WITH over 39,700 widows in TT, most suffer silence as programmes for them are not well-defined and the systems are often not clear. These were the words of Apostle Terrence Honore, president and founder of the Widows Association of TT. He was speaking at a breakfast meeting at Naparima College, San Fernando, in observance of International Widows Day today.
"It is not one of those days that has been recognised by the Government of TT. And this typical of how widows are treated," Honore said.
The association was started in 2014 with a plan to advocate for widows in TT. "Widows need to be given better attention by the authorities as when they lost their partner, they often lose the will to carry on with life." Honore said.
Often times, he said, widows are taken advantage of by relatives and by the system. The Widows Association is setting up a resource group of lawyers, psychologists, guidance officers to help and guide the widows when they are in bereavement. "We intend to provide assistant to widows in legal matters, psychological, family related, and grievance matters in the future," Honore said.
Apostle Mascelline Wyatt, a widow for nine years, is a founding member of the association. Wyatt said her support system was the local church, Zion Tabernacles in Marabella. "After losing my husband, I spent most of my time in church until I became an apostle myself," Wyatt said.
Having gone through this experience, Wyatt said her conclusion was that widows need a solid support system which can see them through the most difficult time they may have to face. She said prayer alone was not enough and there should be counselling for widows. Many times, she said, when a husband died and he was the bread-winner of the family, the widow was forced to go out and work.
Also speaking at this function was Keith Belgrove, Joseph Harbhajan, Asha Ramdass and Ceirid Sampson.
The breakfast meeting was well attended by widows from throughout TT.