Thursday, 30 April 2009

Philippines: Mission Accomplished

The Philippines 2009 travelling team has returned to Canada after delivering bedkits to 6,000 children in the Philippines -- 6,000 children who will now sleep more soundly thanks to our donors.

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Friday, 24 April 2009

Philippines: When it Rains ...

From Philippines 2009 Photo Album
When it rains it pours.

All of our distributions have taken place under tin-roofed open aired auditoriums or school assembly areas. At first the air was thick and sticky as we distributed the bedkits to the children. We wondered if a cool breeze would ever come our way. Well, our wish came true. In a downpour the likes of which we have never seen. The noise of the rain hitting the roof made it impossible to hear and rather than have the children leave the distribution in the rain and risk getting their bedkit wet, we waited almost an hour for the rain to subside.

We all laughed later at the noise and size of the raindrops (We are sure they were as big as we have ever seen.) but it didn't dampen the excitement of the kids as they waited happily -- if it was raining or if the sun was shining -- but, boy, when it rains here, it sure does pour.

Team Philippines 2009

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Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Philippines: A day in the life ...

From Philippines 2009 Photo Album
A day in the life of a mother of six in a shanty town in the Philippines

A mother of six was interviewed by one of the Sleeping Children team and it was very informative. She was asked what a typical day for her would be like.

She said that she wakes up early and feeds her children and then in the summer works with her husband all day in the rice fields. She says that they make about two dollars a day and sometimes less if they can't sell their produce. After working all day she returns to her one-room home where she cooks supper over a wood fire for her family. They sleep altogether on a mud floor and because of the danger of malaria and dengue fever she must wrap her family in blankets to keep away the mosquitoes.

She was so thankful that a malaria net was included in the kit because now they all can sleep under the net and the blankets will not be necessary. She said that the heat is unbearable sometimes in their tiny home. She was so thankful that her daughter was receiving a bedkit and because she said she wanted to teach her daughter how to care for the bedkit so she could give it to her daughter!

She told us that her dream for her daughter had come true!

Nancy Loveless
for the Philippines 2009 SCAW Travelling Team

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Friday, 17 April 2009

Philippines: Treated like a rock star

From Philippines 2009 Photo Album
Wow. What a day!

Due to Manilla traffic,  we had a police motorcycle escort to our distribution site. We were treated like royalty or a rock star!   We certainly felt very special. We felt like  'kids in the car.' ... excited ... chatty ... wondering what's next. Or like the kids felt when we arrived at the distribution.

We arrived to cheering, clapping children. We wove our way through them shaking hands, getting "high fives," connecting, before we set up.

As we saw their large, brown, dancing eyes, and the  excitement  of the day to come, and what was next, we realized that we are all kids at heart.

And as you know ... we were as excited as they were!

Today's picture shows our bedkit recipients of yesterday's blog with Dr. Ito Torres who has been the Kiwanis organizer in the Philippines for the past 25 years. He was a very close friend of Murray Dryden and told us many heartwarming stories about our SCAW founder.

From the Philippines 2009 SCAW Travelling Team

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Thursday, 16 April 2009

Philippines: Former bedkit recipients

From Philippines 2009 Photo Album
Rabundy Simbulan (Centre in photograph) from Manila received a bedkit in 1983. He is now age 31 and teaching Choreography in a Manila college. He brought to the distribution clothing from his original bedkit to show us proudly. His mother saved these articles because she was so impressed with the quality. His clothing had the SCAW identification on them but this practice was discontinued because it was thought that it would mark the child as being poor but in fact we learned today that it was status symbol and he told us he proudly wore these pyjamas to school.

On left is Fatima Salazer, 17 years old, from Manila area who received a bedkit at eight years of age now is a student at PSBA college in business management.

On the right is Christine Joy Evangeliste, now age 19, who received a bedkit at ten years old. She is now quite proud to be a McDonald's employee and we extracted from her that she is going back to a college in June for computer programming.

From the Philippines 2009 SCAW Travelling Team

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Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Philippines: The Team has Arrived

In the Philippines, 6,000 children will receive bedkits from Sleeping Children's 2009 travelling team: (Left to right) Tom Chudleigh, Carol Rolph, Ken Graham (Team Leadre), Marilyn Oliveros, Warren Wagstaff, and Nancy Loveless.

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