Thursday, April 29, 2010


In December 2009, Dr. Tony Brown and I visited El Salvador to search out 5 communities that would benefit from the visit of an FTC Canada Medical-Dental Team planning a trip there for early February 2010. It was not difficult to determine where some of the greatest needs existed. Three communities had been impacted by heavy rains in November 2009 - rain so intense, over a short period of time, that it caused landslides. Landslides that killed!

Many people lost their lives. In one community there was a vacant piece of land where once a house had stood. The large boulders rolling down the hill had destroyed the home, and two crosses erected on the vacant property were a reminder to the community that a grandmother and her young granddaughter were also crushed and killed.

Of the five communities we visited with our medical-dental team in February 2010, three of them had been traumatized by the landslides.

Our trip to El Salvador was a return visit, having spent a week there in October 2009 treating hundreds of people. One notable return visit was to a community of settlers in San Salvador, the capital. A poor community with homes made of whatever material was available, usually tin and cardboard and sometimes wood.

During our February trip over 4,000 people received primary medical attention and hundreds received restorative dental care.

This was our largest team ever – 30 Canadians, supplemented by local doctors and dentists.

Has it been a busy few months? It sometimes sounds trite, but it is true - “it’s what God has called us to do”. I am grateful to the medical and dental professionals and support staff that give of their time and contribute financially to make good things happen for people who otherwise have little or no access to medical and dental treatment; whether in Haiti under emergency conditions, or on a planned team visit to Central America.

Not forgetting, that we would be unable to assist those children and their families without the valuable partnership and support of our donors and prayer partners.

So, have the past several months been normal? Not really. But, we wouldn’t want it any other way. When children and families are being helped, we know God is pleased!

If you have any questions or comments, please get in touch with us.

Ken Dick, C.A.
President, FTC Canada

Thursday, April 22, 2010


“There is no possible way we can get into Haiti!”

That was my first response to the question posed by my contact at the Halton Emergency Medical Services immediately after the devastating January 12th earthquake hit one of the world’s poorest countries. From that moment on we worked hard to make, getting to Haiti, a priority.

Grant Rumford directs emergency medical services at the Mission Of Hope, Haiti, and on that day he was suddenly facing the biggest challenge of his paramedic life. Grant, his wife Sandra and their four children had just experienced their first earthquake – and survived. They escaped from their shaking upstairs apartment by rushing down the metal stairs at the side of the building. What would have been the end of a somewhat normal day at the mission became the beginning of endless days of medical emergencies.

Contact with Halton EMS personnel was to be expected – it’s where Grant worked until the Rumford family moved to Haiti last September. Knowing that their friend and co-worker was facing unimaginable emergency situations, their natural reaction was to find a way to assist him. When I received the call from Halton EMS, together we decided to ask Halton paramedics to indicate their interest in going to Haiti, which resulted in a greater number than we could accommodate in a “first response” team.

The team selected included ten Halton paramedics, one Peel Region paramedic, a pastor, and three doctors, counting Dr. Anthony Brown, FTC’s Medical Advisor. FTC Canada worked feverishly in an attempt to get the team to Haiti, as early responders were in short supply. In cooperation with the Canadian government (CIDA), a flight was secured out of Montreal. The team was on a bus from Guelph January 19th and departing for Haiti at 3:00AM, landing in Port-au-Prince at 8:30AM on the 20th, just hours after a significant 6.1 aftershock; we were in the heart of the disaster.

You can read blog entries from our time there but we were mostly working in middle of Port-au-Prince at the University Hospital. Out team treated hundreds of patients in pre and post-op care – broken bones, severed limbs, lacerations, punctured lungs ... the extent of which I have never seen in over 30 years of working with relief agencies.

After 8 days on the ground we departed for home on a C-17 Canadian military flight, exhausted but satisfied that we had made a difference coming to the aid of Haitians in crisis.

Back home and into the office was a world away from the disaster. It was time to get back to what we might call “normal activity”.

Ken Dick, C.A.
President, FTC Canada

Friday, April 16, 2010


Ali Matthews is an accomplished Singer-Songwriter from Stratford, ON. Her love for creating and producing music has earned her respect from her peers and fans throughout North America. She is also a long time supporter and spokesperson for FTC Canada.

Her brother is Dr. Anthony Brown, FTC Canada Medical Team Advisor, who helped lead the very first FTC medical team to Honduras in 2007. In January, just days after an earthquake rocked Port-au-Prince Haiti, Dr. Brown was working diligently to secure medicines and supplies and coordinating plans with FTC to send a medical team to the country.

