Hot water is a good thing! It allows more thorough cleaning and helps prevent the spread of disease. It is especially critical when a small building is going to house 20 or more orphaned infants with AIDS in the ghettos of Kingston, Jamaica. The urgency comes into focus when you imagine 3 care givers--who do everything from changing an average of 120 diapers per day, to feeding, bathing, providing health care and love to these wonderful children--trying not to spread what ever illness one child might have to the other babies, who, as a result of their AIDS have very weakened immune systems.
This spring, my brother Jay and I took on the exciting challenge of trying to help stop the spread of disease, starting with one facility with hopes of taking it to a global scale. We were alerted to the problems described above by a friend who runs a group called the International Medical Equipment Collaborative based in New Hampshire. This organization re-distributes outdated medical equipment from the high tech world to the third world. They told us that while it is great to be able to recycle this high tech equipment to impoverished nations, what they really need in most cases is just a clean environment in which to provide care. For example, they need to be able to wash their hands properly between changing a diaper on one baby and feeding the next one. That challenge led us to the Mustard Seed Communities (MSC) in Jamaica.
is a non-profit organization that has been operating in the ghetto areas
of Kingston, Jamaica since 1979. Their primary focus is housing and caring
for the many abandoned, disabled children in Kingston. They currently
run six facilities across the island, the newest one being specifically
for AIDS babies. Jamaica, like most impoverished nations, has almost no
government programs to help severly disabled children.
The design of our second systems fit all of our criteria, but the materials were not designed specifically for this use. Therefore, we are continuing to do some long term testing both at our production office in Culver City, CA andwith the facilitators in Jamaica to monitor the system's effectiveness, assess reliability and other potential problems.
For more information on Mustard Seed Communities, please visit their website at http://www.mustardseed.com
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