Sunday, July 22, 2012
Nobody's Children and the Least Comfortable My Bed Has Ever Been...
Tonight I am lying here on my 2 ft thick mattress thinking of a conversation I had with my Ghanaian kids a few nights ago. I have to admit, it's making my nice fluffy bed feel very uncomfortable right about now.
As I was tucking the kids into bed the other night, they started talking about the orphanage in Ghana. We were just talking about why nobody sleeps on the top bunk, why the children sleep outside alot, and how they used to sleep. Serwaa and Konto both starting talking about how they used to sleep curled up into a tiny ball. Because they were both sleeping on a half of a mattress. The dogs had eaten the other halves.
The explaination was sad, but made sense. You see, the mattresses get soiled. During the night, the kids sweat. They get bit by 'small animals that live in mattress and drink your blood' (bedbugs?). They wet the bed sometimes. They slobber.... So, during the day, the mattresses are taken outside to air out until the next night.
I had seen those mattresses outside. I had seen the chickens walking on the mattresses, picking out whatever bugs they found. I had seen the dogs lick and eat the soiled parts of the mattresses. I had even seen the cats shred pieces off just to play with. I assumed they were trash- because all trash is just thrown outside in Ghana. Little did I know that those same mattresses were what my children were sleeping on at night.
I asked Serwaa & Konto why they didn't tell me they needed new beds. I would've gone to market that very day & bought new ones for them. I would've never knowingly let my children sleep like that. No child of mine....
Then it hit me. That sickening realization of how small and self-centered my little world still is.
No child of mine... What about the other orphans there? Who would say the same for them? They are nobody's children. Who will speak up for them? I have since spoken to the lady who runs the orphanage. She confirmed what I already knew. The kids are still sleeping on the same mattresses as they were in October when I was there. The ones that had already been half eaten by dogs.
I will go at the end of this week to send money for new mattresses. But I can't buy them all. The cost is $100 for 3 mattresses. (About $33 each.) For anybody that would never let their children sleep in these conditions- please consider doing the same for nobody's children. If we don't, who will?
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.
(If you would like to help- please use the '100 Good Wishes' link on the right. Or paypal your donation to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will include any donations in my Western Union this weekend so you don't have to pay the wiring fee. If you would like to send money directly to the orphanage- please email me. Thanks.)