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One Struggle Despair and Hope in Belize City Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 28 March 2018 00:00

By Alfonso Noble

(Part 2)

We walked out the hospital and back into Willoughby’s vehicle and we were off again… heading to Nurse Sea Street… it was actually Nurse Findley’s Crescent!

Again, Shefaun Domingo got into the passenger’s seat of the vehicle and awaited for Willoughby to re-engage the engine. By this time I had known what to do, I took Shefaun’s wheel chair and placed it in the back of Willougby’s vehicle. It had become almost an instinctive maneuver by now. As we headed to Nurse Findley’s Crescent, Willoughby continued his narration of what he intended to do. The senseless crime that is in the process of overtaking the city had to be halted stated the former councilor. Shefaun being living testament of the devastation that crime is capable of inflicting would only agree.

It was only a few minutes before we had reached our next destination. We parked in front of a yard on Nurse Findley’s Cresecent, I immediately recognized a picture of a young boy pasted on the back windshield of a vehicle that was parked in front of the house where we had come to a stop. It was a picture of Treshawn Goff.

It was almost as if the police situation report was being read in my head as I looked at the innocent’s face as a reminder of the blow that the family members were living with. “On Monday March 5th, 2018 at about 7:40 p.m., Police visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they observed Ian Lincoln Abraham Jr, 24 year old Belizean Deliveryman of a Nurse Findley Crescent address, suffering from (1) apparent gunshot wound to the lower right back and Treshawn Goff 4 year old Belizean minor suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the right side of his head. Initial investigations revealed that about 7:30 p.m., whilst, Ian Abraham Jr. and a family member were fixing a car in front of their residence, a car approached and several shots were fired towards their direction from within the car causing injuries to Goff and Abraham. Treshawn Goff succumbed to his injuries whilst, Ian Abraham Jr. is listed in a stable condition. Police are investigating….

“Weh mi gyal deh?” shouted Willougbhy from inside his vehicle. Soon a middle aged man of East Indian descent emerged from one of the houses in the yard and shouted, “eh gone out,” two other men came out from under the house and greeted Willoughby. “You know weh eh gone?” he asked. One of the men said that she had gone to do some shopping. “Ok. I wah ketch up with ah laata.” Willoughby engaged the engine in drive and took off, “you know the place right Noble?” he asked. Of course I knew the place and I shook my head in disbelief. A 4 year old’s life was taken here just two weeks prior to our visit. Willoughby had been by the family’s side ever since the incident and was working with them as they tried to cope.

We have to engage these people mek the killings stop,” he said. “Anyway, I wah ketch she laata, mek we go dah wi next stop.” He turned the vehicle around and we were off to Neal’s Penn Road. By the time we had reached the far end of the street I knew exactly where we were going. Again we parked and the routine with Domingo ensued again. He crept out of the passenger’s seat and onto the wheelchair. By this time I was totally engaged in this activity. From my peripheral vision I saw Willoughby trying to force open the 8 foot zinc gate. “Hello, hello,” he yelled as he continued to push on the gate. Finally he managed to remove a block that was chocked against it and he was in. “Hello, mama,” he said as he made his way to the house where he was greeted by Kayla Stevens, she is the mother of baby Gregory Mena who was shot to three of his toes on his left foot on Wednesday February 28 March. At the time gunmen ran into the yard and executed 32 year old Alexander Carr who had gone to visit his daughter he has with Kayla.

“Weh mi lee fren deh?” he enquired from Kayla as she was upstairs. “Eh deh right ya, di give trouble,” she replied and would soon make her way down the steps with baby Gregory on her hip. No sooner had she sat down on a bench she had next to her house than Gregory began to suckle. Willoughby playfully removed him from his meal time to his great dissatisfaction. He began to cry and would only be comforted when he went back to his mother’s breast.

Domingo and I watched in amazement at the level of interaction Willougby had with this and all the other persons who he came in contact with that day. He made light conversation with Kayla and was pleased to find out that Gregory was walking once again. The doctors had expressed concern that because he had lost a portion of three of his toes in the shooting, he might not be able to walk again. Nonetheless, as children always demonstrate there is great resilience in them and Gregory was no exception. He was one of the bright spots in all the misery we had visited on this Tuesday. With the help of others like Willoughby Gregory and his mother are on the way to recovery.

After pledging to Kayla some more support, we were off again and this time it was to Kraal road. There the former councilor had enlisted some young women in the neighborhood where he was getting names of all those in the area. He says this is an area he will be concentrating on, to get the people together in order to see how they can minimize crime in the area. This is an absolute necessity! From what he showed us on this Tuesday Belize City is in a state of upheaval.

The reality in the streets of Belize City is this: the young are killing and destroying the life of the young, Garnett is 29, Parham is 29 and Domingo is 31. Young black men living in a savage city! What is now left is for the pieces to be placed back together. Here is where Willoughby fits in, he is doing his best to do so, but he cannot do it alone. It takes all of our efforts. Already he is assisting Domingo with trying to cast the flooring of his house with cement as, the living conditions are not for the faint of heart. Even in a wheelchair, Domingo’s home is adversarial in nature. Nonetheless there is hope.

Garnett, left the hospital in a wheelchair, again thanks to Willoughby’s help… he too has hope to rebuild back his life as best he can.

The One Struggle does not end there, there are countless others who need the type of support structure which it offers and the Struggle too needs as much support as it can get.

Anyone interested in assisting can get in touch with the One Struggle group via facebook or with Phillip Willoughby at 615-9793.