Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Uganda: 4 — Global Communities

From Uganda 2007 - Photo Album 4
Several of our donor schools have expressed an interest in joining hands with the children in Uganda.

I am certain that all of our donors share this interest.

We acknowledge and thank all of our generous patrons. Join hands with the students of Chisholm School in Oakville, St. Luke Separate School in Oakville, St. Gertrude Separate School in Mississauga, Mary Ward Catholic Secondary School in Scarborough, and North Toronto Collegiate Institute in Toronto in friendship with the beautiful children of Uganda.

Uganda: Photo Album 4

Uganda 2007 - Album 4
From Uganda 2007 - Album 4

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Uganda: 3 — Mayuge

From Uganda 2007 Photo Album 3
Please try to imagine that you are at a Canadian elementary school. Your task is to organize 500 children to receive a gift valued at $30.00. You must instruct and supervise these children to stand in an orderly line on a hot summer day.

The students must remain in this line for up to four hours. They will not enjoy the benefits of shade, food or water. They must remain in these lines without complaint! At the end of this lengthy wait they will be presented with the gift and can then be dismissed to go home.

This scenario is difficult to imagine, however the SCAW travelling team witnesses Ugandan children doing this at each of the twelve distribution centres as the children all wait patiently for their bedkit!

From the SCAW Uganda 2007 Travelling Team

Uganda: Photo Album 3

Uganda 2007 - Album 3
From Uganda 2007 Photo Album 3

Monday, 28 May 2007

Uganda: 2 — Smiles

From Uganda 2007 - Photo Album 2
Our cherished donors, through their heartfelt generosity have brought expressions of joy to the faces of 6000 Ugandan children and their caregivers.

The unique sounds of throat music, the excited expressions of gratitude, the expansive smiles, and the simple gesture of holding hands, all tell of their disbelief and amazement.

Your thirty dollar donation brings hope to a village that struggles with the challenges of poverty and disease.

Uganda: Photo Album 2

Uganda 2007 - Album 2
From Uganda 2007 Photo Album 2

Saturday, 26 May 2007

Philippines: Day 11 — A bittersweet "Goodbye!"

From Philippines Photo Album 11
The Philippines has been an absolutely amazing experience for each one of us. We have successfully distributed 5,000 bedkits to wonderful children.

This effort could not have occurred without the tremendous contribution of the staff advolunteers at 28 Pinehurst, the very generous donors, and, of course, our fantastic overseas volunteer partners.

Most of all, it was our honour to have the opportunity to meet and spend time with these 5,000 children in the Philippines.

Many community and volunteer groups assisted in the activities here in the Philippines and to each and every one of them we thank you. The SCAW Philippines organizational team, as lead by Dr. Juan “Ito” Torres, seamlessly coordinated the entire effort and to this our gratitude cannot adequately be expressed. They are terrific partners and now good friends!

To our family, friends and coworkers: we have missed you and will see you soon!

SCAW 2007 Philippines Travelling Team
Ken Graham (team leader), Elaine McDougall, Anthony Ng, Sandra Dryden, Dave Dryden and Nancy Holt

Philippines: Photo Album 11

Philippines 2007 - Album 11
From Philippines Photo Album 11

Friday, 25 May 2007

Philippines: Day 10 — Our wonderful and diverse donors

From Philippines Photo Album 10
What a treat it is to have the opportunity to see who some of the many SCAW donors are. Most of the following are found in the donors’ labels that were distributed today in the Bicol Region of the Philippines. I am very proud to represent you as I see the happy and grateful faces of the recipients and their families.

So, who are the donors I speak of? Well, to name a few … individuals, families, parents to children, great grandchildren to great grandparents … schools, individual classes, students to teachers, retired teachers groups … people marking births, christenings, birthdays, graduations, retirements and those giving “In memory” of loved ones … senior citizens groups, Sunday schools, auxiliary groups, businesses and organizations … people from Canada, USA and from around the world … people celebrating important milestones, special holidays and important events …

The list of generous donors goes on and one. How wonderful!

