Thursday, 25 August 2016

Honduras: The Final Day!!

The final day!

You never know what will happen at the conclusion of a SCAW distribution and today was unlike no other. 4000 children's lives have been enriched by the generosity of SCAW donors. "Muchas gracias" was heard over and over today as we end the Honduras distribution. And show their gratitude - the children at the final school performed for us. Little did we know that we would be a part of the performance!

A sincere thanks to all the donors, the SCAW team, the Rotarians and the Rotaracts who helped make this yet another successful journey!

Team Honduras 2016
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Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Honduras: Thank You!

As the end of our distribution in Honduras draws near, we are appreciative of the friendly welcome and gratitude expressed to us by the beautiful children and their parents of Tegucigalpa and surrounding areas.  Each day, the Team has been greeted by crowds of smiling faces and waving children and parents; some days there are banners and signs decorating the entrance to the distribution sites.
The colourful bedkits have popular animated characters on them that are easily recognized by the recipients, who occasionally point out their chosen favourites.

One of the best parts of our days is when, after our work is done, we are entertained by some of the children with singing and dancing.  They seem to enjoy the opportunity to share a piece of their culture and talents in appreciation for the gifts they have received.

Team Honduras 2016
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Honduras: The Rotaracts

Today the usual functions of the Tegucigalpa Rotary Club members were taken over by the Rotaract Club. The site was previously scouted and the organization was handed over to them. They delivered the bedkits to the site, did some paperwork, and planned the snack.They even assisted in making a second opening in the site perimeter to be used as the day's exit.

Thirteen Rotaract members, including 2 who had not been previously involved, oversaw the distribution of 417 bedkits along with the SCAW team members.

The Rotaracts displayed great organizational skills and were so good with the children. They were a delight to work with and to know.

Team Honduras 2016
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Saturday, 20 August 2016

Honduras: Interviews!

We have just finished our sixth amazing day of distributions, averaging over 400 bedkits per day.

SCAW is always trying to improve on methods of distribution as well as the quality and benefits of the items included in the bedkits.  With that goal in mind, several interviews are conducted using an interpreter with parents or grandparents who have accompanied the children to the schools where they receive their bedkits.  When interviewing these people, questions are asked such as where does the child sleep and what do you consider a good night sleep. The interviewer also enquires about the health problems that the family faces and what times of year are the most difficult and why. We are interested in knowing at what age the child started school and at what age the child will stop attending school.

The interviewees are shown all the items in the bedkit and are asked which item they feel is most beneficial and which is least beneficial. They are told that the reason this question is asked, is so that kits in the future would have more high-quality, useful items in them. Most people answer that everything in the kit is most beneficial and there is nothing that is least useful.  They are also asked to suggest a bedding item or article of clothing that they feel would be more useful than the articles presently included in the bedkit, again to make sure that we are providing them with the items that best suit their needs.

All interviewees are asked what they would like to say to the donors of the bedkits and they often get quite emotional. They thank and bless us for coming such a long way to help their children's living conditions by giving them such useful items.

We all feel proud to be part of an organization that can offer children a good night's sleep and put smiles on their faces.

Team Honduras 2016
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Honduras: Dedication of the Children!!

Today we were treated to a special event! Not only do the children spend time everyday with their studies but when we arrived a today's site there were 50 children practising their band performance for the upcoming Independence Day which is still almost a month away.

The school today although in a very poor area was extremely well maintained due to the dedication of the principal, teacher and parents.

At the end of the day the Rotarian SCAW project leader waited while the last 2 boys received their bedkits even after the distribution was complete.  All examples of 'true dedication'.

Team Honduras 2016
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Friday, 19 August 2016

Honduras: Visiting Recipients!

 We had another great day with 444 bedkits handed out to 8 different schools. This was by far the poorest group of children that we have seen. After all the bed kits were handed out we headed out to a community where bedkits had been handed out last year. We visited the home of one 8 year old girl who proudly showed us her bed. It had the mosquito net draped over it and the pillow and sheet and blanket covering the colourful mattress which she got last year. She lived with grandma and 7 cousins.

Then we headed off to a home where we had to walk a single mud and rock path to reach the home of a 10 year old boy. He has to take that path plus some dirt roads to walk 20 minutes each day to and from school. We walked up some steep steps to the home where he and his 2 siblings lived with their grandmother. He too was very proud to show us his bed and backpack. The joys on the faces of these 2 children would melt your heart!

Team Honduras 2016
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Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Honduras: The Rotaracts!!

These young men and women aged 18-30 aspire to provide good will to their country! The 10 members of this particular Rotaract team work closely with their 'padrinos' (mentors) - the men of the Rotary Club of Tegucigalpa  - to enrich the 4000 children who will benefit from the SCAW project. They meet every Saturday evening and prepare themselves for our project. Many of them are working and book time off to participate!

Team Honduras 2016

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Honduras: Actions Speak Louder Than Words!

Imagine these children teaching us how to sing "Head and Shoulders" in Spanish!? While waiting to get their pictures taken we were challenged as were they to be able to keep up with each other. With a little help from our Spanish volunteers everyone had fun!

Here are some pictures from today:

Team Honduras 2016
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Monday, 15 August 2016

Honduras: Our First Day!

Hola! Today the 2016 SCAW Team began the first of nine days in Honduras by distributing beautiful new bedkits to 444 Honduran children. Children were brought to the location by parents and teachers from varying distances. Our overseas partners, the Rotarians of Tegucigalpa, have outdone themselves in sourcing such colourful and child-friendly bedding. The children were excited to choose from a variety of their favourite animated characters and super heroes! Our first day ran very smoothly in a small area within the school grounds and with the help of many Honduran volunteers, organized by the Rotarians.

The Team was pleased and impressed that at the end of the distribution to be given a tour of the Military Co-op which makes all of the shirts and shorts for the 4000 children who will receive bedkits this distribution. We are sure that SCAW donors will appreciate that these outfits will be put to good use as physical education uniforms for the children at school.

The Military Co-op manufactures military uniforms, boots and clothing; these items and the SCAW outfits are produced by almost 500 employees. The industry uses some of its profits to support projects, which include speaking to school children about leading lives that will help to keep them from the gang lifestyle that is prevalent in the country. They support people with disabilities by employing them to perform some of the manufacturing and sewing jobs in the operation.

All in all it was a fun, interesting and inspiring day for the Team. We are busy preparing for and looking forward to our second day tomorrow.

Team Honduras 2016
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Sunday, 14 August 2016

Honduras: The Team Has Arrived!!

Team Honduras 2016 has arrived and will begin their first distribution on Monday. Stay tuned for another exciting journey!

Back Row - L-R: Mike Carravetta, Marianne Tomlinson, John O'Donnell
Front Row - L-R: Theresa Carravetta, Karen Bridgman-Acker, Ricki Miles, Kathy Christie

Team Honduras 2016
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