Thu | Jun 20, 2024

Mother of five seeking assistance after fire destroys home, livelihood

Published:Friday | April 19, 2024 | 12:11 AMAsha Wilks/Gleaner Writer
Kashara Reid
Kashara Reid

KASHARA REID, a resident of New Longsville, Clarendon, is still having trouble piecing together her life, which was disrupted by a fire that ravaged her home.

Despite the tragedy having occurred in August of last year, Reid, who currently lives in a one-room dwelling with her five children – the youngest of whom is two months old – continues to struggle to get back on her feet.

Reid clarified in an interview on Wednesday with The Gleaner that her children were staying with a friend while she was out on the road conducting business when the fire occurred.

“On my way coming back I got the call that my house burnt down. So when I come, I lost everything there,” she said of the board house.

Reid added that despite getting four letters from the fire brigade outlining her need for help, which she submitted to Food For the Poor (FFP), the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, and the Jamaica Red Cross, she has not yet heard from any of the organisations.

“From the time that I dropped the letters [in] January ... I don’t get any response from the three places,” she said.

Reid described her circumstances in more detail, highlighting the challenges of managing daily life and her children.

She stated that her agricultural and chicken-raising operations have gradually come to a standstill because the area where her home was destroyed by fire is where she kept her chicken coops and planted crops.

“I’m a little distant from there (the old house) now, so I’m not doing anything now, honestly,” Reid said.

Therefore, she is making an appeal to the public for assistance to purchase materials to rebuild her home on the land she was previously living on.

“Once I get back a roof (home) for myself, I can start up back my little chicken rearing and see where I can get back on my feet from there because I have other plans, but you know nothing cannot execute now because I’m not at a place for myself or anything,” she said.

Reid has a bed and a second mattress which her kids sleep on. Even though she would really want furniture and other household items, given the little room they reside in, this would lead to issues with spacing. Therefore, she would like to begin reconstructing her house.

“I’m just trying to start up back again ... . Honestly, [life] is not really easy,” she continued, adding that occasionally, the fathers of two of her children, an uncle, and two women would help her out with food items and money.

She admits that she tries her best to manage the money she receives so that her kids can go to school and so that she can pay the $5,000 needed for rent each month.

Those who are willing to help Kashara Reid may contact her via telephone at 876-841-1916.

A deposit can also be made to the savings account in the name of Kashara Reid at the National Commercial Bank’s May Pen, Clarendon branch: A/C #564701025.