Longdenville mother of 5 gets offers of help

PLEASE HELP US: Samantha Persad with four of her five children at her Railway Road, Longdenville, Chaguanas home. - Photo by Roger Jacob
PLEASE HELP US: Samantha Persad with four of her five children at her Railway Road, Longdenville, Chaguanas home. - Photo by Roger Jacob

Mother of five Samantha Persad is on her way to receiving help.

After her story was published in Tuesday's Newsday, she received calls from state agencies and the public with offers of assistance.

Persad rents a small plyboard house near Ravine Sable Road, Longdenville, for $500 a month. It has electricity, and running water in the kitchen, but no indoor toilet or shower.

The galvanise roof leaks, and Persad and her children sleep on two beds, which sometimesget wet when the rain comes from a particular direction.

Persad said her day was filled with phone calls on Tuesday.

She did not keep count, but the most important ones, she said, were from the Ministry of Legal Affairs, the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) and the Children's Authority.

She also received calls "from a few people who were calling to look for a wife."

The Ministry of Legal Affairs told her it would "help with the birth certificate, the financial part with the affidavit and stuff. They trying to put everything in place that I would only have to go in and collect it."

Persad has never had a birth certificate or any other form of official ID. As a result, her children's births were never registered, and she cannot access social welfare nor seek maintenance from her children's fathers.

To register her birth, the Legal Affairs Ministry initially said she must search its records. If none is found, she can apply for late registration. Someone older than Persad must swear an affidavit saying they know her family and that she was born in TT. She must then be interviewed.

Anyone with valid ID can apply to register her children on Persad's behalf. It requires a letter from the hospital certifying where the children were born. After Tuesday's call, she hopes to get the birth certificates very soon.

The HDC also called Persad and took details of the place she is renting. Officials told her "that they go around building houses for people with their own land, but my situation different. I waiting on them to call back."

The Children's Authority also took her details and her children's.

"Basically everybody taking the information and saying they will get back to me with whatever they get. So right now, I very grateful."

In addition, Persad said, "A next guy called, Steve, he not calling from any work, he say he doing it on he own behalf. He said he'd support the kids with groceries for every month.

"Another guy called from Siparia, and he said within the next ten days he will come up and help me out with some groceries as well."

Because of Persad's location in Longdenville, there was some uncertainty about which parliamentary constituency she lives in. Initially, Newsday contacted Caroni Central MP Arnold Ram, but in fact he is not not her MP.

Calls to Caroni East MP Dr Rishad Seecheran went unanswered.

Anyone who wants to help Samantha Persad and her family can contact her at 274-2483.


"Longdenville mother of 5 gets offers of help"

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