Shauna Rattray - Giving all to the children
Shauna Rattray is all about making a difference in the lives of children from the communities of Bucknor and Treadlight in Clarendon.
After encountering children who were roaming the streets instead of going to school, she could not turn a blind eye. She asked and was told that their parents did not have the money to fund their schooling.
"That bothered me. I could not ignore their plight, and so I started assisting a few children with their back-to-school needs," she told Rural Xpress.
Her assistance led to her forming the Shauna Sheber Chambers Rattray (SSCR) Outreach in February of this year. The initiative is totally funded from her own business ventures - small-scale farming and a bar she operates in her community.
"I help children to attend school, and I also facilitate students with school supplies (books, pens and pencils). The challenge that I am finding though is that the need is great," she said.
For Rattray, it pains her that her limited resources force her to leave others in need of help behind.
"The reality is that you can't help everyone, but thankfully, there are others who have bought into the vision and are also doing their part," she said.
Rattray said the motivation behind her going all out in helping needy children with whom she comes into contact is simple - knowing that she can make a difference in their lives.
"Knowing that I am assisting them to get a good education and reducing the risk of them being listed among the at-risk youth in Jamaica is enough," she said.
Rattray said with the realisation that education is the key to success, she feels it is her responsibility to aid the future leaders of the country in receiving a fighting chance.
The Treadlight resident's conviction also comes from the fact that she also faced challenges of her own while growing up in a large family comprising nine siblings.
According to her, when she realised that her parents were struggling to keep them all in school she and her sister took to the May Pen Market to sell bag juice in order to earn extra income.
"That died a sudden death though when our mother found out! She was so upset," she reminisced.
Now married, Rattray is an active member of the Treadlight 4H Club and the Treadlight Youth Community Club Benevolent Society.