The most important thing that I hope all these various types of donors know is that their gift of a bedkit has made a dramatic difference in the lives of these children, their families, and, in this case, their community.

Thank you to every donor. You really have made a difference — one child at a time!

Submitted by: Elaine McDougall
SCAW 2007 Philippines Team Member

Philippines: Photo Album 10

Philippines 2007 - Album 10

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Uganda: 2 — The first 500 bedkits

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Click for Kampala, Uganda Forecast

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Our first distribution was completed at a school where 500 hundred children from the area received a mattress to use for the very first time. Our emotions overflowed.

This school was not like St. Luke and Chisholm in Oakville, St. Gertrude in Mississauga, or North Toronto Collegiate Institute and Mary Ward Catholic Secondary School in Toronto.

None of the schools in Canada have cows eating grass in the playground.

Philippines: Day 9 — Could these mangos be any sweeter?

From Philippines Photo Album 9
My favourite foods are the mangos. I like the smooth texture of the mangos and how juicy they are. I also like the different rice cakes. One had a bread-like texture and the other had a black texture on top and it is chewy.

I also liked the lapu lapu, which is a local fish, and it had a bread-like coating on top and it was soft inside.

To top it off, I like the suckling pig and the skin is hard and inside it is juicy.

In conclusion, I like the duck eggs and it has a salty taste to it.

Submitted by:
Anthony Ng
Toronto Aktion Club President and Awesome Philippines SCAW Travelling Team Member

Philippines: Photo Album 9

Philippines — Album 9
From Philippines Philippines Photo Album 9

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Uganda: 1 — The team has arrived

The Sleeping Children Around the World team arrived safely at Entebbe on Sunday, May 20th.

On the flight from Dubai we met Pamela, a stewardess who orginated from Scarborough, Ontario. She was interested to learn of our distribution plans and assembled a gift of dried food that we received and have brought with us for the orphans that we visit in Kampala.

Our team met with Chairperson Gladys on Monday and visited the area where the bedkits are stored: an impressive sight!!

Later that evening we met with ten members of the Inner Wheel of Kampala and completed final plans for our distributions. We are excited about the days that are waiting for us.

Philippines: Day 8 — The Coconut Tree

Everywhere we travel throughout the Philippines we see the majestic coconut tree – known as “The Tree of Life.” Not a single part goes to waste; every part of the tree/fruit is utilized.

From Philippines Photo Album 8
Here are just a few of the local uses:
  • The meat
    • An important source of food
    • Used to make coconut oil
  • The milk
    • A refreshing and hydrating drink
    • A source of nutrition
    • Used to make vinegar and wine
  • The fronds
    • Thatching
    • Woven for goods such as purses and bags
    • Used to make brooms
    • Wrapping for rice cakes
  • The trunk
    • Felled and milled into Coco wood
    • This lumber used for house and building construction
  • The tree
    • Provides shade
    • Produces oxygen
    • Prevents erosion
  • The husks
    • Used for scrubbing surfaces
    • Filling or padding material (e.g. pillows)
  • The nut/shell
    • Cut in half used to as a buffing tool (when cut in half with the shell on)
    • Used in native dance (dance that tells the story of working the coconut)
    • Made into ladles, soup bowls, belt buckles, center for ukuleles or dish

Distribution note: 2750 bedkits have been distributed — 2250 more to go! We can’t wait!!!!

Nancy Holt
for the 2007 Philippines Travelling Team

Philippines: Photo Album 8

Philippines 2007 - Album 8
From Philippines Photo Album 8

As Murray Dryden used to say: “There is nothing more peaceful than a sleeping child.”

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Philippines: Day 7 — “Dr. Ito, I presume”

Finally I’ve met “Ito,” Dr. Juan Torres, the doctor from the Philippines that *Dad always raved about. Ito and Dad shared a mutual respect for each other and a passion for Kiwanis and Sleeping Children.

