Thirty-four-year old Monionn Howard was at the Mashramani Float Parade in Georgetown last Thursday, when she received a call that her house was on fire.
Howard, accompanied by her 17-year-old daughter, immediately went to their home at South Ruimveldt Squatting Area, Georgetown. There, only the scorched remains of a concrete and wooden structure were left standing.
During an interview with the News Room on Wednesday, Howard, a nail technician, said she now lives in a tent in the city, with her daughter and an 11-year-old son.
“My daughter called me and told me that our house is on fire so I told her to stop joking. Then she said ‘no mommy our house is on fire!’,” Howard recounted..
The night she discovered her house was destroyed, Howard engaged members of the Guyana Fire Service who told her that the fire was a result of arson.
With her house destroyed and no other housing options available, the woman went to live in a tent with her children.
“I feel empty, I feel sad and I don’t know what I could’ve done to someone for them to do this to me. I help so many people and for someone to do this to me, go to my home and set it afire? It really destroys me. I don’t feel safe,” the woman said.
It is now one week since the family has been sleeping, bathing and eating in the tent. And Howard lamented the lack of safety there.
“It’s not really safe because in the night, junkies walk up and down and two nights ago people tried to cut the rope of the tent,” she related.
But the woman said she is more worried about her children’s access to education. She said she hasn’t been able to send them to school because they don’t have uniforms and school supplies.
Asked about family she could reach out to, Howard related that she reached out to the grandmother of her children but she has no immediate support.
Howard, however, recommenced her business as a nail technician on Wednesday and she is hopeful that she can work and make enough money to save and rebuild.
Still, she explained that her worries are distracting her from her work.
She also reached out to several places such as Food For the Poor and the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security for some assistance. Howard also disclosed that she was on a list of squatters slated to receive the government’s assistance in relocating.
“Most of the days I am just crying because up to now, I think that I’m dreaming. I keep asking myself who did this to me?” she said.
Persons who want to assist Howard can contact her on: 670-1030.
How sad! I empathize with that young woman and her children. Mankind’s heart could be so desperately wicked.. How could one deprive another from having a roof over his or her head. It is a real setback in one’s life. A lesson one could never, ever forget.