By Jason B. Neola
NAGA CITY --- How much sleep did you get last night?
It is a fact that lack of sleep leads to long term issues, especially in young children. Sleep has tremendous effects on health, memory, emotions and academic potential. No child should ever be deprived of a peaceful sleep.
This was given emphasis by a team of Canadian volunteers during a brief orientation-meeting with 6-12 year-old schoolchildren in the jampacked hall of Villa Grande Homes Elementary School in Brgy. Concepcion Grande, here, last Tuesday.
The Canadian volunteers who belong to Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW) Team have been distributing sleeping kits globally since 1970. The event held early this week was the second to be held in the city with previous one conducted in 2016 at the UNC Sports Palace.
The sleeping kits, which the Canadian philanthropists called ‘bedkits,’ were being distributed to countries like India, Kenya, Uganda, Togo, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Honduras, Bangladesh and the Philippines. Their purpose is to provide every child with the opportunity to have a good night’s sleep.
Bedkits have benefitted more than a million children in 34 developing countries around the world and are largely comprised of the following items: a mat or mattress, pillow, bedsheet, blanket, towel, mosquito net to combat the threat of malaria and other vector-borne diseases, schoolbag and school supplies, clothing and footwear. Bedkit contents vary from country to country depending upon local needs.
Underscoring the health benefits of sleep, Brian Cu, past president of Kiwanis Club of Metro Naga, said sleep helps to develop positive thinking, stimulates creativity, helps the assimilation of new information, gives birth to new ideas, and helps children grow.
“It is for those reasons that we feel privileged in Kiwanis to be the steady partner of SCAW Philippines and SCAW Canada in this generous and caring undertaking,” says Donna V. Manzano, president of Kiwanis-Metro Naga.
She said that schoolchildren who suffer from inadequate sleep, irregular sleep patterns and/or poor sleep quality do not perform as well in school as others.
The Kiwanians, as partners, assist and conduct coordinative works in identifying the deserving bedkit beneficiaries aside from seeing to it that the distribution of kits is properly managed and the flow of event.
Before arriving in Naga City where it distributed 400 bedkits at Villa Grande Homes Elementary School, the team visited first the municipality of Sipocot where 400 schoolchildren were provided with bedkits. They then proceeded to Libmanan town to distribute 460 bedkits. The group also distributed bedkits to 800 schoolchildren in Nabua Pilot School and in Tandaay church.
The Canadian team members are Janette Gayman, William Baker, Melissa Baker, Kenn Andrews, Sharon Andrews, Pamela Horricks and their team leader, Kate Poad.