Over the past twenty years or so, close to 100,000 Filipino children have received bedkits under Dr. Torres’ leadership.

After meeting Ito this week, I now understand Dad’s feelings for him. He is a character!!! Charming, mischievously playful, and extremely intelligent.

Our whole team thinks he is great. We can’t seem to get enough of his stories and insight!

His volunteer team, that includes his family, friends, and fellow Kiwanians, has superbly organized this year’s distribution — as usual.

Two thousand children have received bedkits with three thousand more to go!

Thanks, Ito!!!!

Dave Dryden
for the 2007 SCAW Philippines Travelling Team

*SCAW co-founder, Murray Dryden

Philippines: Photo Album 7

From Philippines Photo Album 7
Philippines 2007 - Album 7

Monday, 21 May 2007

Philippines: Day 6 — A glimpse into our homes

From Philippines Photo Album 6
Yesterday we were fortunate enough to distribute bedkits at two extra-special sites where we were able to visit the homes of the bedkit recipients.

During our travels through the city we have seen a number of “squatter” homes in public areas such as on riverbanks or under highway bridges. One of these under-bridge neighborhoods is in an area called Escopa. It is home to over 300 families. A year ago, their neighbourhood was completely destroyed by fire. Those that had little were left with nothing. The distribution site was a recreation centre that housed these displaced families for most of the last year. Your amazing gifts to these children have renewed their hope.

The second distribution was in Mandaluyong at a Children’s Home for orphan, abandoned, and exploited children. In the short time we had to visit with these children, they captured our hearts. They also allowed us to see where they were living.

We were inspired by the commitment and passion of the social workers and local volunteers to these children. We know their hard work provides these children with basic needs but also opportunities to excel through their access to school.

On a personal note, the travelling team wants to thank all those who have checked out our live reports and sent us comments. It has been great to read your messages. Keep them coming!

Nancy Holt
for the 2007 SCAW Philippines Travelling Team

Philippines: Photo Album 6

From Philippines Photo Album 6
Philippines 2007 - Album 6

Sunday, 20 May 2007

Philippines: Day 5 — Going home with gifts

From Philippines Photo Album 5
The day is full of anticipation, for not only the children, but parents and guardians as well. Many of the recipients arrive three to four hours prior to the start of the distribution. Like any child on Christmas day, complete excitement wakes them unusually early.

These children come from near and far. Perhaps the journey is a short walk or an one-hour drive in a jeepney. They come by motorized tricycle, bus, or motorcycle. And some walk up to 3 kilometres to get to the site.

What a treat it is to see these same children at the end of the day, their faces beaming as they depart the site with their bedkit!

Nancy Holt
for the 2007 SCAW Philippines Travelling Team

Philippines: Photo Album 5

Philippines 2007 - Album 5
From Philippines Photo Album 5

Saturday, 19 May 2007

Uganda: They're on their way

Most of the Uganda team left Toronto airport on their way to Kampala last night. More reports will be posted as they carry out the SCAW 2007 Uganda bedkit distribution. Sieg Will is joining them later in the week.

Pictured here: (Left to Right) Kathy Devine, Blair Lesage, Linda Lesage, Grant and Leslie Clark (Team Leaders), Debbie Will-Dryden.

Philippines: Day 4 — Antipolo’s rich history

Revised: Wednesday, May 23, 2007
From Philippines Photo Album 4
Our first distribution was in the Antipolo area, which is about a one-hour drive from our hotel in Manila.

Antipolo is named after a type of tree. It is home to a beautiful church which holds the The Virgin of Peace and Good Voyage.  However, it is known by WW2 survivors as a fierce battleground. One of the last battles towards the end the war in 1945 was fought in the hills of Antipolo where many men on both sides lost their lives.

There is still much poverty in the area but today 300 children have received a gift of bedkits, clothes, and school supplies which gives encouragement for today and hope for their future.

Revised by Nancy Holt,
as supervised by Dr. Juan Torres,
on behalf of the 2007 SCAW Philippines Team

(Yes, he is standing over my shoulder right now making sure this gets done while giggling the whole time.)

