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Thread: a story we should all read...

  1. #1
    Registered User bungatuffy's Avatar bungatuffy is offline
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    a story we should all read...

    Runaway girl in BV police lock-ups past three weeks

    By Oluatoyin Alleyne
    Tuesday, November 8th 2005


    A girl just shy of her fifteenth birthday has been languishing in the Beterverwagting (BV) police lock-ups for the past three weeks after she was picked up for running away from her aunt's home in Plaisance, East Coast Demerara.

    According to Yernesi Yansen, one of the girl's former teachers at the Plaisance Community High School, the child has been at the lock-ups and no one has been taking food or a change of clothing for her.

    It is expected that the child will appear in the Sparendaam Magistrate's Court on Friday when her aunt will seek to have her sent to the New Opportunity Corps (NOC) on the Essequibo Coast.

    It is because of this development that the concerned teacher brought the child's plight to the attention of Stabroek News, stating that for a number of months she has been attempting to save the child from this fate.

    Yansen said that it was September 5 of 2002 when she first met the child when she started to attend the Plaisance Community High School. She said soon after, the child's attendance became irregular and she had to speak to the aunt on several occasions. The headmistress also intervened.

    The teacher said she begged the aunt to continue to send the child to school since she was doing well in her studies. But the irregular attendance continued until May 25, 2004 when she stopped until another intervention saw the child returning to school on June 14.

    However, two weeks after, the aunt indicated that she had returned the child to her parents' home on the Linden/Soesdyke Highway.

    According to the teacher many days the child attended school with no lunch or money to purchase something to eat yet she remained at school.

    "One time her shoes became loose and she cried a fountain because she was afraid of the beatings she would receive from her aunt and we bought Evo-stick and pasted the shoes up. Another time she missed so many classes I told her to borrow some of her friends' books and take them home to copy the notes but the next day she returned and said her aunt soaked the books in a bucket of water. Those were the things that child suffered at the hands of her aunt," the teacher said.

    She related that several weeks after the aunt had said she returned the child to her parents she received a letter from the child sent to her through another teacher. She said an aunt of the teacher lived next door to the child's aunt and when the teacher visited her aunt the child took the opportunity to send the letter.

    In the letter, a photocopy of which was shown to this newspaper by the teacher, the child stated that she was still at the aunt who did not want to send her to school and was telling her to knit.

    "I know people say knitting is good but it is not better than school and I want to come back to school miss, please help, please take me away and find a new home for me. I know I did some bad things in the past but I am sorry… My sister is at NOC and I don't want the same to happen to me, please help," the child pleaded.

    Touched by the child's letter and not knowing how to assist the teacher said she visited the Probation & Welfare Department of the Ministry of Human Services and she took the original of the letter and handed it over to an officer whose name she gave to this newspaper. In her quest to help the child the teacher said she also visited the welfare department at Triumph, East Coast Demerara and brought the child's plight to the attention of the officers there.

    She said several follow-up visits and calls to both offices only resulted in promises being made to help the child.

    Recently the child ran away from the aunt's home. The aunt had the police pick her up and said she wanted the girl to be sent to the NOC.

    "I don't want this child to go to the NOC - what help can she get there? I am going to go to court to speak up on behalf of this child, she is very good at her school work and she just needs some help," the teacher told Stabroek News.

    When Stabroek News contacted the Permanent Secretary of the Minister of Labour, Human Services & Social Security, Trevor Thomas, he said it was the first time he was hearing of the issue and he would have it investigated.

    He also stated that the magistrate would not send the child to the NOC without asking for a probation report.

    This newspaper contacted the welfare department of the ministry and learnt that there was indeed an officer by the name given by the teacher working at the ministry. An officer there indicated to this newspaper on a follow-up call that there is a record about the child at the ministry. A call to Triumph revealed that the officer-in-charge knew nothing about the case.

    However, the officer promised to visit the child at the police lock-ups and to attend court on Friday.

    (Stabroek News)

  2. #2
    Bajan Sugar SwEeTsOcAlAdY's Avatar SwEeTsOcAlAdY is offline
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    a sad case of neglect. I hope this works out for the girl as it looks like she is trying to help herself but she gaw a aunt dat holder her back.

    Poor soul.

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