A 29-year-old Walkes Spring, St Thomas man is giving new and practical meaning to crowdfunding as he seeks to rebuild his home, which was destroyed by fire on June 20.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY at the site of the destroyed house, Andre Bryan said his dream was to construct a home for his family right on the spot where he was raised, even though he could not afford it.
The blaze left the five-member family, including Bryan’s 69-year-old grandmother and his two-year-old son, homeless and seeking temporary lodging at different locations.
He has already secured pledges of labour from the young men from the neighbourhood, Now he is calling on the general public to assist.
“Them willing to help but I still got to get the materials and different things to build the house. So what I looking to do is to do a community fundraising event.
“I want to do like a fair or something with jumping tents and sell food and drinks to people so I could raise some money to help buy things to build back the house,” a soft-spoken Bryan, who is currently staying at relatives in Proutes, St Thomas, said.
The young man, who lost both of his parents at an early age, does not have a steady job and he said he did not have the capital to undertake the fundraiser. Therefore, he is pleading with corporate Barbados and other good Samaritans to come to his aid.
“I would like to ask the people of Barbados to help me raise funds in getting back my house. I don’t want to wait on Government to help me. I would like people to help me just to get my family back together and try to help us in whatever way ya’ll can help us. It is really hard losing a house and then having to get it back,” he said.
Bryan recalled the day he and his family lost everything.
It was sometime after 10 p.m. when he was awakened by the crackling sound of fire. He rushed out to discover that it was the back section of his house that was engulfed in flames.
He got his son out of the house – the remaining family members were out at the time – however, could do little else but watch the rest of the structure go up in flames.
“That was rough. We lost everything. I even had material in the yard that I buy the day before the fire to do some repairs to the house and that gone too.
“I couldn’t really do nothing that day. I was feeling so bad that they even had to rush me to the hospital the night,” he told Barbados TODAY.
“You don’t know how it is to be a fire victim until you are walking in that shoes boy. It is a bad feeling. I don’t even know how to explain it,” he added.
Bryan said that his parliamentary representative Dale Marshall offered to pay rent for his family for half a year.
However, Bryan said when that time is up they all would still be forced to look for somewhere else to live, and he was hoping they would be able to return to their home.