Guardian Inspire – Before I can get to the point, or explain why we are trying to reach out to the man that is pictured in this article, let me first share an interesting experience that passed my way about two years ago, since it will better help you to understand the importance of my quest.
A while back, a young lady who was once under my employ demonstrated a commendable level of timeliness and a dedicated work attitude that was so admiring, that it was envied by the other staffs, especially a few who were always late.
She always came to work very early in the mornings, and was always willing to work overtime, practically every single day.
Every morning when you turn up even at 7am she was already there, and every evening if I am leaving the office at 6pm or 7pm, she was always the last person to wrap up my work and then leave.
For me, she was a great employee who is always willing to give the company her time, but never insisted on overtime payments for it.
For many of the other employees, her dedication and overworking attitude always seemed too good to be true. But then again there are indeed people out there who would actually commit most of their time to their job – so maybe she was one of that rare type.
However, it certainly turned out to be – too good to be true. Because there was a certain life situation with that staff, which neither myself or no other staff had known about; – until around 2am one morning, when she frantically called me from a police station and requested that I come urgently.
When I got there, I saw her sitting with her daughter (who was about 7 years old), and was crying, while a member of a police patrol unit was trying to assist her.
I soon discovered that my staff was actually squatting below an abandoned house that is owned by someone outside of the community.
She had no place to go and had taken up refuge at that open and unsafe bottom-house since she knew the owner to be her mother’s old landlord from more than 15 years ago. But even so, she did not make any arrangement with the elderly owner to stay there, which may not have been possible in any case, since the house itself was almost falling down.
I learnt from her that she was quietly staring there for over three months, since she had nowhere else to go. On the other hand, she had been working with me for two months so far, and was at the end of her probation.
A subsequent visit by myself, along with her, and the police to collect her things, revealed that my staff was actually sleeping on the ground using a mattress aided by a sheet of ply below it, and would usually string up her netting at nights.
There was an empty lot on her right and a building on the left side of the dilapidated house. But the rising bushes that had surrounded the abandoned yard certainly served as her only form of privacy.
Her clothing was kept in bags, while a stove iron and kerosene stove implied that she would usually be able to iron her clothing etc, and would cook from the stove intermittently.
In her own words, she embarrassingly said that she would shower in the yard since 5am along with her daughter, dress by 5:30, and leave quickly thereafter for the road where they will drag-out their wait for a minibus between 6:30 and 7am.
Her daughter will then go off to a city school and she would, in turn, head off to my office and wait outside until my assistant came and open for the day.
In the afternoons, her daughter will stop by her school friend in the next street in the village, and wait until my staff goes to collect her around 8pm. They will then head to their relatively quiet street and slip into the yard where they would prep for bed.
Her daughter was always fortunate to get a shared meal while waiting at her friend, while she would eat something cheap on the road before heading home and thus eliminating the need for dinner.
However, someone apparently knew she was staying very much exposed there, and thus made an attempt to rape her about 1:30am that morning; – which resulted in her escaping with her daughter to the police station.
She called me and had to expose her life circumstances because as her employer she decided that I am probably the only person with the resources and possible inclination to help her out of the situation that she was in.
As a result, I had to assist her with a place to stay and a loan to offset her circumstances.
Today, she is employed at a bank in the UK, and was able to overcome her life circumstances, because of one act of kindness.
On the other hand, it had also taught my other employees that they should not envy their co-worker, because you do not know what the person that is sitting and smiling next to you may be going through when they leave work each afternoon and before they come to work tomorrow morning.
But further to that, the incident was one of many which tell me that there are many people in this country whose life situations are dreadfully messed up, but yet they have to build the courage to come to work smiling each day and give the impression that all-is-well, every single day.
They publicly laugh, love, and commit to their task, but spend many nights crying alone, hoping and wishing for a great change to come.
However, at the end of every tear that they cry and scream that they scream, their lives often come back to the dark reality of survival and failures that many of us wish not face.
On Friday, I had to witness a video which reminded me of this very situation that a lot of people are facing in this country, and even outside of this country.
This supposedly recent video that has been making its rounds on social media, reminded me that there are still many people out there who need someone somewhere to just help them out of their misery (even just once), so that they can be a better person, and live a better life.
The Facebook video in question, was sent to me in a message link from a friend who assumed that it is something that I would want to look at.
In the video, the man whose photo appeared in this article was highlighting the fact that he had built his house at Providence New Scheme, but was not occupying it because there is still more work to be done.
Incidentally, after some three weeks, he went back to his property and discovered that a young man (seems to be about 18-years-old) had broken into the house and was basically sleeping on the floor there.
In the video, several bags with clothing were lying on the floor along with some seemingly refilled bottles of water and other signs which suggest that the young man was trying to survive possibly on a lot of water, and a minimum amount of food.
The owner of the property then took out the young man’s working badge and identified him as a Qualfon customer service rep (CSR) – a job position that is common among young people in Guyana who are trying their best to seek out a living from a small salary.
All the while, the kid was just standing there obviously embarrassed and turning away from the phone camera that was filming the entire episode.
When the man questioned him, from his voice, you can tell that he is just a kid, who was scared, confused and helpless.
He made no attempt to run away, but stood there reasoning with the man indicating that he has nowhere to sleep.
But what angered the property owner even further, is the fact that the kid had broken a bedroom door lock and two louvres window panes to access the property.
The man then angrily advanced to the helpless Kid with a piece of wood and the video was cut.
I can only imagine what happened to the kid after then.
(The negative comments below the video and laughing faces, revealed how heartless, devious, and uncaring a lot of people in this country can be. However, I will deal with that in another article).
But in the earlier parts of the video, the man claimed that he would take the lad to the police station.
However, several persons on social media who felt sorry for the kid and decided to help him out visited and called the Providence Police Station, But the police are saying no such report was made and they do not know where the young man is.
Even Lawyers and other professionals called and have been trying to locate the kid, with the hope of assisting him with a place to stay and possibly a job. But from my own checks, they are correct; – the police never received any such complaint.
I am not angry at the homeowner for being upset at a man squatting in his partially finished new house without his permission. I can emphasize with him. He probably worked hard to build his house.
Nonetheless, I and a number of other people have even expressed an inclination to replace the broken door lock and louvres window panes that the young man had broken and therefore bring a peaceful resolution to that misunderstanding with the homeowner.
I am publicly offering to do it again.
Moreover, we want to help the young man, since the posted video may mean him losing his job at Qualfon, and possibly losing hope in a meaningful future.
I am personally willing to give him a job and help him with a place to stay.
However, despite all of the checks that I had made, I am unable to find the young man.
As a result, we are asking anyone who may know the homeowner whose photo is above, to contact our news publication at 225-1470 during working hours, so that we can discuss the damage done to his property, and for him to also help us to locate the young man, since the police are saying that they do not have him.
In closing, there are many people in this country who have nowhere to actually rest their head, and has to be living from corner to corner, while holding on to a job, hoping that someday and somehow they will be able to escape their misery.
And rather than us talking them down or condemning them, it is most wise for those of us that were blessed to be better off, to offer a helping hand to those who are in need.
Who is with me on this?