Wednesday, 19 June 2013
To ensure higher level of service… $158.4M Polic... » COMMANDER-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President ...
FAO recognises Guyana for meeting anti-hunger targ... » GUYANA is among 18 countries recognised at a speci...
State-of-the-art forensic lab to open soon - Rohee... » CONTRACTORS have requested one more week to finish...
Pomeroon farmers to export coconut water to Trinid... » COUNCILLOR of the Region 2 Regional Democratic Cou...
‘Terrorist’ Colin Jones convicted of Health M... » COLIN Jones, charged with the 2009 burning of the ...
Alleged woman beating… No place for rogue cops i... » THE Ministry of Home Affairs said, yesterday, that...
President Ramotar urges emulation of Enmore Martyr... » PRESIDENT Donald Ramotar yesterday called upon tho...
|Two months after fire…|
|Saturday, 09 June 2012 20:26|
Parfaite Harmonie woman still haunted by loss of niece, nephew
- struggling to come to terms with consequences
MORE than two months after she lost her niece and nephew in a fire at their La Parfaite Harmonie, West Bank Demerara home, Roxanne Douglas says she is still trying to put the pieces of her life back together. The woman spoke with this publication on Tuesday afternoon. Roxanne, who celebrated her birthday Friday, said she will be spending the day at home where she will be praying and thanking God for spared lives. Though this birthday will obviously be one of the saddest she has ever had, Roxanne is looking to be comforted by her relatives, especially her other nieces and nephews.
When the Guyana Chronicle visited her home, she was busy getting items for her brother who was getting ready to visit their father, now in hospital awaiting emergency surgery.
According to Douglas, the rest of the family has been making it slowly but surely with the assistance of persons from the area, friends and others who remember them from time to time.
A part-time teacher with NCERD (National Centre for Education Resource Development), Douglas related that she is unable to operate a shop that she did prior to the fire. Her reason was the limited resources available to her, and more so the time which she does not have, especially since the hospitalisation of her father. She said that she continues to teach part time, and that is two days a week when she teaches remedial classes for school drop outs.
Asked about other sources of assistance, the woman credited Food for the Poor Inc, the Guyana Relief Council, the Lion’s Club, Brickdam Cathedral, and strangers who will make surprise visits on the recommendation of others. She added that the political party, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) has also rendered assistance to the family. Ms. Douglas pointed out that she has been gifted with clothing, beds, cooking utensils and other much needed items.
There were five children in the home at the time of the fire on April 4. While two perished, the other three made their way out the house through the windows by jumping several feet.
Those who died were Andrea James and Jarvis Douglas, while the survivors are Brian Douglas, Dillon Douglas and Andre James.
Visibly struggling to hold back her tears, Douglas explained that the children are coping well, and turning out to school has also helped the healing process a lot. She said that the children were kept at home for almost a month. They returned to school the week after the burial of their cousin and sibling.
Ms. Douglas told the Chronicle that after the incident, among the many visitors and comforters were officers from the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security. She said the officers promised to return and engage the children in counselling sessions but this was never done.
Douglas now uses a section of the unsecured lower flat as her sitting room. It is situated in such a manner that one can stand from the road and watch her television, since there are no walls and no door to that area of the house.
Prior to the fire, Douglas was living in the upper flat of her home, with the five children, none of which are hers=. The woman was caring for her nephews and nieces, and continues to do so. The fire completely destroyed the upper flat of the building. Now, the family is forced to live in the lower flat of the building which was unfinished prior to the fire.
After securing a loan from the bank, the woman had built the home with her father acting as the main contractor, as he is a carpenter by profession.
Then following the fire, with the financial assistance she was able to secure, she did the floor for the upper flat and covered it with a tarpaulin which now serves as the roof to the lower flat in which they now live.
The woman said that whenever it rains, water pours
into the room. She recalled that recently, the children were forced to miss school since their belongings were saturated when the rains came. Ms. Douglas said that there are times when the children will complain about the present living conditions. When this happens, she has to play the role of a mother and social worker by comforting the children and reminding them that she continues to do everything in her power to ensure that they are comfortable.
The woman said the biggest worry for the family is getting the roof of the house fixed. When this publication visited the home on Tuesday, it was evident that the family had done some work to make the lower flat of the building a bit comfortable for living, and especially for the children. Douglas ensured that she secured a television set and DVD player to keep the children entertained and which acts as a tool to keep their minds off the negative experiences thy had on that fatal night.
Douglas said that works on the house is at a standstill, because of her father’s hospitalisation and the lack of resources both financial and otherwise.
While she would like to have the house completed in the shortest possible time, she expressed skepticism about this soon becoming a reality. She added that she will be approaching a hardware store to negotiate discounts on materials for the completion of the home.
Douglas makes it clear that her ability and courage to remain strong lies largely with the residents of the community, who makes it possible with their support in all forms.
The woman expressed the hope to also restart her poultry business, which she had been involved in prior to the fire.
When the Chronicle took a walk around the premises on Tuesday, it was evident that attempts were being made to have the operation restarted. Several ducks were seen in a not so secure pen.
More Lead Stories
- Cane Grove Village : --A thriving agricultural commune, with endless economic possibilities
- Medgar Evers ‘undergrad’ pledges to ‘pay it forward’ : --help fellow young Berbicians realize their dream
- Creolese: A language all of its own
- Enmore Martyrs and… : The advancement of the Working Class Struggle in Guyana
- "Gun Hill Road" for Sidewalk Café tonight