Mon | Aug 10, 2020

A new home for Castie Anderson

Published:Monday | March 20, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Castie Anderson and Douglas Orane open the door to her new home built in partnership with Food For The Poor Jamaica in Woodbourne district, St Thomas.
Contributed Castie Anderson (second left) with (from left) Douglas Orane, donor of her new house; Marsha Burrell-Rose, marketing/development manager and Junior Reid, housing coordinator, Food For The Poor Jamaica after the house was officially handed over.
The house which Food For The Poor Jamaica, in partnership with Douglas Orane, built for Castie Anderson, the 64-year-old woman who slept on the grounds of the Kingston Public Hospital for approximately 20 years, and her daughter Celine Collins-Bryan.

Sleeping on the grounds of the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) for approximately 20 years, 64-year-old Castie Anderson had one recurrent dream. that was to live in a home again.

In 2013, her dream was realised when her daughter, Celine Collins-Bryan, from whom she had been separated for some time, launched a search and found her desolate in downtown Kingston.

"I had been living unhappy knowing I didn't have a mother. When it comes around to Mother's Day and I see people with their mother, I always felt left out. I want to share my happiness with her just the same as how others share their happiness with their mother," Collins-Bryan, a resident of St Thomas, said in an interview recently.

Like her mother, Collins-Bryan also had a dream about a house. The structure that she occupied was tiny and a far cry from what she envisioned for her long lost mom. Her desire was for someone to help her build a new house so she could better accommodate her mother whenever she found her.

Collins-Bryan's joy in locating her mother pushed her to apply to Food For The Poor (FFP) Jamaica for one of the houses they were donating through their annual 5K Run/Walk.

After receiving the application, FFP Jamaica, in partnership with Douglas Orane, former chairman and chief executive officer of the GraceKennedy Group, and his family members decided to construct a house for the women.


Heart-rending story


"It's really a heart-rending story. She [Collins- Bryan] went on a radio programme and appealed to anyone who knew her [Anderson]. She was able to find her and now they are reunited and needed somewhere to live because where they were was very small," Orane said in an interview before handing over the keys for her new home to Anderson.

"One of the things I have done in life is to help those who are in need, and I have found Food For The Poor as a wonderful organisation to do this with because they are very well organised transparent in how they function," Orane added.

David Mair, executive director of FFP Jamaica, said the charity organisation was pleased to help make Anderson's and Collins-Bryan's lives a little better and will continue to support them with sustainable income-earning initiatives.

"Our team is elated to have been able to offer these two women comfort, a new perspective on life and a house. We are now working towards helping 100 more persons with housing from funds we will raise in our upcoming 5K Run/Walk event on May 13," Mair said.

Anderson and Collins-Bryan had high praises for FFP, Orane and his family members.

"We're very grateful. I feel like I am one in a million. It's been a long journey, a very long journey, and we just have to give God and Food For The Poor thanks," Collins-Bryan said.