By Jasminee Sahoye
Most of us believe that a child needs a nice cosy bed to sleep on. The reality is that many people in developing countries, especially children, are deprived of a good night sleep because they do not have a proper bed.
A Toronto woman discovered that in one of the poorest countries of the world, Haiti, which has suffered from natural disasters in recent times, has hundreds of orphans who do not know how it feels to sleep in a bed.
That’s why, Trinidad-born, Allison Harvey, who started a project, 10,000 toys for Haiti, shortly after the massive earthquake that devastated the island and tore families apart, is trying to raise funds to purchase at least 60 mattresses for six orphanages she is supporting through her charitable organization, HOPE Crossing Borders.
Harvey said she is passionate about children and she wanted to make a difference to as many kids in Haiti, having seen how vulnerable they were. She started collecting toys and travelled to the island to spread cheers to some 1200 kids at the six orphanages for Christmas. The response was heartening to the toy donations and she went back the other years to present gifts to the less fortunate kids.
“Lots of people have gone to Haiti to make donations but few have returned. I have been going in December for the past three years,” she told The Camera. She has seen the condition under which the orphans live and wanted to do more.
She hopes to raise enough money to purchase the 60 mattresses in Haiti which cost about $80-$100 each. “Making the purchase in Haiti would benefit the economy as the cost for shipping and clearing is very expensive,” she said.
Contributions are encouraged for this project and already a freelance writer, Nathalie Taghaboni known as Queen Macoomeh, is throwing her support towards it. She has re-released her book Tales From Icebox Land in electronic form, on Amazon, worldwide and all proceeds from the download will go towards buying a bed.
Harvey said her organization hopes to build a transitional home as once the kids become 18 they have to leave the orphanage with no place to live.
She also plans to expand the work of her organization to other countries such as Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana.