No more discomfort

No more discomfort

Retired woman who lived in leaking house gets new home courtesy of Food For the Poor, Boom energy drink

Sunday Observer writer

Sunday, December 20, 2020

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For 26 years Joan Willie endured the discomfort of living in a poorly built one-room house with a roof that leaks badly when it rains.

That ended last Friday when the 69-year-old woman received a house from local charity Food For the Poor (FFP).

“Thank you so much for doing this for me; I will sleep comfortably tonight,” Willie told FFP representatives at a presentation ceremony in Braeton Meadows, Portmore, St Catherine.

The two-bedroom, one-bathroom house was one of 30 built by FFP under its 'Tan Ah Yuh Yard' campaign designed to support the Government's stay-at-home measure to prevent further spread of the novel coronavirus.

The first 10 houses were sponsored by Wisynco's Boom energy drink and are equipped with water storage tanks to further facilitate hygiene and sanitisation practices to help fight the spread of novel coronavirus.

Willie, a retired postal agent who worked at Spanish Town Post Office, is diabetic and hypertensive. Her speech and mobility have been affected by three episodes of stroke, the most recent being last summer, her sister Diana Zacca, who lives in Montego Bay, told the Jamaica Observer via phone.

Because none of Willie's relatives live close by to take care of her, residents of the community, namely Donna Mattis, David Rickards, and Marlon Brown, among others, provided her with meals and shelter whenever it rained.

Bothered by her living circumstances, they approached FFP for help.

“Her neighbours actually reached out to FFP, and we were able to assist her. They are the ones who feed her because she does not have a kitchen. She cooks and sleeps in the same room and she had a tarpaulin that used to catch water when it rained,” FFP Director Kivette Silvera told the B Observer.

Noting that other beneficiaries of the 'Tan Ah Yuh Yard' campaign will receive houses in 2021, Silvera said more land is needed to build houses for the needy.

“Land is a huge issue, it's something that we always ask for because when you think about it, a poor person does not own land, so if we can find persons to give land, or even lease land, that makes a difference,” she said.

Expressing gratitude for being a part of the campaign, Boom Marketing Coordinator Keteisha McHugh said, “It really feels good that the brand is participating and partnering with FFP, because we believe in improving the lives of our people that's our motto for Wisynco and that is what Boom is doing. The experience of building the house was wonderful, just knowing that we are doing this for a very good cause; it was really amazing for us.”

Dancehall artiste Shenseea, who is the Boom brand ambassador, agreed. “It feels good, because I love to give back. So anything to give back to the less fortunate is really important to me, as I come from a background of that sort. It's just an honour to know that I am able to share in the blessing,” she told the Sunday Observer.

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