I have not posted for a while, not for lack of thinking and continued work and interest in Burundi and global health. I guess I have been percolating, brewing, and thinking through the next phase of what I hope will result in more sustainable ways of giving first to Village Health Works and the women and children of Burundi and over time to other places like it. Turning 40 really prompted me to pursue this dream I have had for several years now, and this is it:
I am launching in a few weeks BENNISON, a children's apparel company with a social mission: for every garment sold, we will send a pair of footed pajamas to a sick child in need. Our model is simple: we offer a high quality product, and by purchasing customers ignite a chain reaction of giving, first to the mothers and grandmothers hand making our garments in Lima, Peru, to the children who benefit from our beautiful garments here, and to those children for whom footed pajamas can be the difference between life and death.
While we knew that footed pajamas can save the life of a sick, malnourished newborn struggling with temperature regulation issues in Burundi and places like it, we have learned that the issue of newborn temperature regulation is one that global health organizations are actively working to solve. Organizations like Save the Children have launched campaigns around "kangaroo care" - giving out slings by which a mother can tie her newborn baby to her body to help with temperature regulation and heart beat regulation. Save the Children estimates that 3 million babies died last year from temperature regulation issues. This is a treatable issue, and our footed pajamas play a critical role in solving this, not only for newborn babies but for malnourished children even into their teenage years. We had a 13 year old boy come to the clinic in Burundi a few months ago who was given a size 5 toddler pajama - you can imagine what that means about his weight and how the warmth and comfort of pajamas could be helpful to him.
Please keep your eye out for BENNISON and join our movement. We will be selling our garments and hosting pajama drives, and I hope that you will join our journey to make a difference in this world (a life saving difference) through simple acts. We make giving easy, and we are eager to connect you with those in need through the international language of love, empathy, and the giving spirit.
Please visit BENNISON on Facebook and on our website (forthcoming) www.sendabennison.com