Two prominent businesspeople today reached out to lend a helping hand to repair the rotten timber house that two elderly brothers in Holder’s Hill, St James call home.
Philanthropist and entertainer Ishiaka McNeil said that after being touched by the story of Carl, 72, and his deaf and dumb sibling Frank Marshall, 70, in Barbados TODAY, he immediately began contacting noted entrepreneurs seeking assistance.
McNeil said the response has been favourable from one businessperson who is ready and willing to help but has insisted that investigations be made to ensure that the land is owned by the brothers before the planning process can begin.
But today, after documents confirmed the land is indeed owned by Marshall, McNeil, who is assisting through his Made It Against the Odds Foundation said he would be reporting his findings to interested donor.
McNeil told Barbados TODAY: “We are looking at the next phase now where the persons who we have called to speak to get things done we can go back to them and say everything right is in place. I don’t want to say at this point who these people are because things are still in the planning stages so you don’t want to put the cart before the horse.
“There are persons who are working behind the scenes to make sure that everything goes well. But through my charity, the Made It Against the Odds Foundation of which I am deputy chairperson, I see this as something that I really want to embark on.
“It is not a publicity thing for me, for me it is about being your brother’s keeper and caring for the people who have set and laid the foundation for us in this nation.”
Carl Marshall, who takes care of his sibling who is also disabled, first told Barbados TODAY on May 27 that for many years he has been appealing for assistance to repair the structure which also has rotted floorboards, an outside toilet and other unsanitary issues.
He said that over the years he has been making attempts to make the structure livable, but noted that funds have always been limited. The elder Marshall said he lived in Canada where he has children but returned to Barbados in the 80’s to take care of his sibling after their parents died.
He said he would be contented with donations of building materials and indicated that he was willing to do the labour work himself if he has to.
McNeil said he is concerned that the 2020 hurricane season has stepped in and the two men are in the structure. He said it is critical the building process begin as soon as possible and called on those willing to offer assistance in any way possible to contact his charity.
He said: “With the impending hurricane season upon us, it brings grave concern to see that two brothers have to be living this way. I am a man myself and I don’t know what may befall me in life and I think it is very important that we as a society look at our neighbours, look at our brothers, look at our sisters to make sure that we can lend help in some way.
“I made a trip down here to see how I can help and one of the things that surprised me is that when I came I saw the foundation already being built and having spoken to Mr Marshall he said ‘you know what, I take my pension and I try to use a little bit of it and try to build up.
“At least he is trying to help himself in some way possible. But the conditions they are in at the moment is really hard for them and I say that I would take the initiative to go out and call and ask some people for help.”
McNeil said that people who are willing to help the project from either at home or abroad, can send him an email at [email protected]. McNeil insisted that they do not have to feel compelled to contribute money.
“At the end of the day when the structure is finished somebody may want to come on board and provide furnishing and maybe cutlery and these kinds of things because they still need to have a livable space,” he said.
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