How to beat the back-to-school woes
HELLO MI neighbour! Many single mothers, at this time of the year, tug at their hair in search of answers to the back-to-school question. Expenditure items include books, bags, uniforms, shoes, lunch money, bus fares, etcetera. Roughly 70 per cent of these parents are unemployed or earning less than the minimum wage.
Last year's booklist is not yet addressed and the new one is now adding to the stress. And catch this: many of the children, who were mostly absent from school last year, don't know what's in the offing this year. Let's pray for the best.
I interject here that until we can help our young people to make the link between sexual intercourse and childbearing, the fruit of their irresponsibility will be our partial responsibility.
Hopefully, many readers who enjoy this weekly column are not enjoying this piece today, but are being stirred to action instead. The education of our children is not the remit of the Ministry of Education and the individual parents only. Oh yes, a no-brainer. All must play a part. And what of the education tax? We'll discuss.
If our children are not educated, Jamaica will fall off the map. And that's not more far-fetched than a seven-to-one result between two top teams in the recent World Cup. The point is, it is cruel for so many of our children not to be in school on a regular basis due to lack of lunch money, books, uniform, bus fares, shoes, etc.
Despite the tightness of the economy, all it takes to help our children is a willing heart and a little sacrifice. A little from me and a little from you could make that big difference and attract great blessings into our lives. So, if you are a beggar, a barber, a farmer, a helper, a teacher, a lawyer, a pastor or just a reader, let's join forces and fight for the education of our children.
Here are a few simple things we can do:
Visit a school and speak with a teacher about absenteeism.
Call me for a listing of those who need help with back-to-school.
Put away a hundred dollars per week to help a child.
Observe what children wear to school.
If you are dressmaker, shoemaker or tailor offer a little free service.
Find unique ways to help the process.
As talented as we are, we may not be able to beat the world in football, but couldn't we try for education and kindness? Nice!
To help, please call Silton Townsend at 334-8165, 884-3866, 299-3412 or deposit to acct # 351 044 276 NCB. (Bank routing #: JNCBJMKX) or send donations to Hello Neighbour C/o 53 Half Way Tree Road, Kingston 10; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to neighbours
1. Charlene, Kingston for offering dresser, computer/work desk, bookshelf - glass front, twin bed with mattress, kitchen cutlery.
2. Henrietta, for offering kitchen cupboard drawers and doors to a needy neighbour.
3. Neighbour, Clarendon, for offering three brand new white blouses.
4. Neighbour for offering clothing.
Opportunities to help
Neighbour, asking for a baby stroller and clothing for eight-month-old girl.
Neighbour, Manchester, mother of three. Unemployed. Son has disability. Wants to rear chicken or sell toiletries to help make ends meet. No food. Having sleepless nights as a result.
Ms Campbell, St Mary, stroke victim asking for material to help build a fowl coop and some crochet thread to make hats for sale.
Justin, Clarendon, elderly couple asking for a stove.
Andrea, Clarendon, unemployed mother of three asking for a bed/mattress.
Ms Brown, asking for food for blind neighbour.
Carmen, St Catherine, husband is bedridden - asking for bed linen.
Shara, mother of six needs a mattress or a piece of sofa.
Erica, St Catherine, mother of two asking for a large pot to prepare soup as income earner to send children back to school. Also needs shoes for 14-year-old girl.
Neighbour, asking for dresser and chest of drawers.
Neighbour, straight 'A' student in need of a used computer. Mother cannot afford to buy one. Asking for help as a last resort.