Though Corina Jeffers and her family of Stewartville, West Coast Berbice are Christians and badly want to be part of the Christmas celebrations, they would not be able to because of poverty.
Unlike other persons, they could not shop fancy decorations and fairy lights, clothing or goodies and the day would be nothing but an ordinary for them.
She planned to cook a meal of “chicken curry and rice” if she gets some money and “just chill out. It would be a normal day for me and my family.”
Corina, 34, who recently came out of a bad relationship, is caring for her two sons Akeem, 12, and Osafo, 14, while her daughter lives with her former partner.
She feels sad that she would not be able to purchase presents and new outfits for them, but she could not because “my funds low.” The children’s father assists her a little and she also does domestic work occasionally to support them.
Corina shares the humble shack which is divided into two, with her sons and 16-year-old nephew, Stephen. The other section is occupied by a niece who has a baby and she too is also struggling to make ends meet.
Located in the same yard also are two more shacks. Her brother, Long Roger, 27, a cane-harvester, lives in one with a nephew, Kerwin Rogers, 13.
He too did not plan to celebrate because he was barely making enough money run his home and support his four-year-old son who stays with his maternal grandmother.
Kerwin and his cousins, Osafo and Akeem did not attend their schools’ Christmas party because they did not have the money required to pay.
The other house is occupied by Corina’s older brother, Robert Rogers, 35, his wife, Odessa and their 10-year-old son. They take care of a niece and nephew whose parents have died.
The story about poverty was no different in their home. They told this newspaper that they would “find something to cook, like some chowmein or cook-up and be among we family.
Corina said being underprivileged was nothing new and they were never accustomed to having basic necessities and not luxury.
“This is the situation of our parents and it continued like that. We hope that our lives would improve but it’s hard, times are hard…”
One thing is for sure, that family would be going to church on Christmas morning and may partake in a small treat of perhaps “buns and drink.”