Sun | Jan 21, 2018

Help! - Deandra Bonner desperately needs a roof over her children’s heads

Published:Monday | June 27, 2016 | 12:00 AMCecelia Campbell Livingston
Deandra Bonner with a box of supplies contributed by friends.
Deandra Bonner's three children.
A section of Deandra Bonner's house.


Mother of three Deandra Bonner is desperately in need of help as the rainy season approaches. Living in the deep rural district of Brainerd in St Mary, Bonner panics whenever it rains.

With the forecast for a number of hurricanes this season, she is now worried about how it will affect her and the children.

The house she is currently occupying is in a terrible state. It needs a door and windows, and its only source of covering is a tarpaulin thrown on top as a makeshift roof. The bed on which they sleep is on a dirt floor and is very uncomfortable.

Added to her woes is the fact that she doesn't have a stove on which to cook but each day must seek wood to prepare meals.

Bonner, who has never shirked when it comes on to taking on any tasks, said in the past, she did a lot of domestic work, but that has now dwindled to few requests coming in.

Putting aside her pride, she is now reaching out for much-needed help.

"I would appreciate any help I can get because my children need somewhere safe and comfortable where they can sleep at nights.

"No matter how hard times get, I ensure I put out my best for them to get a good education," she said even as she made the plea for any kind of domestic or labourer job.

"I am willing to work. I used to do a lot of washing and domestic work, but that has dwindled down now," she said.

Bonner's situation and her attempts to keep her head above water caught the attention of some neighbours and Rowena Prendergast, district constable for Bellefield in the parish, who said she was deeply touched by the conditions they are living under and the fact that she has kept her children in school.

"I have been in contact with the principal at Brainerd Primary and had their records checked. They are doing fine in school and that in itself is amazing, considering the kind of conditions they are living under."

According to Prendergast, she reached out to Food For the Poor, but the fact that Bonner doesn't have a piece of land is a problem.

But for now, she would just love for help to be given to alleviate the needs of the existing structure she calls home.

"Right now, if she can get her existing location fixed up and covered that she doesn't get wet when it rains, it would be great," said Prendergast.

The district constable explained that she currently has more food supplies to deliver but can't as there is no storage for it.

"We have been working assiduously to assist the family. However, due to the extent of help required, we are now reaching out to Jamaicans with a giving nature and those in the diaspora to give these children a safe place to sleep at nights," said Prendergast.