AYANNA PAUL, a 30-year-old unemployed mother of seven, wants to help her children to find a future of hope, even in poverty.
But Paul and her partner cannot afford this on only his earnings as a market vendor.
And the mother has failed to access State grants to sustain her children’s education.
Paul lives at Hilltop Drive, Demerara Road, Wallerfield. She shares a home with her husband, 33-year-old Joel Samuel, and her seven children – Javon Ali, ten, nine-year-old twins Jeremiah and Kianna Ali, Alex Ali, eight, Nataliyah Ali, five, Jayel Paul, two, and Jewel Paul, one.
Five children are from a previous relationship, she said.
The Covid-19 pandemic, Paul said, has severely affected her children’s ability to learn. And she is now pleading with citizens to lend a helping hand.
In an interview with the Express on Saturday, Paul asked that the public don’t judge her. She said her children were blessings and she was struggling every day to provide for them.
“But the past few months have been very difficult. The five older children are all in primary school and they have been doing very well in school. Since this Covid-19 pandemic, however, the children’s education is suffering because they don’t have access to online classes,” she said.
Paul said she was unable to purchase the children’s school books to begin the new school term in September. This, she said, was a major setback as her children are being left behind.
Asked whether her children were receiving packages from their school, Paul said: “Yes, I pick up packages and we try really hard to get the work done, but without the books it is very difficult.”
Paul said her children access online schooling on relatives’ cellphones, but only when the devices are available.
The mother said her family survives on the little money her husband makes selling produce at the market.
“I am not getting help anywhere. I applied for assistance but did not qualify and the money my husband makes is just to buy food. It is very difficult,” she said.
The family is seeking assistance to purchase devices for the children to access online learning.
“This is all we really need. I am pleading to everyone reading this to help me. If I can help myself I will but I don’t know where to turn now. I want my children to get an education and to have a better life. Please, help my children. They need these devices to go to school,” she pleaded.