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  1. #1
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    ASTON is a 15-year-old with a vicious temper

    Sons on the street
    published: Wednesday | July 23, 2003

    By Andrew Smith, Staff Reporter

    ASTONIS a 15-year-old with a vicious temper. I first came across him fighting with Jermaine, another street boy, by the traffic lights outside the old Half-Way Tree Courthouse. The fight was brought over from the previous night when their gangs were stoning each other. The next day, Aston had a knife, Jermaine had a broken bottle and they went after each other in the churchyard of the St. Andrew Parish Church.

    Fortunately, staff of the Institute of Jamaica's Junior Centre in the old courthouse managed to separate them, clean them up, give them something to eat and tried to reason with them.

    Aston was in no mood for reasoning. His temper was simmering and he appeared as if he had some urgent unfinished business to deal with.

    Fortunately, he was separated from Jermaine. Casper, one of the tutors with the Junior Centre, and a former street boy himself, tried to talk to Aston to find out what was the cause of the fighting and why he was on the street. We found out that his mother, Diane, lives in Majesty Gardens and has lupus. She cannot earn enough to support Aston and his eight siblings. He says that he's on the street to earn money to help her.

    MOTHER IN MAJESTY GARDENS

    Diane has lived all her 45 years in Majesty Gardens. Her nine children are aged three to 19 years old and her affliction with the chronic illness requires bi-monthly treatment. It is extremely hard for her to provide for her family and herself, but she ekes out an existence by doing days work and washing. This is not nearly enough. "Mi supposed to go doctor from wah day and I don' have de money fi go right now. Because sometimes when I wash, I get all a $500, a little $800. Mi haffi just cook. Who can go a school, go a school, who cyaan', go just stay. For a six bwoy pickney mi have without no father * three girls. It hard. Mi naw get no help from nobody."

    Aston's father isn't able to help because he's dead. Aston was named after his father and he is close to his three brothers, who are aged 10, 11 and 13. Aston Sr. was an entertainer, who witnessed the slaying of members of his family, which included the rape and murder of his seven-year-old niece near Hagley Park. He escaped with gunshot wounds through a window. His statement resulted in arrests being made, but when he went to the Circuit Court to testify, the case was put off. On his way to testifying at the later date, he was murdered by gunmen. The date of his murder is forever burnt into Diane's memory.

    Diane is currently 'kotching' in a neighbour's house because her own house was burnt down last year. The house where she used to live housed eight other families, including a girl whose boyfriend beat her. In revenge, she lit his clothes and the ensuing fire burnt down the entire structure. Diane was not at home to save any of her clothes or her material and tools which she used to make leather slippers, belts, bags and shoes. By selling these, she used to be able to send her children to school, including Aston and his three brothers. While there, they came under the influence of bigger boys and found themselves on the street after school. With the loss of income after the fire, they stopped going to school and took to the street.

    A PROUD WOMAN

    In spite of all of the adversities which Diane has faced, she is a very proud woman. She would much rather prefer her sons to be at school than on the street. She refuses to accept any of the $3,000 to $4,000 which Aston and his brothers can earn daily on the street through hustling and begging. She says that if she did, it would encourage their staying on the street. So the boys spend the money on gambling, ganja and drinking. She says, "mi tired fi talk to dem. Mi carry dem to all family counsellor, mi carry dem a station. Dem still naw change."

    Diane is extremely candid about the fact that she has nine children for five different men. She says, "sometime you nuh really have nuttin' and yu see somebody out there who a gi' yu somet'ing. Yu nuh really wan' go deh wid dem, but unfortunately you might go wid dem and yu get caught." She adds, "yu can' dash dem weh, yu haffi bring dem. 'Cause yu don' know what dem a go turn inna deh future." This faith has resulted in her keeping her nine children.

    FAITH IN THE FUTURE

    Diane believes that she could support her family if she could go back to making and selling her leather goods. This regular source of income could send her children to school. Pointing to Stacy, her 17-year-old daughter, she says, "she pass and a go Jose Marti (Technical High School) and sometimes I can't even find the lunch money and the bus fare fi give her * fi about three weeks now she nuh go school." Keisha and George ages nine and six both attend Dupont Primary "as regularly as possible." Three-year-old Charles stays at home with his mother. Janet, her eldest child at nineteen, is fortunate to receive support from her father's family in Old Harbour where she spends much of her time.

