The perfect gift - Young family finds joy in new home
There were days when Ian Stewart wondered whether he would ever be able to save enough money to give his family the kind of dwelling they deserve.
The 34-year-old lived in a one-bedroom concrete dwelling with a shaky foundation, the left side had collapsed. The kitchen was made from old pieces of zinc and the bathroom facilities were inadequate.
Stewart lives with his two-year-old son, Khalil, and common-law wife, Damonia Dockery, in Ballards, Clarendon. He works overtime trying to make ends meet, but despite his best efforts, he could not manage to give them a better house to live in.
His fortunes changed recently after he got a phone call and was told that he was selected to receive a house from BOOM Energy Drink in partnership with Food For The Poor. The family fell on hard times after Stewart, who worked as a bus conductor, lost his job during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I am overwhelmed," he said about the gift of the house. "It now motivates me to help my family more."
His family received a two-bedroom unit, which is equipped with indoor sanitary facilities, water harvesting system and solar panel.
BOOM has sponsored 10 homes for needy Jamaicans in 2022, which is in addition to the 10 homes they sponsored in 2021.
Stewart, who received the house in time for Father's Day, said celebrating the day that is set aside to salute dads was the furthest from his mind.
"Words cannot explain, I never considered Father's Day, I was focusing on my son and babymother's birthday," he said.
The Edwin Allen High School past student, who recently landed a job as a merchandiser, said that his focus is on ensuring his son achieves his fullest potential.
"In life, when you get a youth, everything motivates you, so you have to try focus to get a better job, get a better life. Certain things you used to do you have to stop. You don't want him to grow up and be like you, continuing the struggle on and off. You have to put him in the right place," Stewart said.
The young father left high school without any certification as his parents did not have the money. It was his dream to eventually sit some subjects, but working and living expenses have seen that dream being put on to the back burner.
Now a father, Stewart is determined that that fate will not be his son's. He is resolute that he will have all that he needs. His dream for Khalil is for him to go to college and achieve more than he ever did. He is encouraging those who are charged with the awesome responsibility of being a father to get a skill, work hard and to spend time with their family.