Completed! 7,000 children have now received a bedkit in the Sri Lanka 2019distribution, 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.
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.
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
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.
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
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:
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.