Thursday, October 21, 2010


After several months of planning, I am pleased to report the First Nation Bunk Bed Program is launching.  Here are some of the reasons why we have begun this good work.

Recent studies established that “living conditions for First Nations people rank 63rd in the world - comparable with developing countries - and are the root causes of poor health.”   The Canadian Department of Indian and Northern Affairs has reported that “overcrowding, mould, and unsafe drinking water help spread communicable diseases at a rate 10 to 12 times higher than the national average. Over 40% of homes are considered inadequate shelter.”  Living conditions in First Nations communities in Canada are comparable to many lesser-developed countries.

Since 2005, FTC Canada has been supporting First Nations children and families in Northern Ontario through the distribution of food and supplies and operating a summer day camp. It is a natural progression to consider other ways to help children in the North. 

Sometimes, as many as twenty individuals will live in one home together, which obviously does not provide adequate sleeping accommodation. Family members must take turns sleeping in the few beds they have. Unfortunately, many of those lacking a bed at night are children; who are often found wandering around the reserve in the middle of the night. 

It is an established fact that a lack of proper sleep for children is detrimental to their development and health. Changes in sleeping habits can impair a child’s learning, memory and ability to concentrate. To try to address the problem of a serious shortage of beds we developed the First Nation Bunk Bed Program. This will go a long way to providing proper sleeping accommodation for many children living on First Nations reserves in Northern Ontario.

We are preparing to deliver 100 beds to two Northern Ontario reserves by the end of January 2011.  Volunteers have already offered to go to the reserves to assist in assembling the beds.

The communities are excited about getting the beds. One mother stated how wonderful it would be to have all her children sleeping at the same time, in the same place, at the proper hour of the day.  One Chief related how these beds will go a long way to help change the social dynamics of the community.

CLICK HERE to learn more about how to provide a bed to First Nation children.

Ken Dick, C.A.

Monday, October 18, 2010


FTC Canada partnered with Marwan Hage of Hage's Heros to bring food to families in The City of Hamilton.

Click here to see the video on TICATS TV.


A boxful of bounty can help. For a lot of families money is short and shopping sprees of any kind are not possible including at the grocery store.

Check out the video on CHCH TV.  Click Here!

Friday, October 15, 2010


Saturday October 9, 2010

On Saturday October 9th, for third year in a row, FTC Canada, Marwan Hage and Hage’s Heroes, the Hamilton Tiger Cats and Caravan Logistics distributed Family Food Boxes to families in need in The City of Hamilton on the Thanksgiving weekend holiday.

Eight distribution partners joined forces to serve the families in need including , Eva Rothwell Centre, Hamilton East Kiwanis Boys’ & Girls’ Club, The Hamilton Dream Center, Hughson Street Baptist Church, King’s Way Blessing Centre, West Hamilton Wrap Around, and City Kidz.

Weighing approximately 30 pounds, the Family Food Box can provide a family of 4 with enough food for about three days.  In the 1000 boxes distributed or alongside, were quality products from our Corporate Partners: Nestle Waters, Oakrun Bakery, Advantage Packaging, and Zellers Fairview Mall (St. Catharines).  MacNabb Presbyterian Church also provided food for the boxes.

Each agency identified children and families in need and distributed a voucher to be exchanged for a Family Food Box.  It turned out to be a great day: cool autumn air, clear skies and warm sun. 

Over 30 volunteers from Oakville based Caravan Logistics provided support for the day. Caravan Logistics also donated a truck and driver to transport the food boxes from the FTC Canada warehouse in Guelph to Ivor Wynn Stadium in Hamilton.

Marwan Hage and several Tiger Cat players joined Caravan volunteers to hand out the family food boxes and the Hamilton Tiger Cats and Compass Group supplied BBQ hot dogs for 500 children at the event.

Last year FTC Canada shipped over $1,000,000 of food and other essentials into the city of Hamilton partnering with agencies working directly with families in need of food.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Flying into Guatemala City through rain filled clouds reminded me of my previous visit almost three years ago.  Exciting things have happened since then including the building of a new school, two wells have been drilled and our Medical-Dental Team provided care to thousands.  Well, here we go again!

On November 6th our next Medical-Dental Team will leave Toronto for Guatemala City, Guatemala. Getting the 27 member team there along with what seems like “tons” of baggage is always interesting, but between the time we arrive at Toronto International (really early in the morning) and our arrival at Guatemala City, the bonding process will have begun.  When we come to end of this mission, we shall all be good friends (we hope!).

At the end of September, Dr. Anthony Brown (FTC Medical Advisor) and I spent 3 days visiting communities outside Guatemala City. We met with local community leaders, all of us enduring what seemed like constant rainfall.  Our capable Director for Central America, Efrain de los Rios, drove us up to the side of a volcano to a community where there had been major damage caused by a violent eruption last May.  Black ash still covered the roads and much of the landscape.  Our plan is to take the team into several communities in that mountainous area.

Palencia is a region of more than 55,000 people.  This is familiar territory for Dr. Brown and me. Mayor Beto,  always an enthusiastic host was once again gracious in his welcome.  He smiled broadly when we told him we planned to bring the medical team back into Palencia in November.

It was a very productive few days, traveling the deeply rutted, muddy roads of rural Guatemala.  Our goodbyes to Efrain and the amazing Central America Feed The Children staff were hopeful; it wouldn't be long until we were back together again.

At the upcoming team orientation on October 23, 2010, photos will be presented, highlighting the five communities chosen for the Medical-Dental clinics.  It won’t be long now and we will be off to Guatemala.  I’m excited.  I hope you are too!

Ken Dick, C.A.

PS You can follow the team here at this blog site as there will be daily updates (internet permitting)

PSS You can support the Medical-Dental program by clicking here.