THE EDITOR, Sir:
TOO MANY of us children are out there fending for ourselves because of negligence on the part of the parents. I am one of those caught in this tangle and it grieves my heart to know that these so-called parents are only sperm donors and carriers, having no regard as to how their children move forward in life. Yet, when we succeed later in life and when they are unable to help themselves or otherwise, we are pressured into taking care of them.
I am a 19-year-old student at present in sixth form and I am totally frustrated with life, and only hanging on because of my own determination and ambition. I have to literally not only sponsor my way through school, but provide food, etc., for myself. I have never been privy to such luxuries as parental support, protection and guidance from my parents.
My mother is an alcoholic and lives with her boyfriend elsewhere, and my father lives in a dilapidated shack elsewhere. My siblings and I live on our own and have to fight life ourselves. Both parents tried to convince me to leave school after ninth grade as "it no mek no sense and dem did leave school at the same age". As far as they are concerned education makes no sense - "Lef school and go work, bwoy." But I was very determined to finish school as I have a dream to fulfil. I, therefore, have had no choice but to take my life in my own hands and find ways and means to furnish my way through school. Education is the only way out.
Through good Samaritans and help from my school, I was able to sit and was successful in eight subjects at CXC, attaining grades one and two. During my studies I desperately needed eyeglasses, and in order to see, I literally had to 'adjust my eyes' to see the words on the various handouts and exam papers. This went on until a good Samaritan came along and assisted me with a pair of eyeglasses. The eye specialist was shocked as to how I made it through high school and CXC without same.
No parental support
There are three of us in my household: myself, my brother (17 years of age) and my sister (16), without parental support. We live on our own and find food for ourselves. Many nights we go to bed without. How can parents just walk out of children's lives, having no regard as to their survival and future, and feel no way about it? The regrettable thing is that my siblings have no ambition and basically do as they please, whether during school or not. They really don't care. But I care and will not allow myself to lose out on any opportunity that comes my way.
I am now seeking a little back room/storage room with a bathroom for myself, for peace of mind and to continue my studies. I can contribute to light and water. I am hoping that I will be able to continue to work part-time after school and on weekends to finish upper sixth form and to continue to fend for myself through life. After which I will search for scholarships to move forward. I thank God for businesses who offer young people an opportunity for the summer, as this is what is now helping me to look forward to a new school year.
Mr Editor, this case is just one of many, and I thank you for the opportunity to share my brief story which is a burden, and which I am unable to understand.
Concerned 19-year-old student