Friday, 31 March 2017

Philippines: Happy Birthday!

Team Philippines 2017 have become one with their overseas partners. For 4 days now they have worked side by side to distribute bedkits so when an opportunity for a small celebration was presented, everyone was happy to take a well deserved break . The occasion was Team member Jan Gayman's 65th birthday and it became an all day event. The children at the first distribution site today honoured her with a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday and a delicious locally made coconut pie. They performed a dance and invited the SCAW team to participate. We quickly discovered that the 8 year olds were much better dancers!

Later in the day we met at a local home for some karaoke and snacks. Our final event was a huge dinner complete with a roasted pig at the home of a local Kiwanis member. For Jan this was definitely a birthday to remember and the rest of us are feeling very fortunate to have been able to join in the festivities. Thank you to our overseas partners and especially Dr. Ito for making this such a wonderful day!

Team Philippines 2017
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Thursday, 30 March 2017

Philippines: Tagaytay

Today we packed up and left Manilla, travelling south to the Tagaytay district for two distributions with a total of 650 bedkits.  Our first distribution was at Silang which is a school run by nuns. They grow an assortment of organic vegetables and raise goats, ducks and chickens to feed nutritious meals to their students.  Our team led a sing-along which both the children and adults enjoyed.

Our team has many jobs that we do for each distribution including interviewing some child recipients and his/her parent. Parents are asked about family life and sleeping habits. We have learned that many families sleep in one room on a concrete floor or a thin mat. During the rainy season, families often are forced to sleep on their rooftops. This information has shown us how important a bedkit can help an entire family.

Dr Ito heads the SCAW Philippine team. Today he was recognized with a donation of 50 bedkits at the Indang distribution. Both his team and the Canadian SCAW team work together closely to ensure that all distributions run smoothly.

Team Philippines 2017
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Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Philippines: Bulacan

Today we were greeted by music from the school children as we entered the distribution site. Then we were entertained by a flower dance from the children. We were so touched by the children singing Oh Canada to us.

After the distribution was completed we toured 3 of the local houses of the children who received the bedkits. The joy on the children's faces and the welcome greetings of their families only confirmed that we had made a difference in their lives today as much as they had in ours. The next stop was to a local Philippine plant who had produced the back pack, an item in each bedkit. We were reassured that the working conditions in this plant appeared to meet the SCAW requirements. A rewarding time was spent by all.

Elaine and Kathy for Team Philippines 2017

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Monday, 27 March 2017

Philippines: Off To Work!

After a relaxing day's rest from travelling , away we go. Our first task was a visit to the "warehouse" where the bed kits are assembled and stored.  From this location the bed kits are also  dispatched each day for a distribution.

Seemed a little strange as we disembarked from the van at the warehouse being in a residential area. The warehouse was Dr. Ito's house. The 5000 bed kits were all assembled at his house and filled almost every room of the house.

We were then fortunate to assemble the last 100 bed kits before we were off to
a distribution for the afternoon.

Our afternoon was a distribution of 300 bedkits at Vista Verde. It went very smoothly.
Before we returned home we visited one of the villages of recipients of today's distribution.
It was exciting to see the kids returning home with smiles on their faces eager to unpack the

Team Philippines 2017
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Saturday, 25 March 2017

Philippines: The Team Has Arrived!

After a long journey, starting in Toronto, the seven members of team Philippines have arrived safely, luggage and all. We were excited to meet Jess from SCAW Philippines who was there to greet us.  As you can see we do not look too worse for wear after travelling for over 24 hours and experiencing a 12 hour time change.  Tomorrow will be a day of rest and recuperation to prepare for Monday, a day of factory visits, meeting with our overseas partners (SCAW Philippines), followed by our first distribution, Monday afternoon.  Be sure to follow our blog.  Lots more to come.

Team Philippines left to right:  Jan Gayman, Jim Miller, Kathy Westbrook,
 Cathy Bury, Elaine Higgins, Pat Toner, Beth Poad (team leader)

Team Philippines 2017
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Saturday, 11 March 2017

Bangladesh: Our Final Day - in Dhaka!

This very unique distribution came to its highly successful conclusion with a final 250 bedkits delivered to the children of Dhaka.

Everyone involved thanks the 6,000 children of Bangladesh for waiting so patiently for their bedkits. Their smiles of delight show that the wait was well worth it.

