Letters to the Editor: Caymanian mother is in need of help

 

I was asked by a Caymanian single
mother of four to write this piece for her and as she talked to me, I asked
myself how many other women in this country and in these times that have a
story like hers.

This is what she would like for all
in Cayman to know:

She is a full blooded Caymanian
mother of four children. We begin her sad story in the year 2004, when the
storm Ivan hit this country.

Her house was one of those houses
in the town of George Town that suffered some damage, leaving her and her
family in a pretty big mess. She lost her lights and city water and a lot of
the house was also lost due to flooding. But she is one of those Caymanian
women that knows the old time hardship days, because she was raised up, touched
by her mother. Although she faced this great loss in the storm, she managed
with the help of Almighty God to still stay in her house. That is her only home
on Cayman with her children and her brother, for they had nowhere else to go.

When the time came to restore
lights and water in the house, her house did not receive any, nor did she
receive help from any member of Government or service.

But when the Government of the time
asked for people to come and help clean up the mess Ivan left behind, she was
one of the them that ran to offer her services and help. She worked real hard
on the roads to help clean up Ivan’s big left over mess, thinking by doing so
she would receive help from the Government, but that was not to happen. She contacted
members of Government asking for help; still no help came to her and her
children.

She has been in this no light and
no water position since 2004 until this very day. I found out about her
condition and offered my help, in any way I could. Even a TV reporter wanted to
air her story and cry for help, but she was afraid to go on the TV 27 news.
Since the day of that offer for her to go public on TV with her story, so many
things have happened to her.

She was out looking for work when
she returned home as always to greet the children from school to learn that the
door to her house had been broken down and her children’s clothes were gone.

She received a phone call from
Social Services telling her that the children had been taken from her.

It just so happens that a few days
before this, I personally wrote a letter for her asking for help; she asked me
to write this letter for her because she does not know how to draft such a
letter too well.

Anyway, the letter was done for her
outlining her problem and her needs. She confirmed to me a few days later that
she did not hear anything back. She also confirmed to me she made telephone
calls to Government ministers and got no answer.

This is now a few months gone with
her still seeking  help; still her children
have are not with her and still she has no lights and water. She said Social
Services is paying someone else to keep her children and the reason they took
her children is because her house has no lights and water.

Social Services can help pay rent,
pay bills and buy food for other foreign nationals, but they cannot help her
keep her kids in her house. She was dragged before the court with claims she is
an unfit mother, which was proven not to be true; for even though she did not
have lights and water in her house, she had to wash and cook the old time way,
but her children got good grades in school and went to school clean. Up until
this day her children are not with her, but she has been given permission by
the courts to visit her children, but still no member of Government has helped
her with her problem.

It is a crying shame in this day
and age that Cayman’s single mothers are facing these kinds of problems and
worse; so if you are a single mother having these kinds of problems, do not
hide it like so many of you are doing. Let the Government know about your
problem and if  you do not get any help,
go to the public and ask for help.

I am asking once again on behalf of
this woman of George Town for help from the present Government and from anyone
in the public sector for help.

Her lights and water are still off
and she wants her children back home with 
her.

I have lately received good news
from her, telling me that she has landed a very low paying job at a hotel along
Seven Mile Beach, but still help is needed from all of us.

She is looking forward to an answer
from her letter sent to Government ministers asking for help.

 

Emile S. Levy

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4 COMMENTS

  1. This is truly a tragic story and she obviously needs assistance. Having said that I have read time after time of circumstances like this and there is part of me that says If you cannot afford to support children you should not bring them into this world.
    I know so many children having children on this Island that have no means to support them. As a society we have a responsibility to assist those in need. I just wish that the culture was more geared toward education people into the cost and responsibility of having children.

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  2. This is insane that a government would allow there own citizen to go through such hardships, and to smack her in the face by taking away her children is immoral and indecent.
    As I know little about the Cayman Islands but do have family there, why are there no disaster programs setup for what is an area likely to be hit by huge storms.
    I am, as of now planning a trip in August to visit Cayman, as Im sure hundreds, if not thousands do year round. Why is the money from a country that receives as much tourism as Cayman, not have the ability to fund cases such as these.
    I applaud the writer of this letter for getting involved, and giving assistance to a fellow countrymen in need, cause far to many turn a blind eye to strangers, family, and friends in need.
    Apparently things around the world do not differ as much as my own country. As I see and hear about these types of dis concerning stories here in my own country.

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  3. This is a very sad case and she does need help, but this should also serve as an example to folks that they need to make good decisions and be prepared for the ill effects of life.

    There are programs setup for disasters like this, its called Home Owners Insurance. But unfortunately quite a bit of people chose not to or cannot afford to carry it and then cry for help when something happens. To be without lights and water for almost a decade must mean that she had no insurance and no income and obviously no friends, I feel sad for her and hate to be harsh but although it would be nice for strangers to help, it is not their responsibility or obligation when most folks are struggling to keep their own.

    The one thing I did not hear in this story is, where are the fathers of these children? Young ladies you have to realize that when a man says he loves you, you still have to look out for yourself because when stuff hits the fan you will be the one stuck with the burden. Young men and women need to keep it zipped up or at least use protection, especially with so many diseases going around you have got to be crazy to have unprotected sex unless its with your spouse, its available at every grocery store and if a guy knew nothing would happen without it he wont show up without it. Ladies just stick to your morals a good man will appreciate that and if he turns out to be a bad one at least you wont be left with any baggage.

    Hopefully the younger generation will look at stories like this and say, Thats not going to happen to me, then take steps to insure they dont continue the cycle. Mothers Teach your Daughters and Fathers teach your Sons, so we can stop this cycle thats happening all over the world not just in Cayman.

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  4. Whilst this is indeed a tragic case and my heart does go out to this lady, lets get one thing straight. In this day and age a house without electricity or running water is no place for young children to be and if this woman could not be bothered to take out home insurance so that she could get the house fixed after Ivan, nor be bothered to secure any employment (for almost a decade after the storm) then what does she expect? Social services have done exactly the right thing here. The childrens best interests are what is important and what they are looking out for. If you cannot afford to support children then maybe you should not bring them into this world, especially one without the basic human rights of electricity and running water.

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