The mother of two boys who were murdered in Morvant on Sunday yesterday received two government grants to help her offset the costs of the funeral. Speaking with the media yesterday Michelle Holder said she was happy and thankful for the assistance. She said on Tuesday she did not have money to bury them. Two of Holder’s children—Jamal Brathwaite, 15 and Jadel Holder 9—were shot dead after two men barged into their two-storey home, at Petunia Avenue, Coconut Drive, police said. Homicide detectives said the men ordered the brothers to lie facedown on the floor of the living room before shooting each one in the back of the head from close range.
Minister in the Ministry of the People Vernella Alleyne-Toppin visited Holder’s home yesterday and offered her and the family counselling, the funeral grants—which do not exceed $14,000—a temporary food card and a Digicel SIM card. Alleyne-Toppin said she had a close relationship with the community of Morvant having taught at a school in the district. She said she also did social work in the district. She said she had spoken with Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh to monitor children’s movements during school hours. Alleyne-Toppin added: “The Ministry of the People will be doing the biometric survey where you would be marked so that we would know where every child is and when. That is what the Minister of Education is going to do so you can speak to the minister about it.
“It is a system to deal with children to track whether or not they are in school when they ought to be. We track every child to know where they are. It is a system that I have seen work elsewhere in other jurisdictions,” adding that the same system also would be used on the elderly. The minister made the statement in response to reports that Holder, a pupil at the Morvant New Government Primary School, hardly attended school. She said the system would be “like big brother is watching.” Alleyne-Toppin added that the ministry would provide support for the family after the funeral scheduled for next Tuesday. The T&T Guardian was informed the family would be assisted in reconstructing their home while another one of Holder’s sons has been accepted into the Military-Led Youth Programme of Apprenticeship and Reorientation Training (MYPART) /Military-Led Academic Training (MILAT) Programme.