Corentyne fire victims get help to rebuild lives

A fire two months ago left Ramrati Kumarsingh and her family without their home and penniless, but they are slowly getting help to rebuild their lives.
Since Kumarsingh’s Friendship, Corentyne house was destroyed by fire on August 4, she said kind-hearted residents shared their modest home with her family of four.

But life has still been a little uncomfortable for the woman, her husband and their two children, who have to live without basic necessities.
They are trying to rebuild their lives but “we are penniless right now,” she said, while adding that her husband’s meagre income as a labourer at the sugar estate is just enough for survival.

Ramrati Kumarsingh

However, after President of the St. Francis Community Developers Alex Foster, who is also the regional representative of the Food For the Poor (FFP) organisation learnt of their plight, he moved to help. As a result, last week Kumarsingh was among several groups that received donations from FFP that amounted to millions of dollars.

Among the items she received were two mattresses and a two-burner gas stove. She expressed gratitude to Foster and the Executive Director of FFP Leon Davis for the gesture and for making a difference in her life. “I feel happy that my children would sleep in comfort and not on the floor and me and my husband would sleep on the other one,” she said.

Kumarsingh also told this newspaper that she did not have the strength to continue her job as a domestic worker. It was also “very hard to buy school items to send my children to go to school,” she explained. However, Dr. Ramesh Sugrim of the Arya Samaj Humanitarian Mission donated the school items to her. Now, Kumarsingh said, she is praying that “God would show us the way to get back a house.”

Meanwhile, among the other beneficiaries of the FFP donations was the Women’s Empowerment Group of Edinburgh, East Bank Berbice, which benefitted from six sewing machines. A member of the group said they “would like to do more for the community” and the machines would assist a great lot.
The All Saints Community Developers in New Amsterdam received 30 chairs and 12 sewing machines.

FFP’s Executive Director Leon Davis presenting the sewing machines to members of the Women’s Empowerment Group of Edinburgh.

Leader Marian Tinny she said they would “ensure that young people are empowered.” Recently they helped to enhance the skills of 30 youths as masons, carpenters and brick-layers.

dditionally, the Felix Austin Police College at Adventure, Corentyne received 45 mattresses, 15 beds, stoves, furniture and television sets among other items.
Other beneficiaries were the Mibicuri Community Developers, which received six computers, the Education Department, the Good Samaritan Home, the Amerindian Hostel at Corriverton and a group from Orealla. Members of the groups expressed gratitude to FFP for the gesture and promised that the items would be used to uplift the lives of vulnerable persons.

Davis told the handing over ceremony that “when we find people who are willing to help themselves they are in for a good treat – Food for the Poor would be there to support them.”

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