Charlestown –Nevis—She was teary eyed and obviously overwhelmed with emotion. When Kishawn Williams was given the opportunity to say a few words, she started her brief speech and then stopped.
After pausing to gather herself, the youthful mother of six, spoke eloquently to express her gratitude to Minister Hazel-Brandy-Williams and all of the other individuals who had teamed up to make her dream of owning her own home, a reality.
‘For one moment, I was wondering if they were really going to give me the keys,’ she said smiling.
She stated that her children are her first priority and so she was grateful for the fact that the Ministry of Social Development had given her the opportunity to be a home owner.
She had special words of thanks for Case worker, Mrs. Kim Singh, who worked with her all the way, towards getting her from one environment, to this a better one for herself and family.
The occasion was the official handing over of the keys to her brand new home, complements of the Ministry of Social Development’s, community housing assistance program.
It was Friday 20th October and a gathering of key persons, who had seen the plan to fruition, along with the contractor and some of her friends, were on hand to be a part of the grand occasion.
The ceremony was chaired by Mrs. Shelly Liburd, Administrative officer in the Ministry of Social Development.
In her opening remarks, she stated that her Ministry’s mantra included providing assistance to the poorest and most vulnerable within the society.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Development, Mr. Keith Glasgow, then addressed the gathering. He indicated that when they got the call that Mrs. Williams needed assistance, a case worker in Mrs. Kim Singh, was sent to assess her situation and it was discovered that she was really in need of help.
He noted that in 2012, St. Kitts and Nevis adopted a new social assistance strategy, which seeks to empower clients through the provision of certain services.
He noted that Mrs. Kishawn Williams was a part of the initial RISE program and excelled.
He noted that the contractor Nigel SEED Lawrence did an excellent job and when it was realized that the area was prone to flooding, he ordered that mechanisms be put in place, to drain storm water away from the dwelling.
An elated Hon. Hazel Brandy Williams, indicated that she was meeting Mrs. Williams for the first time but noted that she was greatly impressed by her demeanour and general attitude.
She stated that the RISE program was geared towards offering a HAND UP rather than a HANDOUT, in an effort to break the cycle of SOCIAL WELFARE and replacing it with SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT.
She pointed out that she has a special love for children and when she found out that it was not only Kishawn who was in distress, but that there were also six children involved, she knew that her Ministry’s response had to be immediate.
She also lauded the efforts of Contractor, Nigel SEED Lawrence and his crew, who she noted did an excellent job in constructing the new home for Kishawn.
Bishop Stephen Liburd then read from Psalm 91 and officially blessed the new home for Kishawn and her family.
Mrs. Kim Singh, the Social case worker, who had worked with Kishawn, towards the stated goal of ‘RISING TO A HIGHER LEVEL,’ stated that it was not easy, but indicated that Kishawn was willing to put in the hard work and she was happy to assist.
She pointed out that RISE stands for: Restore, inspire, secure and empower and she was glad to state that Kishawn had RISEN, despite the challenges that the client had faced.
So willing was Kishawn, that as she was empowered, she actually bought a piece of land (the one on which the house is built) and has already paid off for it. Further, she attempted English Language at the CXC level and passed. She has now registered to attempt Human Biology, sometime in the near future.
The ceremony closed with a smiling Kishawn Williams, turning the key in her front door and inviting all present, to a tour of her brand new home.