“Why isn’t mummy here?”
This is a question that often comes from the tiny lips of four-year-old Danielle Ramsoomair.
Past a standpipe, up a hill at Mon Repos, Morvant, a group of raggedy children are in dire need of shoes, clothes and toys—not just at Christmas time but year round. Concerned citizen/Morvant resident Marilyn Bangoo has been reaching out to the children but her funds are limited. She is hoping good Samaritans would make a timely intervention so the children can enjoy their Christmas holidays. Sporting clothes pins on her T-shirt, Bangoo said: “I help. I help them with groceries. I do the best I can. We are asking if we could get some help. They really do need help.” While they are deprived of material comforts, Bangoo noted they attend St Dominic’s RC and Morvant Anglican RC schools.
Bangoo, who is also the proprietor of the local bar, said: “They go to school. They have to get a little education. They don’t stay home.” When they spotted Bangoo, the younger ones opened the white gate and ran out to greet her. She hugged them. While most of them were clothed, they did not have shoes or slippers. Across the street their mother, Tisha Edwards, 34, emerged. She weaved a tale of struggle. On the flip side, like any good mother she was concerned about her inability to provide for her children’s needs.
Cradling a two-month-old child, Edwards said: “I have eight children from 15 to two months. I am unable to work because I have to get a baby-sitter for the youngest. I really need some help for the children. They need shoes and clothes. We need some help.
“I can’t even think about toys for right now for Christmas. I have to make sure they have a meal every day.” Quizzed on the whereabouts of the children’s father, she bluntly stated: “He’s there...around.” Pressed further, she did not volunteer anymore information. Since the Housing Development Corporation’s (HDC) Colour Me Orange was launched, Edwards said she attempted to get a job but failed. “They sent out police to say they had stopped registration,” said Edwards.
Bangoo on Colour Me Orange
Zeroing in on the possible impact of Colour Me Orange beautification programme, Bangoo said: “They are helping people. I believe it can work.” She complained that while “employment is bad”, the Mon Repos community needed infrastructure like roads, canals and everything. The road where the Edwards family lives was cracked and overgrown with grass in some places. “It desperately needs to be paved,” said Bangoo.