You are here
Govt to help empower single mom
There was no sumptuous dish, gifts to unwrap or fun and excitement yesterday for Laura Khalawan and her six children at their Longdenville, home. Instead of unwrapping presents, the Khalawans were struggling to find a meal yesterday morning. “The children wanted a bicycle for Christmas but I can’t even buy basic foodstuff,” said Khalawan, 30. Khalawan, whose offsprings range from 11 years to 18 months, said all she could have afforded was a Spongebob bedsheet for them. “That is what put a smile on their faces. Other than that, I had nothing to offer them.” Khalawan, whose first husband died, survives on an $800-a-month survivor’s benefit, while her 18-month-old son Daniel Caines suffers with his heart. Late yesterday, a hamper filled with foodstuff from the Ministry of the People and Social Development was delivered to Khalawan’s home. Khalawan is just one of thousands of poverty victims in the country struggling to make ends meet. Living in a tiny, run down wooden house, Khalawan admitted her life has been filled with hopelessness and despair.
Khalawan’s life started to go downhill when the father of her two eldest children, police officer Reginald Gibson was killed in a hail of gunfire by bandits several years ago. In a bid to feed her children Khalawan found herself in another relationship. “I had four children for this man who has since disowned two of them.” Khalawan said she applied for social welfare over a year ago but was denied help. On Christmas Eve, Minister of the People Glenn Ramadharsingh visited Khalawan’s home, promising to lend a helping hand. Ramadharsingh said he would ensure that social welfare officers visit Khalawan’s home to assess her situation and provide her with a $750 food card. Ramadharsingh also promised to repair Khalawan’s home and supply her with medical supplies and furniture. Tears streamed down Khalawan’s face when Ramadharsingh asked her what she feeds her children. On a good day, Khalawan said she feeds them rice and peas; On a bad day they eat dumplings or plain sada roti.
Khalawan pointed to the flooring of her home where her 11-year-old-son Jeremiah Gibson fell through a month ago. “Luckily he escaped unharmed,” Khalawan said. “It has not been easy. I am just trying to hold it together.” Lying on the floor was two pieces of sponge where the Khalawans sleep, while clothes were stuffed in cardboard boxes.
Ramadharsingh: We’ll help empower her
Ramadharsingh said he was saddened by what he saw. “Her situation really touched my heart.” Ramadharsingh made an appeal to fathers to take care of their children and build back the family unit. “There is a lot of work to be done. We have to show Laura how to empower herself.” Ramadharsingh said through the Direct Impact Programme, his ministry has assisted 20 vulnerable families.
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.