Monday, 16 September 2019

Sri Lanka 2019: A better night's sleep for 7,000 children

Completed! 7,000 children have now received a bedkit in the Sri Lanka 2019 distribution, thanks to the generosity of our donors. 

Pictured here with the child receiving the last bedkit to be distributed are, left to right: Ted Swanston (Assistant Team Leader), Iain Maciver, Karen Morgan (Team Leader), Carol Swanston, Eileen St. Croix, and Lloyd White.

Together, the SCAW and Rotarian teams celebrate the completion of Sri Lanka 2019 distribution.

Team Sri Lanka 2019

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Sri Lanka 2019: A peek behind the scenes

Rains came in cloud bursts, causing flooding in the city streets.

Karen working the camera

Eileen doing the counter sheets 

The factory where this year’s backpacks were made.
Note: The child in the picture below is the son of the owner of the factory, and not a worker there.

Team Sri Lanka

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Saturday, 14 September 2019

Sri Lanka 2019: A musical welcome

Today we returned to a different school Yakwila. We were greeted by children with flowers, accompanied by an all-girl marching band who looked beautiful in their light and darker green costumes.

We delivered 766 bedkits to the smiling children who delighted us with their "thank yous”. We were treated to a delicious lunch prepared by the teachers and parents who also helped us immensely during the distribution.

Eileen & Lloyd
Team Sri Lanka

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Friday, 13 September 2019

Sri Lanka 2019: Each day a blessing

The SCAW team receives a variety of greetings at the different sites, which are selected for us. Being honoured by marching school drum bands, and receiving leis, lotus flowers and/or beetle leaves from the school children are just a few of the special ways to start our day. 

Today, we participated in a candle-lighting ceremony, requesting a blessing for the distribution that is about to take place. This was followed by two young female students thanking donors for their gift.

Ted Swanston
Team Sri Lanka

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Thursday, 12 September 2019

Sri Lanka 2019: Rain? Not a problem...

Thunder overnight and heavy rains as we drove to our site made the team wonder what challenges the day might bring. Our Rotary partners feared the conditions may prevent some children from reaching the distribution site and receiving their precious gift. Our concerns were put to rest as we entered a large, sparsely lit auditorium filled with excited Sri Lankan children. The bedkits were stacked in rows, as their future beneficiaries lined up to be fitted with their new school shoes before their photo was taken. 700 more children will have a better night’s sleep. 

Shoe fitting before getting bedkit

Children were given some food and drink while waiting...

Kolonnawa Rotary and Lloyd just finishing up distributing today’s last bedkit

Ted Swanston
Team Sri Lanka

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Sri Lanka 2019: Getting to know the culture

Yesterday was Rest Day, which we spent touring the Botanical Gardens and sightseeing in Kandy. There, we saw a magnificent garden with thousands of what are to us indoor plants, over many acres.

Today was a long one, with an early start and two distributions. Rains taunted us all day.

When we were done, the local teachers gave us afternoon tea. It was a gesture of thanks from them. The new ESL teacher, a local woman, told us that her classes averaged 40 students. Foreigners, much less tourists were seldom seen, but they felt learning English might be a good start to change that.

Here, we see children demonstrating an act of respect to the (foreign) elders:

Team Sri Lanka

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Sri Lanka 2019: A true team effort

Today, the SCAW team delivered 939 bedkits to central Sri Lankan children. Lots of smiling faces!!  

We could not have accomplished this distribution without the organization and help of the Rotary members of Kelaniya and the local Rotary and Rotorac volunteers.

A small snack was provided to all children receiving a bedkit.

We thank donors who have made this distribution possible.

Team Sri Lanka

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Monday, 9 September 2019

Sri Lanka 2019: A day in pictures

Lloyd and Iain being welcomed.

Curious boys

The Matale Hindu Temple distribution site

Lloyd settling a young lady

Eileen and Lloyd managing the flow of kids for Karen, our photographer

Carol enjoying king coconut water, replenishing body minerals, etc. Far better than water.

Playing cricket with the kids. Iain actually hitting the ball.

Team Sri Lanka

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Sunday, 8 September 2019

Sri Lanka 2019: Sunshine and Smiles

Today we were greeted by sunshine for our one-and-a-half hour scenic drive to our distribution. On arrival we were greeted by the local Rotarians, and the smiles of children and their parents. We were all adorned with garlands.

Eileen had her many friends in Newfoundland-Labrador sew/knit 1,700 finger puppets. They were handed out to the delighted children.

The Rotarians had the distribution site well prepared, and with their help and that of the Rotaract members, we had a smooth distribution. Tonight, 663 Sri Lankan children will have a better night's sleep, thanks to the generosity of our SCAW donors.

Lloyd & Eileen