Saturday, 30 May 2009

Uganda: Rukungiri

Click link below to see more photos.
From Uganda 2009 Photo Album
Dear Donors,

There are moments when the gratitude I feel for your wonderful generosity to all these special children overwhelms me. Because of you I have heard the voices and clapping of five hundred little angels as they welcomed us in anticipation of receiving your most generous gift: ‘Their bedkit.’

Because of you I have seen the happiest of smiles — smiles that could melt an iceberg.

Because of you I had the absolute pleasure of giving your gift to the children yesterday ... as I handed it to a beautiful young girl I said “This is for Special you from someone in Canada who loves you.” Her eyes met mine, she touched my hand and said “Please tell them I love them too.” They all do!

Our sincerest "Thank you," for caring so much for these beautiful children who have so little but act as though they have so much.

Together we will have given six thousand children in Uganda hope.

Annette Arnold for the Uganda team

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Friday, 29 May 2009

Uganda: Upcountry in Mityana

From Uganda 2009 Photo Album
We left our Kampala accommodations at 7:30 in the morning knowing that it was going to be seven nights on the bumpy roads of rural Uganda.

Our first stop was Mityana, a rural area in the hills west of Uganda. We arrived to five hundred children lined up outside their government-sponsored school.

We explained to the children the gift that they were about to receive from their donor. The cheers of the children as we showed them the bedkits items was truly heart-warming.

Then our team got into action, ensuring that we kept our promise to the donors of the bedkits.

The photos show our team with the children - Ruth and Annette handing out the bedkits, Shirley ensuring with Sieg that our accounts and labels were correct, and Greg greeting the children and getting them ready for the photos.

To see all the photos, go to the Uganda 2009 Photo Album.

Debbie Will-Dryden for the Uganda team

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Thursday, 28 May 2009

Uganda: Going Upcountry

From Uganda 2009 Photo Album
Short message from the 2009 Uganda team:
Today we leave to go upcountry for seven nights. Hopefully we will have access to the computer. Keep your fingers crossed!
... we also received more photos from yesterday's distribution, including the tire rim school bell pictured at right. To see them all go to the Uganda 2009 Photo Album.

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Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Uganda: Second distribution

Click photos to see larger versions.
From Uganda 2009 Photo Album
Today we went outside of Kampala to distribute 500 bedkits.

We started the day with overcast weather, then it got hot, then windy, then rainy, and finally we ended a wonderful distribution with sunshine.

After the distribution, we ate lunch at the site. Today's site was a government-sponsored school, with children from form one to form seven. The classrooms were bare of educational materials with the exception of a few student exercise and writing books.

We saw the children playing outside, skipping and playing soccer, just like our students do at home. The only difference is that these children were skipping with pieces of twine knotted together and their soccer ball was an empty plastic water bottle.

We could see from the signs posted around the school that the education of these children is all-encompassing.

Today's photos show some of our bedkit recipients with the school signs in the background.

A tire rim is rung like a bell at the end of class.

Debbie Will-Dryden for the Uganda team

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Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Uganda: First distribution

From Uganda 2009 Photo Album
Today our team of six Sleeping Children Canadians and twelve Inner Wheel of Kampala members traveled to Wakiso district, just over an hour outside of the city limits.

We saw many beautiful sights along the way. We saw bouncing billy goats, markets filled with painstakingly arranged pyramids of tomatoes and mangoes, traffic jams and bikes, and bumpy red clay roads.

But the best sight of the day was the five hundred children waving celebratory flags, greeting us as we arrived at the distribution site. This is what we've chosen to send as today's pictures: the smiling faces of the children who received your bedkits!

Debbie Will-Dryden for the Uganda team

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Togo: The distribution is complete

From Togo Photo Album 2009
Mida akpé na SCAW bé amédodowo bena wova na kado dévi 4,000 lé Togo.

Mawu na yra mi katan.

Akpé na Mawu béna dévi 4,000 ho nunana siawo.

Mi kpa eye Muwu na yra mi.

From Dosseh and SCAW Team Togo

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Monday, 25 May 2009

Uganda: Preparing for a distribution

From Uganda 2009 Photo Album

Monday we went to see where the bedkits items were made and the bedkits stored.

We had our pre-distribution meeting tonight here at our guest house with the Inner Wheel of Kampala and our team of SCAW volunteers.

Our first distribution starts tomorrow. We all helped load the bedkits on the truck for the trip to the distribution site on Tuesday.

Debbie Will-Dryden for the Uganda team

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Togo: Nos volontaires Togolaise

Notre équipe SCAW bénéficie des talents exceptionnels de nos volontaires Togolais. Une vingtaine de personnes fortes nous aide avec des tâches variées ce qui fait possible nos distributions.

Les volontaires arrivent sur le site de distribution à cinq heures du matin. Ils accueillent les enfants qui arrivent à cinq heure et demie. Ils habillent les enfants dans leurs nouveaux ensembles. Imaginez-vous la joie et le bruit de ces six cents élèves!

Les volontaires doivent aussi sécuriser le site. Nous voyons souvent que les volontaires ont déménagé des pupitres doubles pour faire une barrière pour séparer les parents des activités de distribution.

