Struggling to stay in school


September 22, 2017
File Stressed by the books

Dear Pastor,

My father died two weeks after my birth, so I grew up without a father in my life and, to be honest, I never felt sorry for myself until I was in fifth grade, when I saw my mother struggling to send me to school and to give me lunch money.

She couldn't afford to buy my textbooks. When going to school, I normally wore the same khaki for five days.

My mother is a vendor. She cannot read and many times I feel so sad for her because she's sick. She has two physical problems which cannot be cured.

When she gets her medication, I read them for her. I am living with my grandmother. Because of the struggle my mother is facing, I assist my uncle in his shop and he gives me lunch money.

Every evening after school, I had to go straight in the shop to help him, and many times I left the shop at midnight.

Because of that it was hard to study. I was too tired. Many times I had to steal from him to send myself to school because he did not give me any money for working.

Many days, my mother went to sell goods and only came home with less than $500, and she needed it to buy food.

I was so stressed out over the matter of working six days a week every evening after school and not getting the opportunity to study so I could pass my exams.


In fifth form it got even worse. I had CXCs coming up and I still had to work every evening. I was afraid to talk to my family and to express how I felt as I got into a fight with them because I refused to continue to help my uncle in the shop.

If I didn't attend school, I had to cook for the shop in the day, plus sell food until late at nights. I had no time for myself and friends, and this was driving me crazy.

When I was doing my CSEC exams, my mother could not afford to pay for them. About three people felt sorry for me and gave me the money, because of my grandmother.

I managed to pass all eight subjects and my grandmother insisted I should go to sixth form. However, I didn't have the money.

I am now enrolled in sixth form, but my school fee is not paid. My grandmother asked a few people for money to help pay the school fees, but I feel so bad.

They promised to give me the money some weeks ago, but I haven't received a dime as yet. Even my uncle promised to pay part of it, but he hasn't given me any money.

The CAPE books I am supposed to get are so expensive. I can't afford to pay my school fee and now I have to buy books.

This issue is really making me feel stressed, and also the thought that my mother wants to commit suicide. I had planned to spend one year in sixth form and find a job next year to send myself to university.

However, I feel like I should stop attending school and find a job, because I am really struggling.

I am tired of the poverty I am in and I am just fed up. I am just tired of the life I am living.


Dear O.E.,

Let me begin by congratulating you for doing well in your CXC exams, in spite of your struggles. I am sorry to hear that your mother is ill and is not in a position to do much for you.

However, if she believes in prayers, she can use it as a wonderful support, and her faith in God and her prayers will help to strengthen you.

From what you have said, you do not believe that your uncle has treated you right, and you have a right to express your feelings.

I know that you need financial help and I believe that God will rise up folks to help you. They don't have to be your relatives. So, keep praying and trust in God. Do not quit school.

And although you are not pleased at times with the way you have been treated, do not be disrespectful to your uncle or to either side of your relatives.

If anyone is willing to assist you, I will contact you immediately.


Other Tell Me Pastor Stories