Ranks from the Suddie Police Station were yesterday forced to remove five young boys from
their Perseverance, Essequibo Coast, home.
According to reports reaching this publication, the boys have for the past few weeks, been abandoned by their mother.
The ranks, who were yesterday afternoon preparing to hand the boys over to the Region’s Welfare Officer, were informed of the children’s plight by this publication yesterday morning and swiftly took action to visit the residence to ascertain their well-being.
Earlier reports reaching this newspaper from the Cinderella County, suggest that for the past few weeks the boys, ranging from ages six to fourteen, were left without adult supervision.
This publication understands that the children’s father passed away a few years ago and they have since been living with their mother. But according to reports from residents, the woman “does go and come.”
“She does leave them (children) for periods at a time, but this is like the longest one yet,” said residents who told this newspaper that they have not seen the woman for at least three weeks now.
It was in fact her absence that prompted some of the neighbouring residents to check-in on the boys where it was found that not only were they left to fend for themselves, but the conditions in which they existed were unsanitary.
This state of affairs was confirmed when this newspaper visited the home. The eldest of the set said that he was 14 years old and informed that his other siblings are 13, 10, 8 and six.
They were not very vocal about their situation, but when asked which school they attended the 13-year-old would only say that he was not attending school. He said too that ahead of being abandoned by their mother, he was forced to do all the household chores. The children disclosed too, that when they refused to adhere to
their mother, she would simply throw out their clothes and burn them, leaving them with merely a few pieces of clothing to share among them.
During this publication’s visit, the 10-year-old was seen taking up the task of washing a few pieces of their clothing.
Villagers, who have been providing the children with food on a daily basis, related that the 14-year-old was a long time ago required to seek employment to meet the financial needs of the family. And there are reports that at least one of the younger boys has been subjected to sexual abuse, a manner that is expected to be investigated by police.
The children’s situation was so distressing to some residents that they decided to inform this publication and related that they were prepared to report the matter to the relevant authorities. There are reports that the matter was brought to the attention of the Welfare Department of the Anna Regina Regional Office.
When this newspaper contacted Director of the Child Care and Protection Agency, Ms. Ann Greene yesterday, she was personally unaware of the case. She noted, that this did not mean that her officers were not already aware of the matter and taking the necessary action.
Greene however, disclosed that while she is not au fait with the specifics of the matter, one of the first measures that could be taken is to locate a family member with whom the children could stay. She pointed out that should all efforts fail in this regard, the next move will more than likely be to have the boys placed in a children’s home.
“This is the very last resort,” said Greene, of institutionalizing the children.
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