Five ‘brothers’ and a dream
ZIDANE RHODEN, Daniel Bryan, Ceejay Williams, Ronaldo Lynch and Daryl Simpson, who all hail from the troubled communities of Farm and Effortville in Clarendon, have been living as brothers for as long as they can remember.
Drawn together by circumstances, they have been each other’s best friends, comforters and motivators to keep their focus and go after their dreams.
Family and Religion caught up with them at the Versalles Hotel where they are participants in a HEART/NTA commercial food-preparation course made possible by coordinator of the programme, Antonio James.
“I think the bond that is formed here is due to family issues. Our situations are really hurting us, and all of us developed a bond as a result,” said Rhoden.
Rhoden described himself as a “slow learner” and said he did not get the help he needed so he had to push a lot for himself.
“I did not get any help to further my education, and my friends also had trouble going ahead with theirs. All of us have a goal in life to be somebody, and now the dream is possible,” said Rhoden.
Williams, who described himself as the “big brother” of the group, said he was aware of his role, and because of that, he tries to ensure he stays out of trouble.
The young men, whose ages range from 17-19, are also giving thanks for a stable factor in their lives and that is the woman they refer to as ‘Miss Roy’, who is a justice of the peace.
KEEPING OUT OF TROUBLE
“She keeps us out of trouble as we hang out at her home and she gives us chores to do and we have everything at our comfort – food, games, books – anything we want. We don’t need to go on the road,” said Lynch.
However, there is one reality that her mothering cannot shut out, and it is their address.
“We have seen so many dead bodies. We would be on the football field playing and, just like that, someone gets shot in front of us. There are times we have to beat a hasty retreat to avoid getting shot,” said Williams.
Bryan said that the community he is from is very dangerous.
“What drives us from those things is that we have a goal, all of us do. We know what we want in the future and we know how to accomplish them. We know that we have to work hard. We don’t believe in shortcuts,” he said.
For Bryan, the said circumstances in his community have shown him what he definitely does not want.
“In that community, too many men die who take up badness. We can’t be like them. We have to act different and move different,” he said.
Reaching out to other young men who live in troubled communities, Williams said that there is always another way.
“You can form constructive groups, correspond with people who go to church. We do things. We don’t stay on the road idly,” he said.
There is one thing that would make life more comfortable for the five brothers, and that is having laptops.
“Sometimes we want to do some research and we are afraid to come out of the community too late. It would be great if we could have computers and Internet access. That, for us, would be a dream come true,” they all said.
From left: Coordinator Antonio James, Zidane Rhoden, Daniel Bryan, Daryl Simpson, Ronaldo Lynch, Ceejay Williams and assistant coordinator Claude Elliott share lens time.