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12th Annual KID’S WEEKEND
December 2016
 
The Bangkok Kids Weekend, known in Rotary as KWE is a major event in our calendar. Each year for the past 12 years the Rotary Club has invited about 35 kids from the Mercy Centre in Bangkok for a 3 day holiday here on the island. These kids really do have a rough start to life, with many coming from broken homes or through losing parents to HIV / drug related problems. The Mercy Centre takes them in and gives them a good education, security, love and family life. If you would like to see more about the work they do, please check out their website at http://www.mercycentre.org/en

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Kids Weekend 2016: Day 1

Our party of children arrived Friday morning in CC Bar, Kanom in the teeth of the worst storm for many years. Though they had travelled overnight, they were pleased to see us! We sent them off to their accommodation for a rest while we prepared to entertain them under cover. All the planned beach games had to be abandoned, not least because the beach had vanished due to the pounding surf! But Charlie in CC Bar is ever resourceful and asked some friends to help, Steve and Mook of EZ Learning. They specialise in organising English Camps for teaching, but they happily donated their time and resources to our group of children. After a buffet lunch and a session of face painting, they moved on to some fun English lessons then some novel team games including making an outfit from paper and cellophane tape! The day rounded off with supper, and then the weary group went off to bed. Rotarians Alex Starkey, Ian Dempsey, Adele and Wally Smith and ex members Gary and Ta Byrne enjoyed their own supper and welcome relaxation ahead of another busy day, though a planned trip to see pink dolphins had also to be abandoned.

KWE Day 2 dawned with weather as bad as the previous day, but perhaps a little less windy. The party of children in their minibuses and attendant Rotarians all set off for Seatran Ferry. The buses had reserved spaces, but passengers had to be paid for. The children were delighted to stand in front of the height chart; they all managed to squeeze under the 150 cm limit for half price tickets except for the smallest member of the group who managed to get under the 100cm barrier and went free! The crossing was surprisingly calm though a squall did hit the ferry for a while. From Nathon Pier, the convoy set off for Top Ten Restaurant in Chaweng, where Chef Thomas awaited them with a delicious meal ready to serve. The children were treated to Pizza and lasagne followed by ice cream. Then it was time to head towards OZO Resort, where, for the third year running, they would be accommodated.

At OZO Resort and the children checked into their rooms. Delightfully the weather relented enough for them to enjoy the swimming – high on their ‘must do’ list! Then it was time to head off to Prana Resort where staff had a fun packed evening planned for them. When the party arrived and went into the Ballroom, they were greeted with applause – much to their delight! The staff at Prana kept them entertained with a variety of ‘join in’ activities until the pace began to slow and supper was announced!

When the children were full and relaxing, the sound of sleigh bells could be heard (courtesy of a clever app on Alex’s phone and a handy microphone). The door opened to reveal – Santa Clause!! Some children rushed over to welcome him and shake his hand. Then Santa settled down in a chair, and President Warunee called out the children’s names for Santa to dispense Christmas gifts all the way from the North Pole!

 

Finally it was time to go with profuse thanks from the children and Rotary members for the generosity of the good hearted staff of Prana Resort.

p.s.It takes a lot of hard work, money, donations of products, and services to make Kid's Weekend and our other projects a successful reality.  We are very grateful to all the people and companies who helped with this event; would you please consider a donation of any size to support further efforts like this in the future?   Click here to donate now (Credit Cards or Paypal transfers are accepted through Paypal's 100% safe & secure online gateway).