Les volontaires supervisent les enfants pendant toutes les étapes d’une distribution jusqu'à ce que chaque enfant soit livré à son parent.

Quel niveau exceptionnel de service donnent ces volontaires aux enfants du Togo!

Leslie Banner et l’équipe de Togo

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Our SCAW team benefits from the exceptional talents of our Togolese
volunteers. A group of twenty dependable people help us with the
various tasks necessary for a distribution.

They arrive at the distribution site at five in the morning. They
organize the children who arrive at five thirty. They help the
children get dressed up in their new outfits. Imagine the joy and the
noise of six hundred children.

They also look after securing the site. Often they'll move desks to
provide a barrier between our distribution activities and the waiting

They supervise the children during every stage of a distribution, from
the time they arrive till they are back with their parents.

An exceptional level of service is given by these volunteers to the
children of Togo!

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Uganda: The team has arrived.

From Uganda 2009 Photo Album
The team left Toronto airport Friday evening and arrived in Uganda today.

Top picture shows the Uganda 2009 SCAW team in Toronto: (Left to Right) Greg O’Neill, Ruth Sealy, Debbie Will-Dryden & Sieg Will (Team Leaders), Shirley Aerts, Annette Arnold.

Bottom photo shows them being greeted at the airport in Entebbe.

Debbie attached a note:
"We are at our guest house getting settled. Tomorrow we are checking out the manufacturing facilities and helping to load the trucks with the bedkits."

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Togo: Two more distributions completed

From Togo Photo Album 2009
At the end of each of the last two distributions, the SCAW Team visited the home of the one of the recipients.

It was made very obvious to us why SCAW has brought us to Togo. We saw homes that were single-room, mud-walled houses. These houses were stifling hot and dark. There was a simple entrance door and no windows for ventilation. The six Canadians found it difficult to believe that a family of as many as eight individuals could live in conditions such as these.

We were greeted by the parents and the children with smiles of gratitude and thanks. The mattress that is part of the bedkit will provide the children in these homes with the opportunity to sleep in a proper bed for the first time in their lives.

We were struck by the fact that these homes did not have safe drinking water. A large cistern collects rainwater which quickly becomes rancid.

It reminded us of our good fortune to live in Canada.

Kathy et l'équipe Togo

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Friday, 22 May 2009

Togo: Garnice's Dream

The Ware Sisters
From Togo Photo Album 2009
It had always been Garnice Ware's dream to participate in a SCAW distribution. We, Judy, Kathy and Linda (In the photo at right) have the privilege to be in Togo with SCAW today.

The welcome from the beautiful children, their families, teachers, and community leaders has been overwhelming.

The opporunity to share a day in their community has given us an invaluable insight into their life. However poor to our western eyes, they celebrate life with song and dance.

Our mother knew this unique travel experience would be both memorable and benefical.

Linda and the Togo Team

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Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Togo: Day 3

From Togo Photo Album 2009
Today we distributed at a beautiful rural school setting north of Lome. We met a community of gentle caregivers who welcomed us to their local school. It was an exceptional day.

It was our privilege to interview two student recipients, two mothers, one teacher, and one father. Kathy Ware expertly led the conversation with these people that gave us a better insight into those things in the bedkit that were valued most. We also gained a precious insight into those bedkit items that may even have greater meaning for them in the future.

This process was facilitated by Segnon, a young Togolese volunteer who made it possible for us to understand the interests of our recipients. This is a process that excites our team as we watch the empowerment of our recipients.

Our donors should share in this feeling of success in the knowledge that each one of their dollars is being spent in the most effective manner.

Cynthia Harris and the Togo Team

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Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Togo: Distribution at Akodessewa

From Togo Photo Album 2009

Today we distributed 602 bedkits at an inner city school.

Despite the heat, it was a very successful and satisfying experience for us and the many volunteers without whom we could never have got the job done.

We met Frank Gafan who is a native Togolese who works with the National YMCA of Togo. He runs a program for young offenders in detention, which has a major focus on the development of these teens and young adults.

He became a full participant in today’s distribution. He emphasized to us the tremendous importance of our work.

He reminded us that this is only possible by your on-going generosity.

Grant, Leslie and the Togo Team

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Monday, 18 May 2009

Togo: First distribution complete

Hi Everybody,

We had a great day in Assome, just 45 minutes away from Lomé. Our drive through the city into the country side was entertaining. The last section tilted our van percariously at times. The real entertainment began as we arrived with volunteers, parents, teachers, and children to welcome us all. We were treated to native songs and dance performed by children dressed in native costume.

We left the site knowing that 420 children will sleep better and benefit from the safety of a mosquito net. The children looked beautiful in their new brightly coloured clothes.

Judy and the Togo team

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Sunday, 17 May 2009

Togo: The team has arrived

From Togo Photo Album 2009
The Togo team met at the beginning of May to prepare for their trip to deliver 4,000 bedkits this month.

Pictured (Left to Right) Cynthia Harris, Kathy Ware, Grant Clark & Leslie Banner (Team Leaders), Linda Ware, Judith Ware-Weil.

Cynthia and Judy emailed word on Sunday, the 17th that they had all arrived safely and were preparing for their first distribution on Victoria Day Monday.

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Togo: Post your comments here

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