Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Sri Lanka: Mission Accomplished!!

4001 more Sri Lankan children will be getting a good night's sleep.
Thank you donors, the children's smiles have said it all. 
It took the work of many caring volunteers to bring this distribution to a successful conclusion.

Dave, on behalf of the wonderful Team Sri Lanka

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Sri Lanka: Home Visits

We were privileged to visit the homes of two bed kit recipients. In the first home, we found three generations --- grandmother, mother, and children, including the young girl who received the bed kit. As you can see, some of the bed kit items are being proudly displayed. Your gifts are sincerely appreciated, and they make a huge difference for families like this, who live on a few dollars a day, and cannot afford even the most basic items.

Team Sri Lanka
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Monday, 9 September 2013

Honduras: Scrapbook of Memories

Our distribution is complete.  We return to Canada with a scrapbook of memories: smiling, grateful children,  new friends and varied experiences that will last a lifetime.  We came in rainy season, but  brought unexpected sunshine.  Our focus was on the children, but we cheered with enthusiasm when Honduras beat Mexico in a World Cup qualification match, their first win ever over a formidable and traditional rival.  Yes, we did accept the thanks for bringing both good weather and a tremendous win with our arrival.

Our work in delivering 5,642 bedkits was insignificant compared to the dedicated labour of our Overseas Partners, the Rotary Club of Tegucigalpa.  Our OVO’s have prepared for several months for this distribution: procuring items for the bedkits; selecting the children of this year’s bedkits; choosing the sites for each of the nine distributions; ensuring security; inspiring many local volunteers to assist with the demands of the daily distributions and ensuring that every donated dollar was spent wisely and effectively.  In addition, the members extended to us  most generous hospitality and warm friendship that we will always treasure.  Their commitment to the SCAW project is outstanding and they surpassed all expectations by themselves donating money to increase the number of bedkits over and beyond that given by SCAW.

The Team - see all of team Honduras pictures here:
Our respective teams met divided in culture and language , but were united in purpose and commitment.  We leave fond of Honduras, loving its people, especially the children.  Our partnership ensured yet another successful distribution.  Work begins to repeat the same for the following year.  Without the help of the Rotary Club of Tegus, their wives and many other volunteers, our mission would be impossible.  The Donations of $35 gave bedkits to thousands of children, but gave us all a marvelous opportunity to make a difference and continue the dream of Murray to give children a measure of comfort and hope for the future.

Honduras 2013
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Sri Lanka: The Team Has Arrived!!

The team arrived in Colombo on time and in good spirits, if not somewhat tired. 

There were many Rotarians at the airport to meet us (at 5:00am).

Dave for Team Sri Lanka
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Sunday, 8 September 2013

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Honduras: The Challenges of a Distribution!

* Amusing children waiting for their turn to be photographed

*Taste tasting, perhaps overeating is more accurate, great food provided by generous and hospitable friends in Honduras

*Manoevering steep climbs and rough roads to get to our distribution site

*Worrying about security

*Getting hugs and giving hugs

*Counting smiles

* Rotarians are impressed!

Friends working together bringing comfort to thousands of children. We are all up to the job along with our Overseas Partners, the Rotary Club of Tegucigalpa, the Women's Branch of the Club, the young Rotaracts , the staff of the Healthy School Program sponsored by the First Lady's Office and numerous other volunteers.

Team Honduras 2013
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Monday, 2 September 2013

Honduras: Santa Teresa de Jesus School

Our team went to Santa Teresa de Jesus School, which was approximately 10 km from our hotel.  It felt quite a bit longer because we were going up through the hills on very windy and unstable roads.Father Patrcio La Rosa, who is originally from Spain, started this school.  He came to Honduras for 3 years, 23 years ago; he apparently loves it here.

The school has 1,600 students, which include 16 boys who board during the school year because it would take them 4 hours each way to walk to school.  They make their own meals and help around the school grounds.

Our overseas partner, The Rotary Club of Tegucigalpa in co-operation with another Rotary Club, the Rotary Club of Metropolitano—who provided 50 bedkits for today's distribution—wanted to bring together other clubs in the area to join Sleeping Children's distributions. This school is a special project for the Metropolitano Club.

There were many university students here today who are affiliated with the Rotary Club of Metropolitano who are involved in Rotaract.  Rotary Clubs sponsor youth groups organized to provide community service, and are called Rotaract.  Also there were youth from the Rotary Club of Tegucigalpa.

800 bed kits were distributed today, and from the smiling faces you see in the photographs, the children enjoyed their new-found articles.


Karen for Team Honduras
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Sunday, 1 September 2013

Honduras 2013: Interviewing Parents

During the course of our daily distributions, members of the SCAW team do interviews with parents of the children who received the bedkits, using an interpreter. One purpose of the interview is to get some background information about the living conditions of the family. The questions include how many adults and children live in the home, how do they deal with health and weather challenges and what their future hopes are for their children regarding education.

Another purpose is to obtain feedback on the component parts of the bedkit. The questions include what is their favourite item, least favourite item and what other items would they like to see in future bedkits if possible.

The major challenges facing the families is Denge fever and the flu. Many parents chose the mosquito net as their favourite item because this could help reduce sickness from Denge fever. Another challenge the families face is the rainy season because everything gets wet and stays wet for many months. Notwithstanding this challenge some parents said that they still look forward to the rainy season so they can obtain drinking water much more easily.

It is interesting to hear that most families sleep on one queen size mattress. They are very appreciative of the mattress being part of the bedkit because not only does it help the child receiving the bedkit, it also helps the remaining family members.

But one thing was very clear during the interview process. When asked for input, each parent was reluctant to "criticize" the contents of the bedkit because they were all grateful for each and every item. It was not unusual for parents to be brought to tears saying they are so poor and they have nothing bad to say about the contents of the bedkit.

Steve Allen for Team Honduras 2013
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