Minister Cox (centre) presents NAMDEVCO market boxes. Also in photo are NAMDEVCO CEO Nirmala Debysingh (left) and other NAMDEVCO representatives. (Image courtesy Ministry of Social Development and Family Services)

A Longdenville family of nine children and three grandchildren had their pleas for help answered when they were visited on Monday by Minister of Social Development and Family Services, Senator Donna Cox, accompanied by a team of technical officers from the Ministry, bearing food relief hampers, and discussing what assistance the Ministry can provide.

An official statement from the ministry notes that the Minister’s visit follows a report of the family’s situation in a daily newspaper, on Sunday July 11th.

Prior to the visit on Monday, the Ministry, through its National Social Development Programme (NSDP), had obtained relevant information on the household’s situation and completed an assessment on the family’s immediate requirements.

During the visit, Minister Cox presented the family with a market box and food hampers courtesy NAMDEVCO, and also shared information on the various grants and services which are offered by the Ministry. She indicated that she was pleased to see a whole of Government approach towards rendering assistance to the family in need.

“Both the Office of the Attorney General and the Ministry of Education were contacted to also make an intervention, particularly as the children had no birth papers, nor were they enrolled in any school,” the minister indicated.

Since the newspaper report, through referrals made by the NFSD, the Ministry of Legal Affairs has been helping with regard to obtaining birth certificates and identification cards for the family.

In addition, the family has received numerous food hampers, as well as a fridge and a stove. 

The family currently resides on state lands and is in possession of a Certificate of Comfort.  The ministry has contacted the Land Settlement Agency to provide their non-objection for the client to conduct necessary repairs on their home, having obtained copies of relevant documentation in this regard.

“Ongoing efforts will be made to bring the family out of their situation, where opportunities for a better quality of life will be explored in the shortest possible time,” Minister Cox assured.

The family also will receive counselling sessions and other psychosocial support through representatives from the Ministry’s National Family Services Division (NFSD).