Eighty-year-old Lurlene Ffrench, a farmer who resides in the small farming community called Sweet Waters, in St James, said that she has been a farmer all of her life, but has been living in deplorable conditions for several years now, with things getting worse since the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Mi want sum help," Ffrench said. "Things ruff pon mi. See mi house deh, it want fix up," the elderly, bare-footed woman told THE STAR.
Described by one community member as being "like a mountain", Ffrench said she is the mother of three children who are all grown.
"Dem come look fi mi wen dem please, but right now mi want little help fi get clothes, food and fi mi house fix up," she said.
CRYING OUT FOR ATTENTION
Ffrench's house is a run-down one-room dwelling that is crying out for attention. The kitchen and bathroom facilities are located outdoors, and like most of the houses in the community, there is no running water. The elderly woman, too, could do with some personal touches. Her tattered clothes and her frame cut the picture of someone who has spent years working under harsh conditions.
"Seet deh, not even shoes mi have pon mi foot, and mi a get old and tired," she said. "Mi barely can manage again suh mi would a do well with help from anybody right yah now."
Ffrench spends most of her days cultivating crops, which mainly include ground provisions and vegetables. "When mi nah farm fi miself, mi get a little work here and there pon other farm inna the community," she said. One male community member told THE STAR that Ffrench is a very hard-working individual in Sweet Waters.
"Lurlene a boss," the resident stated. "That woman is like a mountain, wi don't know how she do it. As early as di morning is, you will see har a go a bush bare-footed, and she naah sick, and she naah break down inna nuh way."
He continued: "She really need sum help. Fi a ole woman a work suh hard inna bush, an den a work fi other people pon dem farm, she haffi be God bless!"