    In order to restart her business, she says, "mi would a like... even a $10,000 fi put inna business." If she got this, then, "I know if I go out today I can sell so I can send dem children to school. Buy back certain amount of t'ings to go back on the road that mi can sell fi a two or three day in the week. And the other rest of day dem I spend some time look after mi children dem fi go to school." In addition, she would also teach her children to help her make the products which would also keep them off the street.

    AIMING TO REBUILD

    She also wants to rebuild her house. The house that she lives in now is owned by a woman who left for England last month. When she starts working,, she says that she will send down money for her three children which Diane is taking care of while she stays in the house. In order to rebuild her own house, Diane would like to acquire some lumber, zinc and cement from Food for the Poor, but she is unable to get a letter of recommendation because she does not know any Justices of the Peace.

    But her number one priority is to get her sons off the street. She doesn't want them to go to the Jamaica Christian Boys Home where many street boys go for remedial education. She wants Aston and his brothers to go to Cockburn Gardens All-Age School. She wants Stacy to graduate from Jose Marti and hopefully she can keep Keisha, George and Charles in school and off the street. She knows that it will be hard but she is not losing faith. When she goes to Waltham Park, "on a Sunday when I have time, I go church and ask for a special prayer for them." Let us pray.

    All names have been changed for the subject's protection..
    Source
    <span style="font-weight: bold">0ok</span>

    <span style="font-style: italic">&quot;What good fortune for those in power that people do not think&quot;</span>
    - <span style="font-weight: bold">Adolf Hitler</span>, as quoted by Joachim Fest.

  2. #2
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    Re: ASTON is a 15-year-old with a vicious temper

    Would it really help giving this woman $10,000? I mean, I don't want to sound as if I have no compassion, but condoms would have been cheaper. Am I a mean person?

    xxbig

  3. #3
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    Re: ASTON is a 15-year-old with a vicious temper

    Originally posted by blueingreen:
    [qb] Would it really help giving this woman $10,000? I mean, I don't want to sound as if I have no compassion, but condoms would have been cheaper. Am I a mean person?

    xxbig [/qb]
    I think she stop doing it!

    Proof that even among the victims Jamaicans and getting smarter. One call to a talk show on the subject of people having large amount of kids, said what thinking people have known for years, that a huge population is not necessarily a bad thing it is what you do with that population.

    Jamaica's Population and demographics have held basically steady for years but the plight of Jamaicans have worsened, there are many factors but with the reports of the last few weeks in the media on political violence, child neglect and abuse by the state and members of the public, and most importantly the unraveling of the economic foundations of Jamaica.
    It is little wonder that a woman with 9 kids who lost one or two of her kids father to violence, who lost her occupation to a life threatening disease, was further devastated by losing her dwellings is seen as a liability to the Country instead of the mother of a potential Scientist, Prime Minster of Artist.

    It is rarely I think that throwing money at something will help, but in this case, given her past and present history of self-employment, self-sacrifice and the dead-end (no pun) nature of her case health wise, the money that she asks for will possibly save some young Jamaicans from turning to prostitution, crime or a fate worse than even death.

    Already her son knows that he can hustle money that his mom cannot even earn washing clothes and babysitting, though it is not easy money, he has so far survived the streets and each day will possibly take or face more risk making his living. Hopefully if her situation changes she can rescue that son and save the others a taste of such an experience.

    Doubtless condoms might have helped, but if an economically prosperous country might have done more for this lady and her family than a case of rubbers. I am pretty sure that one or two times there was possibly no money to go to the movies, the parks were none existent or not safe, or the press of working two jobs might only be relieved by sex, which is cheap, plentyful and relatively safe.

    Again people must take responsibility for their own lives, but how prepared was this woman and by extension her family for the race?

    BTW: teenage pregnancies are down in Jamaica.
    <span style="font-weight: bold">0ok</span>

    <span style="font-style: italic">&quot;What good fortune for those in power that people do not think&quot;</span>
    - <span style="font-weight: bold">Adolf Hitler</span>, as quoted by Joachim Fest.

