Hope, a paralysed mother of two girls, is living in a place where she’s no longer welcome, due to lately developed circumstances. She was given a place and was getting help to rehabilitate it, but that, too, has fallen through. Now that she has got an order that she needs to leave – moving the earth from under her feet.
Sherell Smith of Jamaicans Against Violence reached out to Rural Xpress on behalf of the family even as her team is mobilising temporary shelter for her.
Faith, who hails from the community of Bog Walk, St Catherine, said her father, who is a landowner, gave her permission to build, but she just does not have the means.
She said it seems that all her life is an ongoing struggle for survival. Faith, who just needs a break, spoke about her upbringing.
“It was hard on both my parents and they wanted better for me, so they sent me to live in Sligoville with a family friend at age three. I was being abused mentally and physically from around six, as far as I can remember, until I was 16,” she said.
Unable to deal with it anymore, Faith said she decided to return to her parents although it made things much harder on them, as they just did not have the means to support her.
She ended up having to be separated from her family again when a lady her mother knew took her in and started sending her to school.
“I grew up with no love. I would always hide and cry because that’s how I am. I had no one to talk to or vent to until I met my children’s father,” she said.
Faith had her first child at age 18 and a few years later, her entire world fell apart.
In June 2011, soon after having her second child, gunmen attacked her and the children’s father at their home.
“They came on a robbery spree and they shot both me and my children’s father,” she said.
STILL GIVING THANKS
Although things are rough, she is still giving thanks, as the initial prognosis was that she would not make it, but she did – albeit with T-7 paralysis. Her children’s father is also paralysed from the incident.
“Knowing that I just had a baby, and can’t care for them the way I should, it took a toll on my life,” said Faith.
Following her release from the University Hospital of the West Indies, she was transferred to Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre for physical therapy.
Since the shooting incident, she stayed away from the community for a while, but she is now back, and this, she said, has caused her a lot of sleepless nights as she recalled the traumatic experience.
“I am desperately in need of some place to stay. There is no accommodation at my parents’ home. My children’s paternal grandparents are keeping them, but I miss them so much. If I get somewhere stable for myself, I know I will be better off. Being in this situation and can’t even fetch my own water to bathe without asking, it’s sad. But for now, I just have to bear it until better comes,” she said.
Faith has not given up hope, though. Her constant prayer is that she will one day have a home where her children can stay with her and be comfortable.
With her sisters and mother willing to assist and wash for her, she just needs a place and is hoping anyone – family, stranger, or Food For The Poor – will somehow answer her prayer.
Smith added her voice to Faith’s plea.
“It’s our moral obligation to do what we can to assist Faith so she can have a home and a place for her and her children.”
Anyone interested in helping can contact Sherell Smith at 449-3329.
* Name changed on request.