by: Radica Sookraj
Caring Hearts Foundation steps in
RADHICA DE SILVA
For almost a year Mala Deonanan and her three children have been living in a dark, damp house, cloaked by a canopy of vines at Armour Street, Princes Town.
The children—Rianna Ali, 11, Alianna Ali, eight and Leanna Deonanan, six— have no proper place to play and no electricity to help them in their studies. There was no running water to wash, bathe, cook or clean the house and no place to put their clothing.
At night time, the children would huddle together on a mattress with their mother, praying that no snakes would drop from the overhead mass of vines.
In an interview on Monday, Deonanan said she finally saw some hope after Dave Rodriguez, a cameraman, who produces Hardcore News on Facebook, came to her aid and highlighted her story.
Deonanan said the Caring Hearts Foundation, from Rousillac, responded to the story and offered to build a two-room house for her at Princes Town.
She said her children’s father left them several years ago, saying he was going to pick up a job opportunity abroad and never came back. Deonanan moved into her mother’s house at St Croix Road but last year the house burnt down.
“We had no place to go and a relative who was staying in that house told us to come and stay downstairs,” Deonanan said.
The house was in a severe state of dilapidation but it at least provided some sort of shelter for the children.
The flooring from the condemned upper floor was missing and the concrete on the lower floor was always damp and slippery.
Heaps of clothing littered the floor and Deonanan said it was customary to see snakes slithering around.
“We have no place to put anything. We have no furniture and no closets. All we have is a stove but it is not always functional,” Deonanan said.
Director of Caring Hearts Foundation Indira Solomon, who owns an acre of land in Barrackpore offered one lot to Deonanan and a 99-year lease but that offer was turned down.
However, she opted instead for the Foundation to build a house for her at St Croix Road, in Princes Town where she once lived.
“I don’t want to transfer the children out to another school. I don’t want their education to be disrupted. If we live in Princes Town they will know everyone around and we could build a better life,” she said.
Solomon on Monday called on members of the public to assist the family in furnishing their new home. She said someone had already donated all the children’s school books and uniforms.
“We plan to build the house this weekend, just a two-room house and we will try to get them moved in before the start of the new school term,” Solomon said.
Anyone wanting to assist the family can contact them at 375-0857.