  4. #4
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    Re: ASTON is a 15-year-old with a vicious temper

    Are you an attorney? Because I think you just won your case. I don't know how you do it, but you certainly have a way with..as they say, and pardon my "simplicity".. "flipping the script". Ok I feel guilty..you happy now? I'll send her the 10 grand...jeeeze!!!!
    [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

    xxbig

  5. #5
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    Re: ASTON is a 15-year-old with a vicious temper

    Originally posted by blueingreen:
    [qb] Are you an attorney? Because I think you just won your case. I don't know how you do it, but you certainly have a way with..as they say, and pardon my "simplicity".. "flipping the script". Ok I feel guilty..you happy now? I'll send her the 10 grand...jeeeze!!!!
    [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

    xxbig [/qb]
    I was wondering if we should try to make this a test case, help send her some money then keep up with it and see how it goes.
    Anyway it might not be practical.

    Well it is not about winning BIG resolution based on all/as much information/evidence as we can gather, including our unique socio-political situation in our country!

    Peace and One Love
    <span style="font-weight: bold">0ok</span>

    <span style="font-style: italic">&quot;What good fortune for those in power that people do not think&quot;</span>
    - <span style="font-weight: bold">Adolf Hitler</span>, as quoted by Joachim Fest.

  6. #6
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    Re: ASTON is a 15-year-old with a vicious temper

    TG, I have seen first hand how by giving that first assistance can help people to help themselves. Is this lady looking for J10,000 or $10,000? I for one would be willing to contribute. This site is called Jamaicans.com and we are all here because of our affinity with the island and its people. So lets put our money where our mouth is. As the saying goes, give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, but give him a net and he can feed himself for a lifetime.
    The grass is always greener on the other side, that is until you get there

  7. #7
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    Re: ASTON is a 15-year-old with a vicious temper

    Originally posted by kumba1:
    [qb] TG, I have seen first hand how by giving that first assistance can help people to help themselves. Is this lady looking for J10,000 or $10,000? I for one would be willing to contribute. This site is called Jamaicans.com and we are all here because of our affinity with the island and its people. So lets put our money where our mouth is. As the saying goes, give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, but give him a net and he can feed himself for a lifetime. [/qb]
    Well it is not everytime money by itself works, however I cannot see how the approximately Ja$172.41 will not help this woman. She mentions that she would buy materials and tools make some more slippers and train her kids.

    I don't know if her spot on the street where she sells is still available but I am pretty sure she will try.

    I could write to the paper to the reporter to see if there is a way to get in touch with the lady and if there is some agreement between one or more of us we can send the money and see what happens.

    Of course there are tons of Jamaicans in similar position, but we have heard of this case and if some of us are willing it could possible be a new day in the lives of a family.

    Peace and Love K
    <span style="font-weight: bold">0ok</span>

    <span style="font-style: italic">&quot;What good fortune for those in power that people do not think&quot;</span>
    - <span style="font-weight: bold">Adolf Hitler</span>, as quoted by Joachim Fest.

  8. #8
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    Re: ASTON is a 15-year-old with a vicious temper

    We can not help everyone, but by giving support to some they in turn can give support to others. I was reading today about the King of Ghana and his visit to the UK. As he rightly stated, we here have a comfortable existance, even the poorest of us. So shouldn't we out of our excess (even the poorest in the developed world have excess that is unless you are truly destitute) give to those who do not have our opportunities. I would be interested in learning how many people are affiliated with this board. Does anyone have any figures? if i guess at 5,000 and we each were prepared to give $2, there's your $10,000 without any effort.
    The grass is always greener on the other side, that is until you get there

  9. #9
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    Re: ASTON is a 15-year-old with a vicious temper

    Originally posted by kumba1:
    [qb]I would be interested in learning how many people are affiliated with this board. Does anyone have any figures? if i guess at 5,000 and we each were prepared to give $2, there's your $10,000 without any effort. [/qb]
    Well I never like general so I would not even venture to start no campaign like that but I would like to see if this money would help this lady to start a business!
    <span style="font-weight: bold">0ok</span>

    <span style="font-style: italic">&quot;What good fortune for those in power that people do not think&quot;</span>
    - <span style="font-weight: bold">Adolf Hitler</span>, as quoted by Joachim Fest.

  10. #10
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    Re: ASTON is a 15-year-old with a vicious temper

    Take your point. But see what you can find out and we'll take it from there.
    The grass is always greener on the other side, that is until you get there

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