Mon | Dec 18, 2017

Fathers brave hectic crowds for back-to-school shopping

Published:Tuesday | August 29, 2017 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin
Patrick Calame, dedicated father from Arnett Gardens in Kingston.
Desmond Bariffe is committed to ensuring that his children get a proper education.
Kameka Reid-Harris and Lamar Harris (left) review their son’s book list as they finalise his back-to-school shopping on Saturday in downtown Kingston.
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Wading through a sea of bargain-hunting women, trying to find the best deal on school supplies for the start of the new academic year, several fathers were determined to ensure their children are not left behind, as they, too, were out shopping at the Kingston Bookshop in downtown Kingston on Saturday.

Patrick Calame of Arnett Gardens in Kingston said despite the financial constraints that he normally encounters at this time of the year, purchasing his children's books is a responsibility he takes seriously.

"As a father, it's very special for me to put out the effort to share this moment. When mi see the crowd here dis morning, I am so glad I was here to help my two daughters push through the people," he shared with The Gleaner.

"Years upon years I have always been doing this, because I take my role as a father seriously. As a mason, I work very hard just to make sure my children are comfortable. I believe we have to stand up, because I know it is a very important responsibility. Ever since I start getting children, I make sure I share this moment with them (back to school)," he said.

 

GOD ALWAYS OPENS DOORS

 

He said though it is a challenge some days to make ends meet, his dream is to see his children achieve their best and acquire opportunities he never got.

"Each of them get $500 to go to school each day, so for the week, that is $10,000 and mi nuh start talk about grocery yet. But as a believer in God, He always open a door some way, somehow. Every day I wake up, I ask for health and strength. I don't even ask for money, because to me health is the most important thing," Calame said.

Similarly, Desmond Bariffe said it has been a tiring yet rewarding experience as he purchased school items for his four-year-old daughter.

"Boy, the crowd hectic bad. I am not quite finished yet. I have my son, but I will have to focus on him next week, I'm just trying to focus on her now. I am really tired and hot, though. She is a little miserable because she nuh stop tell me that she ready to go home," he said laughing.

"I make the effort, though, because I never really get the chance, so I am doing all I can to make sure that my kids get their education."

jodi-ann.gilpin@gleanerjm.com