BPP  newsletter  editor  Ntianu  Hector,  for  her  hard  work  and  dedication.  11


The Importance of Exercise: More than just Weight Loss for Vanity By Kamaral Bassier What  does  exercise  do  for  you? Fights  cancer Research  has  shown  that  exercise  reduces  the  risk  of  colon  cancer  by  speeding  up  the   movement  of  food  through  the  gastrointes nal  tract  thus  rapidly  removing  carcino-­‐ gens.  Encouraging  new  data  also  shows  that  exercise  may  also  reduce  the  risk  of   breast  cancer,  cancers  of  the  reproduc ve  organs  in  women  and  prostate  cancer  in   men! Reverses  Diabetes Exercise  helps  to  decrease  your  blood  sugar  levels  and  is  actually  prescribed  by  doctors   as  an  effec ve  cure  to  Type  2  diabetes.  You  can  reverse  the  effects  of  diabetes  and  nev-­‐ er  have  to  use  a  syringe  again.  

Cures  Depression In  a  study  of  clinically  depressed  women  (McCann  et  al,  1984)  results  show  that  subjects   who  exercised  “had  reliably  greater  increases  in  aerobic  capacity  and  reliably  greater  de-­‐ creases  in  depression”  than  did  the  other  subjects.  It  was  concluded  that  the  findings  pro-­‐ vided  clear  evidence  that  “par cipa on  in  a  program  of  aerobic  exercise  is  effec ve  for  re-­‐ ducing  depression.”

Combats  Osteoporosis! Women  who  par cipate  in  regular  weight  bearing  exercise  may  decrease  the  effects  of  oste-­‐ oporosis,  a  degenera ve  bone  disorder  that  affects   many  older  women.

Improves  Sleep  Quality! Ever  slept  for  8  or  more  hours  and  s ll  felt  exhausted  when  you  woke  up?  Exer-­‐ cise  helps  to  improve  your  quality  of  sleep  so   you’ll  require  less  sleep  and  feel  much  more  energized  in  the  morning!  The  reason?   Deeper  sleep!

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SOME FUN STUFF TRIVIA 1  What  is  the  easternmost  island  in  the  Carib-­‐ bean? a.  Bahamas b.  Barbados c.  Barbuda d.  Tobago 2.  What  is  known  as  “the  nature  island  of  the   Caribbean”? a.  Bequia b.  Curacao c.  Dominica d.  Montserrat

WORD SCRAMBLE

3.  Where  is  the  highest  point  in  the  Caribbe-­‐ an?

5.  This  island,  according  to  the  Guinness  Book   of  World  Records,  has  the  most  churches  per   square  mile  than  any  country  in  the  world.

a.  BVI b.  Dominican  Republic c.  Puerto  Rico d.  St.  Lucia

a.  Barbados b.  Jamaica c.  Mar nique d.  Puerto  Rico

4  Where  is  the  lowest  point  in  the  Caribbean?

6.  Pitch  Lake  is  found  here.  It  happens  to  be   the  largest  natural  deposit  of  asphalt  in  the   world.

a.  Anguilla b.  Belize c.  Dominican  Republic d.  USVI

a.  Curacao b.  Isla  Mujeres c.  St.  Ki s d.  Trinidad

CROSSWORD PUZZLE—BREAKFAST FOODS

CONTACT US: Visit  our  Website: www.backpackproject.ca

Unscramble  these  words  

Email  Us:

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info@backpackproject.ca

ulccroaatl

Like  our  Fan  Page:

saetrlp

www.facebook.com/ TheBackpackProject Twitter:

eye  tgtseorm

@BPP_Caribbean

rruel

Across: 1..  

nboetook fldore

Down:

1..  A  type  of  fruit  spread.

This  drink  is  made  from

2..  _______  and  eggs.

squeezed  or  blended  fruit.

2..  A   3..  These  come  from  a  chicken,

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doughnut-shaped  roll.

grwndia

6..  

served  any  way  you  like.

Light  baked  bu er  cakes  that

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are  

4..  sliced,  browned  bread

cooked  in  a  pan.

7..  

5..  Similar  to  pancakes,  but

This  drink  comes  from

these  do  not  have  smooth

cows.  It  is  high  in  calcium.

sides 8..  This  breakfast  food  is  eaten with  milk  from  a  bowl.

10.homework 7.folder,  8.drawing,  9.  colourful, 4.  geometry  set,  5.  ruler,  6.  note-­ book, 1.stationery,  2.calculator,  3.stapler,   ANSWERS

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The Backpack Project 2014 Newsletter