These smiles were only matched by those of the dedicated members of the Rotary Club of Dhaka together with their volunteers who were on hand to see this distribution completed and witness the children’s happiness.

Sleeping Kits distribution at Kaliganj Karim Uddin Public Pilot High School.
Photo credit The Principal of the School Mr. Khurshiduzzaman Ahmed.

Many thanks to Mr. Khurshiduzzaman Ahmed for bringing these images to all in the SCAW family in Canada.

Bedkits distribution at T&T Ideal Girls High School at Mohakhali, Dhaka, on the last day of sleeping bekit distribution. Total bedkit distribution in Bangladesh was 6,000. Sleeping Children Around the World thanks our donors for making the children smile. Children came early morning in queues to receive the bedkits. It was a day for them of fun and excitement.

Our thanks to Masud Alam for these closing words and for his photos capturing the last day’s joy and delight.

Signing off for Team Bangladesh 2017,
Chris Hills,
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Friday, 10 March 2017

Bangladesh: Mathpur

The penultimate distribution was held today in Mathpur; with 350 bedkits it was quite a slow-down from the 1350 delivered yesterday.

These words from the Rotary Club of Dhaka
Day 8: 350 bedkit distribution at Madhpur Gulnahar Charitable children hospital Pabna. Children came from nearby areas. It was a day for joy and happiness for the kids

Tomorrow the team will travel on to their final destination where the last 250 Bangladeshi children will receive their bedkit gifts from Sleeping Children’s donors. The Rotary Club of Dhaka working with countless volunteers, have enriched the lives of 6,000 children with their warmth and generosity.  

Chris Hills; Team Leader for 
Team Bangladesh 2017
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Kenya: That's A Wrap!!

The idiom "a picture is worth a thousand words" couldn't be more true than here in Kenya on SCAW trip 2017. 

As we traveled from school to school, home to factory and through the streets of Nairobi slums, the picture became clear- the need here is great.

Over the last 10 days our SCAW Team delivered 4000 bed kits! Sweaters,mosquito nets, blankets, towels and comfy mattresses so 4000 Kenyan children can sleep at night and thrive the next day at school.

Thanks to all the generous donors, we have most definitely helped create a more hopeful and brighter future for thousands of children in Kenya❤️

Team Kenya 2017
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Thursday, 9 March 2017

Bangladesh: Kashintapur

1350 bedkits handed out to 1350 delighted Bangladeshi children all in one day!

The Rotary Club of Dhaka travelled east from Pabna (Rowly’s home town) towards the Brahmaputra River to the town of Kashintapur.

There were local elections underway which caused some concerns with travel for some of the children who had been selected to receive a bedkit. Rather than disappoint any children the Rotary team made the decision to postpone the first day and put two days worth of bedkits into one day’s distribution.

The grounds of the Abdul Latif High School had been chosen for this massive 1350 bedkit distribution.  Luckily ten unexpected volunteers arrived at the last minute to help with the workload!

The Rotary Team, assisted by willing volunteers, spent seven hours straight in scorching temperatures, well over 30 degrees, to make sure the 1350 children received their bedkits. A wonderful demonstartion of dedication and commitment. Thank you!

The school Principal help end this successful day on a high note when he invited all the volunteers to supper. What a great gesture!

Team Bangladesh 2017
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Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Bangladesh: Kaligong

Still in the Lalmonirhat District, Rotary Club of Dakha travelled to the town of Kaligong (Kaliganj) for the sixth distribution day. This is again a mainly agricultural region with paddy (rice), wheat, tobacco, jute, potato, and ginger being the major crops.

The distribution was held in the Karimuddin Primary & High School, named after a freedom fighter named Alhaj  Karim Uddin Ahmed who was extremely dedicated to his country. 

The SKD kindly provided this commentary on the distribution:
Day 6 total distribution at Kaliganj 670 at Karimuddin primary and high school. The school was built in 1865. It is in a small village but students come regularly to attend the classes and happy to see few of the student to attended some international competition and secured prizes. Children were well disciplined and came in queues and after the handing over the bedkids some were very courteous and says thank you. It is 1 hour 25 mints drive from Lalmonirhat. We have completed 4050 bedkits and we are now start for Pabna and will distribute 1700 bedkits and rest 250 will distribute at Dhaka.

There were volunteers from the local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts lending a helping hand.

Team Bangladesh 2017
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