Roxanne Williams pleads on behalf of her children
It's the start of the new school year and none of Roxanne Williams' four children attended school on Monday. And from the looks of things, they will not be going anytime soon. Williams has been so down on her luck that she couldn't even afford a suit of uniform, bag or shoes for any of them. Roxanne has been going through what she describes as the 'roughest time of her life yet'.
"It's almost two years since I was released from prison, and I have not been able to get a job since then. I was kicked out of my mother's house with the kids with nowhere to go" she said, adding that she has tried desperately on numerous occasions to land a job, but none has been forthcoming. She now lives with a friend in the troubled Bucks Common community in May Pen.
Williams was caught trying to smuggle drugs overseas and was sentenced to two years which she served at the Fort Agusta Adult Correctional Centre. She pointed out that the scarcity of job opportunities, especially for persons with little or no formal education, was the reason for her taking such a chance. Roxanne said since she was released she has made every effort to turn her life around because she realises the negative impact the situation has had on her children.
Family & Religion caught up with her on Monday at the Central High School where she went to explain her situation and pleaded with the principal not to allow another student her daughter's space as she is actively seeking to get her in school as soon as possible.
"I feel so bad that the tears can't even come from my eyes, but I'm crying inside, because I know if I was working my kids would be in school. Since mi go Fort Agusta and come back everything is just going downhill instead of upwards. While I was I prison my kids were under heavy disadvantage: they weren't attending school, they got beatings regularly to the point of injury at the hands of relatives," she claimed.
She says she has solicited assistance from siblings but they refused and now she is at her breaking point.
"I need help with schooling and books. Food is also an issue too but I will continue to try my best to feed them. My main aim right now is to get them into school and get a decent place to live."
She is a mother of six but the eldest who is now 18 has a child and lives on her own. The other, 16 years old is overseas getting medical treatment after he lost his leg after he was struck by a car on Stork Street in May Pen earlier this year.
The 13-year-old girl would have been in grade eight at Central High, had she gone to school on Monday. The others, seven, four and three, are also at home. The youngest struggles with asthma and that is also a challenge.
"I need some assistance with my kids; I just need to be able to school them. I've written several letters seeking assistance including one to Food For The Poor to get a house so I can have a comfortable place to raise them, but to date nothing has happened in her favour.
Persons wishing to help can contact Roxanne Williams at 339-5951.