this holiday season I want share my appreciation for all of you. I am
beyond grateful for all the support, encouragement and dedication from
our donors, volunteers, students, parents, teachers, staff, Board
members and partner organizations, including Global Giving for the
generous $100,000 matching challenge to help with the rebuilding of the
new Learning Centre. We needed our FRIENDS' team this past year and you
were there, thank you!
there have been challenges over this past year, there has also been a
lot of growth and forward momentum. It is encouraging to look at where
we are today; continuing our programs, developing new opportunities and
now, as Abaco continues to rebuild, rebuilding the new Learning Centre
at FRIENDS with completed plans in January to start off the new
year. Through it all we have proven that team work is powerful, and we
are a team that I am grateful to be a part of. I am very much looking
forward to sharing the exciting future of FRIENDS with all of you.
Thank you for being a part of our amazing FRIENDS family!
Wishing you a safe and happy holiday.
With much gratitude,
from all of
Friends of the Environment!
2020: A look back
was a year for the books for many of us. While we faced a lot of
hardship, we also rejoiced in many shared accomplishments between our
organization and the Abaco community.
Matching Campaign is on a roll!
We are so encouraged by your response to our matching
campaign to launch the construction of a new Learning Centre which will
serve the environmental education needs of Abaco. We are getting closer
to our goal of $100,000 to match the grant from GlobalGiving! Would you
consider joining the ranks of matching donors and helping us reach our
goal by year's end? Choose your amount - it all counts! Please contact us if you would like to discuss naming opportunities in relation to your donation.
Our architects and building consultants at Link Lab and
Homebound have been hard at work taking all of our criteria into account
to design the best facility for FRIENDS' environmental education
programs. There are a few more tweaks to make. We are so excited to
share the full plans with you in January!!
FRIENDS Outreach Influencing Environmental Education across The Bahamas
Reconnecting with Abaco teachers who relocated to Nassau
Many Abaco families
relocated to other Bahamian islands after Hurricane Dorian, resulting in
a number of our teachers being transferred. This month we had the
pleasure of reconnecting with Farrah Cartwright, a former teacher from
Agape Christian School. Ms. Cartwright is now teaching Grade 4 at Summit
Academy in Nassau. We gave her class a lesson on Bahamian mangrove
ecosystems, where they learned about the different species found in The
Bahamas, their importance and more. Virtual learning has allowed us to
do several lessons in Harbour Island and Nassau. It's always
heartwarming to reconnect with our Abaco teachers and we hope to do more
of this in the New Year!
100k Tree Planting Initiative Update
The progress of businesses
and homeowners who are rebuilding in Abaco is encouraging! As part of
FRIENDS' contribution to recovery efforts in Abaco we have partnered
with The Sustainable Lifestyle
and the Department of Agriculture in their 100k Tree Planting
Initiative to distribute plants to assist with re-greening our
communities. Trees that Feed Foundation, represented by Kenneth Banks
and Mary McLaughlin, donated five hundred breadfruit trees to
Abaco. Josefina Adderley-Curry, from the Department of Agriculture
spearheaded the Abaco Breadfruit Initiative with a select group of
farmers. We were excited to receive our first shipment from Sustainable
Lifestyle and began by distributing coconut palms in the Hope Town
community on October 7th. Thanks to the Trees that Feed Foundation, 299
breadfruit trees were distributed among members of the Abaco Breadfruit
Initiative as well. Kiwanis Club of Central Abaco was provided with an
assortment of over 40 native, edible and medicinal plants that were
planted at Central Abaco Primary School on November 28th and Patrick J.
Bethel High School on December 5th. We have an assortment of other fruit
trees and ornamental plants remaining to distribute throughout Abaco.
Contact us if you'd like to coordinate on a project in your community!
Hurricane Recovery Progress at FRIENDS' Campus
campus has seen a lot of progress these past months. Our solar system
has been fully restored thanks to UNDP GEF SGP, Engineered Electric
Services and our 3 apprentices who have been training with them.
Recently, we had the opportunity to have a walk through of the system
led by our apprentices where they explained the new and improved
features of the system. We are very grateful to be "off the grid" once
In addition, we are
renting an office space to Mercy Corp at the Frank Kenyon Centre. This
allows them to have a safe space to carry out the good work that they
are doing for our Abaco communities. Their current focus is helping
small businesses and entrepreneurs reopen their doors following
Hurricane Dorian and increase their sales.
Sustainable Livelihoods Apprenticeship
Green Turtle Cay Marine Debris Program
FRIENDS is partnering with
IDEA Relief and the UNDP GEF SGP for a Marine Debris removal project
along the coast and nearshore waters of Green Turtle Cay. FRIENDS is
assisting with program awareness and recruiting applicants for the
apprenticeship program. Successful applicants will get to be part of
data collection, learn about the impacts of marine debris and how
removing it can limit future damage. They will gain hands-on knowledge
on disaster response, solid waste management and safety. This is a one
month project running through December and January. FRIENDS is happy to
be part of this project and looks forward to offering more sustainable
job training for young Abaconians in the near future. Learn more.
Sustainable Saturday with Hope Town Zero Waste, Driftwood Farms & Air2O in Hope Town
Zero Waste organized a "Sustainable Saturday" in Hope Town this month
with FRIENDS, Driftwood Farms and Air2O Bahamas. Items including
reusable ziplock bags, take-out cutlery packs, reusable bags and water
bottles, fresh produce, eggs and more were on sale for community
members, just in time for Christmas! This event highlighted the
importance of sustainability in an island community and offered
alternatives to everyday plastic products.
A reminder this Giving Season
Would you like to
treat someone you haven't seen in a while, or perhaps buy some Christmas
presents? Here a few options for meaningful holiday gifting that
benefit the recipient and Friends of the Environment!
Don't Send Me a Card!
paper and help the planet while supporting FRIENDS' programs! Use the
money you would have spent on traditional cards and postage to purchase
one of our unique e-cards. Available for Birthdays, Christmas, and other
special events! Choose from the crystal caves of Abaco, native flora
and fauna and more...
Choose your e-card here, with options to send as a business or an individual!
Check Out Our New Redbubble Store
is an online platform where you can purchase products with FRIENDS'
logo on it. Choose from our classic logo or a mermaid design! Mugs,
socks, notebooks, phone cases
Local and National NGOs and community stakeholders
expressed their concern over the insufficient environmental impact
assessment and planning for the proposed "South Abaco: Hotel, Marina and
Residences" project which is speculating for development of a 100-room
6-star hotel, 75 residential lots, an 18-hole golf course, a 136-slip
mega-yacht marina, a marina village with retail stores, and a water park
in ecologically, culturally, and historically significant plots at
Lantern Head and Southwest Point in South Abaco. The nation's second
largest fresh water lens, historical landmarks, bonefish, and birds such
as Abaco parrots, white crowned pigeons, and the endangered Kirtland's
warbler are at risk, amongst other important resources.
Grouper season is still closed through February 28th. Please choose
another protein for your holiday boil or stew! Choosing to eat
sustainably is something that we can all do to make a positive impact on
our environment and communities.
1% Giving for 100% Impact
Learn more about how 1% for the Planet and businesses like Plaine Products help groups like FRIENDS make the world a better place!