Never give up: Single mothers urge perseverance, independence

…as they vend to sustain their children

Jenifer Rodiques of Capoey Mission became a widow years ago, but never gave up in providing for her eight children. This 51-year-old widow could be seen standing with two other women in the sweltering heat at the junction of Capoey Amerindian village in Region Two (Pomeroon – Supenaam), vending.

Front right: Melissa James, Natalie James and Jennifer Rodiques

During an interview with this newspaper, these women all had one thing in common — perseverance and independence. Rodiques related that she awakes as early as 04:00h to harvest produce from her farm, after which she would journey to the “road head” to sell her produce to the public without even having breakfast.
The sacrifice she endures is for her children, whom she adores dearly. Rodiques said that on a daily basis she stands behind her stall selling pineapples, kuru, awara, pears and vegetables to sustain her livelihood. She has been doing it for over 10 years, and enjoys the independence it has brought her. She said some days are challenging, but she never gives up.
“Some days the sun is so hot and no one buying, sometimes you just looking out for when a car will stop and someone will buy out your produce, so you can go home,” the mother of eight said.
Like Rodiques, another mother of eight, Natalie James, does the same thing and endures similar struggles. She also vends next to Rodiques, and sells a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. James said she survives on farming and vending, all of which she does by herself. Her children would sometimes assist her in the afternoon after school. She, too, starts her day early, then ventures on the road to sell.
Twenty-six-year-old Melissa James also sells cash crops. Farming is the only means by which she earns an income. James is the sole breadwinner for her family. She related that the Capoey area has a lot of pear plants that grew naturally, and she would usually wake up very early to go pick up whenever it is in season, so that she can earn a living. James said despite the sun, she enjoy vending and being able to manage her household.
All three women reside at Capoey Mission. Their advice to single women just like themselves is to not give up, but to continue to fight the struggles to provide for their children. (Indrawattie Natram)