Tue | Sep 29, 2020

Mother of three struggles to send children back to school

Published:Monday | August 3, 2020 | 12:05 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston/Gleaner Writer
Cara Campbell-Ellis
Cara Campbell-Ellis

With the new academic year scheduled to begin in a month’s time, Cara Campbell-Ellis, a desperate mother of two teenagers and a two-year-old, is struggling. She is yet to collect school registration for one of her high-school children.

With one attending Edwin Allen High School and the other Claude McKay High, she says she has barely scraped up enough money to fund their schooling.

Campbell-Ellis, who lives in Danks, Sangster’s Heights, Clarendon, manages to get only “couple of days’ work”, but said it is not enough to put food on the table for her children and her mother, who lives with her, and to pay school expenses.

“I am also paying rent and it has been backed up for three months,” she said, adding that her dream is to have a little room for herself and a job.

Compounding her challenge, she said where she lives, she has no piped water, so every two or three weeks she has to find money to fill the drums, which costs her over $2,000.


For all that she is thankful, as she said sometimes she gets a little assistance from friends, which allows her to get through with the little she earns.

Campbell-Ellis said her situation went downhill since she is the only one taking care of the children as their fathers are no longer in the picture.

“I broke up last June with him so I took the kids and left,” she said.

Campbell-Ellis says she doesn’t want anyone to think she is “looking for a handout”, emphasising that all she wants is a job for financial independence.

Stating that she is a firm believer in God, the struggling mother said it is her faith that has seen her through the hard times. For her, the fact that she doesn’t have help the way she would want it, and is still surviving, is testament of God’s goodness.

“I trust God and I have a very determined faith just to continue pressing onward even in this trying time,” she said.

Looking ahead, she said she would still love to live her dreams of a better life and being financially independent.