reportero Cristian Abreu-Hidalgo public// Toco mother determined to make ends meet » EntornoInteligente

reportero Cristian Abreu-Hidalgo public//
Toco mother determined to make ends meet

Entornointeligente.com /

De­spite not hav­ing ba­sic ameni­ties like elec­tric­i­ty, a 35-year-old sin­gle moth­er of To­co con­sid­ers her­self rich, not fi­nan­cial­ly, but with love from her three chil­dren who she is hop­ing will have a brighter fu­ture than hers.

Cristian Abreu-Hidalgo

Shantelle Git­tens lives in a two-bed­room wood­en house, tucked away on Galera Road, To­co, with her three chil­dren, Shalon­da, 16, Shem, 13 and Sharvelle, 8

De­spite not hav­ing ba­sic ameni­ties like elec­tric­i­ty, a 35-year-old sin­gle moth­er of To­co con­sid­ers her­self rich, not fi­nan­cial­ly, but with love from her three chil­dren who she is hop­ing will have a brighter fu­ture than hers.

Cristian Abreu-Hidalgo

Shantelle Git­tens lives in a two-bed­room wood­en house, tucked away on Galera Road, To­co, with her three chil­dren, Shalon­da, 16, Shem, 13 and Sharvelle, 8.

Git­tens, a se­cu­ri­ty guard with MTS, spends four days a week away from her chil­dren as she stays at an apart­ment in Port-of-Spain, close to the Min­istry of Plan­ning and De­vel­op­ment where she works.

Cristian Abreu

Her three chil­dren stay back with their grand­par­ents.

Cristian Abreu Hidalgo

“I work four days—two days, two nights and two off and I come home as I get my off so I could spend all my time with them,” she told Guardian Me­dia dur­ing an in­ter­view at her home.

Christian Abreu-Hidalgo

She said she is grate­ful to have a flow of in­come which al­lows her to feed her chil­dren and pro­vide them with ba­sic school sup­plies. How­ev­er, Git­tens ad­mits she has had to dig deep­er in­to pock­ets to pur­chase cell phones and in­ter­net pack­ages so that her chil­dren can par­tic­i­pate in on­line class­es. Cur­rent­ly, Sharvelle, a stan­dard-two pupil, does not have a de­vice to use.

Christian Abreu

“I ain’t reach that stage yet to get a next de­vice for them,” she said.

Christian Abreu Hidalgo

She added, “I am just watch­ing to see how things go. I would say with my chil­dren when I do work and I get paid I will tell them what I have to do for this month and this is what I need to do for the next month and let’s see how I could nav­i­gate to get what­ev­er they need.”

Git­tens said while she gets sup­port from friends and fam­i­ly in many ways, she has not asked for help to pur­chase a de­vice for Sharvelle

Ac­cord­ing to her, “I think it has some­body else who is less for­tu­nate than me so I nev­er went to ask and I don’t think I would go just so un­til I see every­body get first.”

Ex­pens­es aside, Git­tens said she is look­ing for­ward to the re­turn of in-class learn­ing

“With Shalon­da, my big daugh­ter, I think she is do­ing what­ev­er she could but I think my two oth­ers still need at­ten­tion from the teacher,” she lament­ed

In be­tween work, Git­tens said she checks up on her chil­dren dur­ing their on­line class­es and af­ter school hours to make sure they do their home­work be­fore night­fall since there is no elec­tric­i­ty. She not­ed that even in the dark­ness, they have found light

“So nor­mal­ly we will have the lamp in­side and a flam­beau out­side or some­times no light out­side and you en­joy the scenery ac­cord­ing to if it is a full moon or what­ev­er, and I en­joy it I am not go­ing to lie, even though it is some­thing these chil­dren want,” Git­tens said

Recharg­ing their de­vices means a trip up the track to the grand­par­ents’ home us­ing a gen­er­a­tor

There may be no elec­tric­i­ty in their home, but Git­tens not­ed her chil­dren are charged with the en­er­gy need­ed to suc­ceed and while she will not ask any­one for help, she will not turn away any­one will­ing to do so.

She said she looks for­ward to the day when she will be able to work clos­er to home so that she will be able to spend more time with her fam­i­ly

Git­tens end­ed the in­ter­view ad­vis­ing fam­i­lies to re­mem­ber, “there is some­body out there who do not have a work, you have $5 and they might have noth­ing so thank God for every­thing.”

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