Keep reading for news on our 2015 Rotary Wheels for Learning Bicycle Distribution Trip to Cambodia!
During January and February 2014, our Team of Rotarians
& Friends from across District 7010 (Ontario, Canada) provided 1,333
Cambodian children with bicycles enabling them to get to school. This, our
third distribution trip to Cambodia, has now provided a grand total of 3,661
bicycles to impoverished children across the country.
The team traveled throughout Cambodia from January 25th
to February 17th and distributed bicycles in 12 target locations in
five provinces (Takeo, Kampong Speu, Siem Reap, Battambang and Phnom Penh).
Our 2014 team was comprised of 28 Rotarians & Friends:
Andrew Walton & Kat Beck
Donna Hanna & Beverly Rogers
Sue Whitley – Rotary Club of Parry Sound
John and Pat Hulme- Rotary Club of Bracebridge
Girvin & Cheryl
Devitt- Rotary Club of Bridgenorth,-Ennismore-Lakefield
Steve & Janice Hayhurst – Rotary Club of Gravenhurst
Carol Cartier & Pete Burrell
Mike & Mary Anne Kinsey- Rotary Club of
Marc Durocher- Rotary Club of Matheson
Lisa McCoy-Rotary Club of Gravenhurst
Steve and Andrea Roberts- Rotary Club of Haliburton
George Kadoke-Rotary Club of Haliburton
Brian & Dorothy Menton-Rotary Club of Haliburton
Ron & Margaret Walton-Rotary Club of Bracebridge
Tony & Susan Davidson- Rotary Club of
|Our 2014 Bicycle Distribution Team|
During our five days of distributions in Battambang, we
were joined by members of the Rotary Club of Battambang, Marram Woods from the
Rotary Club of Haliburton and spouse Glenn, John Tange from the Rotary Club of
Store Heddinge, District 1480, Denmark, and spouse Britta.
We were also very pleased to have Ken Little’s (Rotary
Club of Gravenhurst) daughter Karly and her friend Kathleen Cook join us in Battambang
to add their muscles to the bike assembly work.
We were very fortunate to have as our Local Guide and
24/7 Translator, Sophea Keo. He took care of our every need. Sophea is one of
our A Mine Free World Foundation and Banyan Learning Tree volunteers here in
Another special thanks goes to team member Marc Durocher
– who expertly photographed every bicycle recipient and all of the highlights
of our trip.
We would also like to thank many of the cooperating
organizations in Cambodia that helped choose the neediest of children requiring
a bicycle to get to school and helped organize the distributions and ceremonies.
Om Chamnap, of Banyan Learning Tree and Rotarian Nouv
Saroeun deserve a round of thanks – they made sure that every bike got to its
target location ahead of our team.
Our team’s work involved attaching the pedals, lamps,
bells, baskets and brackets to the bicycles that were delivered by trucks to
our distribution location sites. We also straightened out all the handlebars,
pumped hundreds and hundreds of tires, and performed ‘surgery’ to any bikes
that befell damage during shipment on the rough Cambodian roads.
|Our Team Prepares the Bicycles|
At almost every distribution location, school directors,
teachers and dignitaries had a special
Bicycle Distribution Ceremony planned. Members from our
team would take turns attending the ceremonies and providing speeches to the local
children and parents. One of our distributions was filmed and televised by
Cambodian Channel 5.
|The Bicycle Distribution Ceremony|
Our team also brought over suitcases of donated items –
school supplies, toys and clothes, laptops and toothbrushes and toothpaste,
which were distributed at each location. Our team and its donations, bike tools
and parts traveled many long hours on our 45-seat bus to each bicycle target
At each of our distributions, members from our local team
provided a dental hygiene lesson, with demonstrations given by our team members
on ‘the proper way to brush’. Following the lesson, we provided each child with
a tube of toothpaste and a toothbrush.
|Teaching Dental Hygiene!|
We all had a fabulous time whether at work or ‘at play’.
Most of the bicycles were distributed in the rural areas, where our team worked
alongside with rural folk on the bicycles. We also enjoyed many village-level
experiences including cooking, boating and the local Battambang ‘Bamboo Train’.
Our team also visited many cultural and historical sites
including Angkor Wat, the Killing Fields, Camp S-21 Genocide Museum, the Royal
Palace, Phnom Sampov, a Silk Farm and the Cambodian Landmine Museum. At the end
of the trip, we enjoyed three full days swimming, snorkeling and boating on the
beaches and islands near Sihanoukville- a refreshing rejuvenation after
sweating on bicycle assembly for three weeks under the hot Cambodian sun with
temperatures in the 30’s most days.
|Guided Tour of the Royal Palace|
Our team of Rotarians and Friends gave their all to make
sure each child received a bicycle in top-notch working order.
All this would not be possible without the generosity of
each person, business, club or organization that donated bicycles to the cause
– we pass along thanks from each child that received a bicycle.
NEXT BICYCLE DISTRIBUTION TRIP TO CAMBODIA:
We already have a team forming to head over to Cambodia
to distribute more bikes to needy children. The three-week trip is open to all
Rotarians and their Friends. The date is January 27th (arrive in
Phnom Penh) to February 17th (depart Phnom Penh). Participants are
responsible for booking their own return airfare (approx. $1,300 to $1,900) and
ground costs including all transportation, accommodation and meals
Plans are already underway to distribute bicycles in the
following locations – we have a couple of new areas we will be targeting:
Svay Chrum District in Svay Rieng Province, Chi Pat in Koh
Kong province, Phnom Penh, Battambang Province, Siem Reap Province and Takeo
To donate towards our 2015 bike distributions, you can
provide a child with a sturdy bicycle for $50 in your name, or in the name of a
friend. You will receive a tax receipt (for donations in Canada) and a thank
you letter. Once we complete our 2015 distributions, you will receive a photo
of the child you supported with a bicycle.
Donations by cheque made out to ‘Rotary Club of
Gravenhurst’. In memo field ‘RWFL’, and mailed to:
Rotary Club of Gravenhurst,
DISTRICT 7010 CLUBS THAT SUPPORTED BICYCLES:
Here follow some photos of children supported by clubs
throughout our 7010 District:
|Rotary Club of Washago & Area-Centennial - 20 Bikes|
|Rotary Club of Barrie-Kempenfelt - 69 Bikes|
|Rotary Club of Matheson - 10 Bikes|
|Rotary Club of Bracebridge - 60 Bikes|
|Rotary Club of Parry Sound - 25 Bikes|
|Rotary Club of Peterborough-Kawartha Lakes - 10 Bikes|
|Rotary Club of Bridgenorth-Ennismore-Lakefield - 20 Bikes|
|Rotary Club of North Bay - 40 Bikes|
|Rotary Club of Haliburton - 11 Bikes|
|Rotary Club of Gravenhurst - 240 Bikes|