Fifty-nine-year-old Cora Eastmond who is fighting to keep her head above water caring for the surviving children of her deceased daughter Melissa Eastmond, is facing another obstacle.
The grandmother, who is the legal guardian of Melissa’s four-year-old twin sons, Jaylen and Jayden, is crying out that the My Lord’s Hill, St Michael house which they occupy is in dire need of repair.
Eastmond said there was no electricity at the house which is rotting, the pit toilet is overflowing, and the make-shift bathroom facilities which is situated on the outside is falling apart.
The unemployed woman who said Melissa’s children are now the main focus of her life, is appealing to anyone or agency that is able to help her fix the house and equip it with the necessary amenities to make the boys’ life comfortable.
“I am not asking for help for me. I am asking for help for the children. At nights I can’t take them outside to bathe them because there is no light for them to see. Them getting older and it got me feeling a kind of way that big holes in the paling by the bathroom that falling a part. The house ain’t too good.
“The kitchen ain’t too good either. The chairs want changing. The stove in the kitchen ain’t good either. I does try to make do with what I have, but I would really like the house to get some work and some things in it for the children. You know people would bring some foodstuff and clothes to help sometimes, but I know everybody can’t help with the house. I won’t even mind if I could get a new toilet outside,” Eastmond said.
Eastmond started taking care of Melissa’s children on July 26, 2016 when the 27-year-old died suddenly from heart failure.
Melissa also has a three-year-old daughter, Jelissa, who is in the process of being adopted by another family.
Eastmond pointed out that while her mind was at peace that Jelissa was living in clean sanitary conditions, she would like to be able to provide the same for her twin brothers.
She explained that when Melissa died they were living in Work Hall, St Philip in a house, which was also in a dilapidated state.
However, she said following the death of her mother some time after, her brother encouraged her to move to My Lord’s Hill.
Eastmond noted that the house belonged to her brother because he buried their mother.
She said since she moved to that location she has unsuccessfully made several efforts to have the electricity restored, but indicated that the Barbados Light and Power (BL&P) denied the request because the house is in need of new wiring.
When night falls the family depends on light from three small torchlights, which are placed in the kitchen, dining room and bedroom.
“Light and Power say the only way they can turn back on the current is if I wire it all over again. I don’t have money to pay for that because I ain’t working. I got to be home with my daughter’s children 24/7. I would really like some help in getting the house wire back up, and turn it back on so that the children could get to watch some TV and thing to keep them from outside. It is okay for them to bathe on mornings, but otherwise to go in the bathroom I frightened something might bite them,” she said.
“The toilet situation now is that the pit is full and there was a suck that I come and find that we had to resort to. So right now we using the suck as a pit, but if it is full we cannot use that anymore. So I watching the suck now hoping that it don’t full up like the pit,” she added.
Eastmond said she was willing to accept any type of assistance that would enable her to provide improved living conditions for the children. firstname.lastname@example.org