Tuesday, 30 October 2012
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Today our distribution was at El Carrizal, an inner city school in the capital city of Tegucigalpa. During this largest distribution of 717 bedkits, we were advised that the First Lady of Honduras would be visiting the site. The First Ladies of Honduras have traditionally been the sponsors of the Healthy Schools Program and supporters of the SCAW bedkit distribution for the past 11 years. Many volunteers from the program assist in our daily distributions. There was a great deal of anticipation awaiting her arrival among the Rotarians, Healthy Schools volunteers, students and our SCAW team. When she arrived with her entourage (TV cameramen, photographers, secret service and military), it was quite a scene. The first lady followed the bedkit distribution process through each of its steps while always stopping and talking with the various volunteers. All the TV cameras were rolling for this stop. She particularly quite enjoyed talking with some of the children, particularly those who were receiving bedkits after their photos were taken. It was obvious that the First Lady’s support for our program is genuine and heartfelt.
The media have been very interested in the SCAW distribution and our partners, the Rotary Club of Tegucigalpa. Many days have been interrupted with various TV personnel tracking the distribution and interviewing SCAW members, other volunteers and the children receiving bedkits. Our good work is spreading throughout the city. In every instance, SCAW’s contribution to the betterment of the lives of 5000 children has been met with gratitude. So far, we have touched the lives of 3490 children. It has been a great experience.
On behalf of the SCAW team 2012
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Monday, 29 October 2012
Everyday begins as a new adventure. It is the rainy season in Honduras. We rise with the hope the sun will break through the clouds and bathe the children in its warmth as they prepare for the photo shoot and get their bedkits. Occasionally we have had to retreat into a classroom or find shelter under a canopy. But nature has been kind and heavy rains wait until the last snap of the camera shutter and the last child has been given the treasure of a bedkit.
The roads and countryside have not however escaped the wrath of heavy rains that have plagued Honduras for some time. Flooding has closed some; others have been heavily pitted creating ditches that must be carefully navigated by our driver. The natural contours of the countryside lend themselves to steep, narrow and muddy passageways that challenge both the driver and the many children we see going to school. Some families have lost their homes, mudslides taking their humble homes with them. Imagine the importance of the mattress of the bedkit that protects a child from the dampness of a mud floor.
On Saturday, we distributed 662 bedkits in Amarateca, a considerable distance from Tegucigalpa, high in the mountains. The poverty of the children was quite noticeable as was their obvious delight in receiving the bedkit. The mattress continues to be the most popular item in the bedkit, but every item is a treasure. School supplies, for example, are very much appreciated, for now the family has more money to spend on food. The blanket provides warmth and comfort during the cold evenings of the rainy season. Clothes are always a welcome addition as is the mosquito net which particularly is needed when dengue fever epidemics arise. Each donor of a bedkit can be sure that their money has brought incredible aid and comfort to a child. If only we could bring back the warmth and true gratitude of each child’s smile as they receive a bedkit. It is a memory never to be forgotten.
On behalf the the Honduras SCAW team 2012