Tuesday, May 29, 2012

If nothing else, a better night's sleep

By Jody Paterson
Moments ago, I sent the following email to Louis Bachicha, executive vice-president of sales for Sealy Inc. in North America.
I don't know if I found the right email for him and I have no idea if he's the right man to ask for help, let alone if he'll even read this. But I came back from my usual weekend craft day at that sad, fetid orphanage that I have had the great misfortune to stumble upon and I just felt like I had to dosomething. 
Sealy is the biggest manufacturer of mattresses in the world and has plants in El Salvador and Guatemala, both of which border Honduras. Like I told Mr. Bachicha, better beds for these kids will not turn their lives around or save them from what I fear will be much sorrow and deprivation to the end of their days. But it's something, isn't it? 
If you read this and know of a better way to make this happen, a better person at Sealy Inc. to contact, a better mattress or grade of plastic that I should be looking for, I welcome all practical advice.

Hello, Mr. Bachicha. 
I'm a Canadian currently living and working in Copan Ruinas, Honduras, as a Cuso International volunteer. I have recently begun helping at what is essentially a permanent foster home for 30 children here in Copan, and I am writing to ask for your advice and guidance. 
Given that Honduras is second only to Haiti in the Americas in terms of poverty, I'm sure you can imagine what state these children live in. I go up there every weekend to do crafts and such with the children, who are desperate for activities, and many days I feel completely helpless to do anything more meaningful for these kids than to sing songs (they love the Hokey Pokey) and make paper garlands with them. This is not a place of hope, and I am quite sure there will be no happy endings for most of these children. 
However, there is one thing that I think I can do that will improve these children's lives a little every single day, and that is to secure 15 of the most durable mattresses out there wrapped in industrial-level plastic, and at least give them a little comfort every night when they go to bed. Right now, the children all sleep in a single room on 15 bunk beds. But in fact so many of the foam mattresses are either shredded, filthy and wet, covered in excrement or otherwise in a state of complete ruin at any given point in time that on Sunday when I was there, I saw that only three beds actually have mattresses on them. 
Three beds for 30 children, which has to mean that most of those children are sleeping on the filthy concrete floor. Even the wood struts for the bunk beds have been broken by heavy, heavy use and no money for repairs, making many of them unusable right now no matter what.
Read the rest here.

No comments:

Post a Comment