RADHICA DE SILVA
A week ago, Gillian Noel and her family were in tears facing the COVID-19 crisis in a leaking rotted plyboard home, with no proper roof and no running water to wash their hands.
This week, Noel was all smiles after Good Samaritans came together to rebuild her house.
She also got a direct water connection for herself and two neighbours, proper plumbing to her new home, a toilet and most importantly medical care.
During an interview with Guardian Media, Noel said she never expected the response to be so great.
“I feel so happy and blessed. Strangers have all come together, no matter what party they belong to, to help us. I am so happy for that,” she explained.
It was UNC councillor for San Francique/Avocat Doodnath Mayrhoo who brought Noel’s plight to the media but after the story was aired, over 20 volunteers from the PNM Volunteer Factory came together and started to rebuild the house.
Hardware owners from the community offered material and one man from the United Kingdom who was touched by Noel’s story being aired on CNC3 news even offered to pay for her CT scans and other medical bills.
Noel said a social worker from the Ministry of Social Development visited her home and took copies of her medical records.
“She told me that they will arrange for me to get a full checkup and they will ensure that the scans are done in the hospital,” Noel added.
“I am looking forward to moving into my new home today. My children are very happy and we want to thank everyone who has assisted,” she added.
Mayrhoo said he was also thankful to the volunteers who came to Noel’s rescue.
Project Officer of the PNM Volunteer Factory Barry Garcia and community activist Richard Gooding said they too were touched by Noel’s story.
“We came here the very next day and we started to mobilize materials and help to rebuild her house,” Garcia said. He added, “This is a humanitarian effort and it does not have anything to do with politics. This is us coming together as a community and helping one another,” Garcia said.
Gooding said they were also assisting six other families.
Anyone wanting to help can contact Noel at 794-2974.