As Ali stood back watching all this unfold, she wondered how she might help too. In the best way she knew how, Ali headed into the studio to produce her own version of the Bob Dylan classic, "To Make You Feel My Love". When images started coming back from the team in Haiti, it was a natural next step to pair music and photos and share it with her fans. The following video can also be found on YouTube.

The video first aired publicly at the 2nd Annual FTC Canada Blue & White Gala March 7, 2010.

To learn more about Ali Matthews visit

Thursday, April 15, 2010


April 14, 2010

Guelph, Ontario – Thursday, April 14, 2010 – Instead of bathing suites, sunscreen, and a book for the beach, ten volunteers from the Greater Toronto Area will be packing hammers, power tools, and nails for a trip to El Salvador.

The project has been organized by Guelph based charity FTC Canada. The team of volunteers is heading to the capital of San Salvador to rebuild a dilapidated feeding centre, as well as construct four homes for families that lack a place to live. FTC Canada currently operates a feeding program outside the unsafe building, providing meals for 70 school children each day. Rebuilding the centre will provide the children shelter from the rain and sun.

The team leaves Saturday April 17th for eight days of construction. The feeding centre, when completed, will be a 20 ft by 40 ft concrete, stable building with a patio and kitchen. The four homes will each be approximately 700 sq. ft. The team will work alongside local contractors and families from the community who want to be a part of the rebuilding process.

“Our team is extremely excited to travel to San Salvador and work alongside the community there.” says Jon Sprawson of Design Quorum Inc. “Our goal is to not only build a feeding centre and lay the foundation for some homes, but we also want to come home knowing we helped give children a safe place to eat and sleep.”

Overseas construction projects are a relatively new initiative of FTC Canada. A recently completed project included renovating a feeding centre and painting a school last August in El Salvador. Additionally, a team of medical professionals spent a week operating clinics in several poor communities there in February.

To follow the team and see live updates from the building site visit If you are interested in donating or being a part of future teams please contact Ryan Fletcher at ryan at

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


We trust you have had a chance to read previous blog posts about Haiti. If not, please take the time to read about our emergency medical trip to Port-au-Prince.

Prior to the massive earthquake of January 12, 2010, FTC Canada was partnering with Mission of Hope and others in the country of Haiti. Since that fateful day, FTC has sent medical support, food and supplies and funds to support our partners there.

We have created a report which tells you how we have lent "helping hands" to those children and families most desperately in need in Haiti.

Please click the button to view the report (PDF 2.0MB).

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


April 6, 2010

Pasta, tomatoes and sauce en route to feed thousands in Haiti

Guelph, Ontario – Tuesday, April 6, 2010 – Over the next two weeks $84,700 worth of donated product is being shipped on 4 containers out of FTC Canada’s Guelph based warehouse and bound for Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

The first two containers will have 75,000 lbs of spaghetti, penne, and linguini from Concord, ON based Unico Inc. The second two containers heading out next week will have 93,770 lbs of canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans, and sardines from Toronto based Primo Foods. The containers are scheduled to arrive in early May and will go to feeding thousands of children and their families who are still without homes.

“Canned and dry products are ideal for overseas work and will be of great help in Haiti.” says Cliff Cline, COO of FTC Canada. "We are extremely grateful to the people at Unico and Primo for generously supporting our ongoing relief efforts there."

Since the January 12th earthquake, FTC Canada will have sent more than $560,000 worth of food, supplies and medicine in 13 containers to Haiti. To learn more about our ongoing efforts please visit

Monday, April 5, 2010


April 5, 2010

Spirit day raises funds for Haiti.

Caledonia, Ontario – Monday, April 5, 2010 – 200 students from St. Patrick’s School in Caledonia, ON celebrated the spirit of Canada by raising $1,400 for Haiti relief.

As a way to show support for Canadians at the Olympic Games the school organized a “Spirit Day” where students dressed up in red and white and raised funds to help send packages of dry soup to children like them who are in desperate need.

“I am truly inspired and proud to be apart of the St. Patrick's School community in Caledonia.” says Denis Shaw, a mother of two students at St. Patrick’s and a nurse who traveled to Haiti last month. “The students did an amazing job in doing what they can to help.”

The funds raised by the school are helping pay for the shipment of dried soup pouches which left on a container for Haiti this week. FTC Canada has sent 6 containers of food and supplies to Haiti and has two more scheduled to leave in April.

To learn more please visit

Thursday, April 1, 2010


The president of PeopleNet Canada, Jamie Williams, sat down with FTC Canada to talk about our partnership. Please check out this short video: