Trinidad woman: ‘Help me school my children’

guardian.co.tt – Icacos mother Cindy Balchan is begging for help for her five children saying they are unable to access government’s online classes because they have no smart tools or internet.

The family lives in a flat house near the Icacos beachfront. The children aged four to 14, attend the Cedros Composite School and the Icacos Government Primary School.

During an interview with Guardian Media, Balchan said life has become difficult since COVID-19. She said because all schools have been shut down, her children have not been able to attend online classes.

“They are getting frustrated. We do not have a phone for any of them to use. My daughter is in Form Four and she is really missing out from school,” Balchan said.

The teenager who attends the Cedros Composite School said she wanted to become a teacher when she gets older.

However, Balchan said with COVID-19 restrictions she was fearful that their futures will be affected if they did not go to school.

“Icacos is a depressed area and if you do not do well in school there is no opportunity for you. My children are very bright and I want them to benefit from a sound education,” Balchan added.

Apart from the burden of schooling, Balchan said her youngest daughter Angel had a disability and her common-law husband Malcolm Alfred was suffering from cancer.

“When my daughter was born, she ingested a lot of fluid and she was critical in the hospital for three weeks. The doctors took some fluid from her brain and they told me this could either kill her, leave her paralyzed or she will never be in her right senses,” Balchan recalled.

She explained that her daughter survived but had lost some mobility in her right hand.

“She came a long way but she still needs a lot of care. We have to help her to go to the toilet, to bathe and to change her clothes,” Balchan said.

She explained that her husband had some fluid oozing from his mouth and he had lost control; of one side of his body.

“We don’t know what is happening to him. The doctors said they were checking to see if he had some kind of cancer. Every day he lies on the couch bawling in pain,” Balchan said.

She called on the authorities to assist her in getting medical aid for her daughter and her husband. She also said she hoped someone from corporate T&T could purchase phones to a tablet for her five children so they could attend online classes.

“We are surviving by the grace of God. We get a food card but no public assistance. We are thankful for this food card and for everything that we have received so far,” she added.

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