Extend helpful hands to Andre

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

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Dear Editor,

I write to encourage urgent public financial support for the brave, admirable Jamaican lad who "walks on his hands" — 11-year-old Andre Coleman — as published in this week's edition of the Sunday Observer.

Such human interest coverage is a fundamental aspect of the social functions of our journalism profession. And the Observer and other leading media enterprises in Jamaica continue to provide encouraging examples of this and other challenging social issues.

As the Observer and the Combined Disabilities Association would be aware, not just in this country, but across our Caribbean Community there are many children afflicted with mental and varying physical challenges.

All of them deserve help, though realistically this may not always be forthcoming, due to varying reasons, including the quality of care required and, more decisively, the cost factor.

Nevertheless, after reading the Sunday Observer's moving account of the plight of dear Andre, and knowing a little of the very generous spirit of the Jamaican people and their commitment to sharing family problems, I decided to make this personal appeal via the Observer.

The intention is to help stimulate interest among our own media colleagues, for a start, to extend a helping hand to his mother, Hermine Coleman, who has gone public with the challenges she faces which includes, at least, to help sustain Andre's current level of schooling with the availability of transportation fares, if not a contribution of 'lunch money' as well.

The details could easily be worked out with the help of Andre's mom. For my part, I would like to be forwarded Ms Hermine Coleman's mailing address and telephone contact.

I assume the Combined Disabilities Association and the Ministry of Education -- or whatever agency deals with social care -- will demonstrate active interest in this inspiring case of an 11-year-old lad's determination to triumph over his very challenging physical disability and, in so doing, inspire others here and elsewhere.

Rickey Singh





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