PATH beneficiary suffering without card
Ophilia Ricketts, a mother of nine who depends on funds from The Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) to support her family, said she has been struggling to make ends meet since her PATH card expired in February.
The 51-year-old, who has been a PATH beneficiary for eight years, said she receives $15,000 every other month from the grant which she uses to purchase goods.
She then uses the proceeds to send her children to school. She said the absence of the PATH money is severely hampering her ability to earn.
Ricketts said she has to make sacrifices to send three teenage daughters to school and provide other basic necessities.
"A mi haffi tek care a me kids because them don't have no father. Eight years now him don't give me a dollar fi dem, so mi just tek mi time and look after them with whatever me have. When dem a go a school, it ruff cause a three a dem and a Portmore dem go. One go Ascot, one go Cumberland and one go Waterford, and dem haffi tek two bus go and two bus come back," she told THE STAR.
She is worried that without the assistance from PATH, she may find it difficult to prepare her children for school when it reopens in September.
Ricketts said she has to buy cloth for her children who have to get their uniforms made, "and me haffi go the school go buy the uniform fi di one weh the school sell it."
Ricketts said she has made numerous trips to the PATH officer and the bank which issues the card. But so far she is yet to receive a replacement card.
"Mi tired fi a go back and forth, and me can't get no location fi mi card cause dem a say it no deh a head office and the bank say them send it out," she said.
After querying her situation, she was told that she will be given a cheque for the next payment, however she is adamant that she wants a card as it makes it easier for her to monitor her money.