Philippines: Photo Album 4

Philippines 2007 - Album 4
From Philippines Photo Album 4

Friday, 18 May 2007

Philippines: Day 3 — Our first Aktion Day

Today was a very special day for us … not only was it the first day of distribution but it was also a day which we distributed 350 bedkits were donated by Aktion Clubs across United States and Canada.

Stuart McCormick the President of the Kiwanis Club of Scarborough and Advisor to the Toronto Aktion Club. He has provided us some insight to this wonderful group and a special SCAW team member Anthony Ng:
From Philippines Photo Album 3
The $24,000 CAD funds provided to SCAW for the bedkits were donated from participating Aktion Clubs in North America and the Kiwanis International Foundation. Aktion Club is a service club for adults living with a disability.

The first Aktion Club began in 1987 in Florida and has grown to over 250 clubs with 5000+ members worldwide. Their motto is Service In Aktion. The Aktion Club Service Initiative for SCAW began as a single club BBQ fundraiser by the Aktion Club of Toronto. From there it was adopted as the first Service Initiative with every Aktion Club invited to participate. The goal was to raise $10,000 USD with the Kiwanis International Foundation to match dollar for dollar. The campaign kicked off October 1, 2006 and the funds were raised in just 4 months. Visit our website for more details.

We are very proud of Anthony and his commitment to travel with SCAW and personally deliver bedkits. Anthony joined the Aktion Club of Toronto in 2004. In 2005 he was elected Vice President and in 2006 was elected as President. Anthony is a doer who enjoys helping others. He cares about the members of the Aktion Club and wants to serve his community. Anthony is an excellent role model for Aktion Club, Kiwanis and SCAW. Anthony enjoys food, people and volunteering.

Stuart R. McCormack PLG
Aktion Club Administrator
Eastern Canada & Caribbean
Kiwanis International

Thanks to Stuart for this contribution!

2007 Philippines Traveling Team
Ken Graham (Team leader), Elaine McDougall, Anthony Ng, Sandra Dryden, Dave Dryden and Nancy Holt

Philippines: Photo Album 3

Philippines 2007 - Album 3
From Philippines Photo Album 3

Thursday, 17 May 2007

Philippines: Day 2 — Preparation Day

What a wonderful day the team enjoyed today! We were able to see a wonderful cross section of the Greater Manila area. Our new friends have started to give us a brief history of the city, culture, and people. It is very fortunate that we have such knowledgeable and forthcoming guides.

If we only had one word to share with you about our day it would be “organization” — perhaps “hot” would have come in second?!?

The SCAW team was able to meet with the Kiwanis Club to discuss the upcoming and highly anticipated distribution. The overseas organizing committee has, one could perhaps say, gone the extra kilometre or perhaps ten. Each day, activity, and logistic detail has been well-planned and carefully documented.
From Philippines Photo Album 2

Our hosts also provided a tour of the bedkit warehouse today (where all 5000 bedkits were assembled and stored) and also allowed us the opportunity to observe the last few bedkits being packed. What a great experience for us!!! We were able to see the thought and care that was put into the packing process and also view the items for the first time.

Every company’s supply chain should be so efficient as our host’s operation. The packed bedkit was weighed, measured, and its total dimensions calculated to ensure appropriately sized transports were ordered for each site. (The concern was that if the truck were too small, the bedkit would be compromised.) Each truck has been scheduled for pickup and a superior system of checks and balances have been put in place to ensure the right number of bedkits will arrive at each site in a timely manner.

The entire team is very much looking forward to our first distribution day tomorrow. We promise to send you lots of wonderful pictures of these sweet children!

Stay Tuned!

2007 Philippines Traveling Team
Ken Graham (Team leader), Elaine McDougall, Anthony Ng, Sandra Dryden, Dave Dryden and Nancy Holt

Philippines: Photo Album 2

Philippines 2007 - Album 2
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Click for Manila, Philippines Forecast

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