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A Big Yard family affair

Carlos Atwell

A Big Yard family affair

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IT’S A FAMILY AFFAIR in Flat Rock, St George – a Big Yard Family affair.
This is the name of the spot located along a bend in the road in Flat Rock where a group of young men and women are building a place to relax and cook outdoors.
“We’re setting up something to protect us from the heat, a cool-out spot where we can cook and eat and relax instead of going on somebody else block,” said Kim Callender. She said the day before they had cooked breadfruit and now soup was on the menu.
We soon learned that many of the young people involved in setting up the Big Yard Family spot were related. The construction was done under the watchful eye of family matriarch
Una Callender, 91, who said there were a lot more people around now than when she first came to the area.
“There are more people and more houses but I don’t have trouble with no one. I miserable, I would fight!” she laughed, adding she was not a bad person.
Jobs, community activities and their parliamentary representative’s infrequent visits to the area were among the concerns of Flat Rock residents.
“My biggest concern is the youth not getting sufficient help or guidance to do what they want to do. The people running Barbados got to put things in place; they come ’round when they want votes but they need to come and see how life really is,” said Mario Callender.
However, he admitted, the youth could do more to help themselves as well.
“Some o’ we don’t try hard enough. We got to get up and help weself.”Mario, a mason by trade, said he was currently looking for a job in construction.
Unemployed and looking for work, Kim said: “I can’t stan’ home all de time, so I would like a job in Government – [something] like a general worker, nothing special. I vote every time but you musse need to got a godfather. Who de cat like, he lick, who he hate, he kick.”
Another man, who identified himself as “Not Easy” of TRS Construction, said he did “sub-contract work” with the Urban Development Commission (UDC)?but that work was few and far between.
“I don’t get work often despite no complaints. If no one in Parliament behind you, you are the last in line.”
He also said there was a lot of talent in the community, from NIFCA awardees to carpenters, but nothing was forthcoming for them.
“We don’t see the MP. Everything done in this community is done by the people here. We need a community centre and for the MP to come around,” he said, adding that he sold chickens and rabbits to earn income until he was called by the UDC.
Jason Callender said a football team had been formed, thanks to Edwin Wood and Keisha Kirton, and a netball team was in the process of being formed, with both teams serving as examples of the community taking care of itself.
Tyrell Selman is one of the luckier ones.
He has been working with Pammard Services for two years doing a wide variety of work from fixing medical equipment to power washing.
The only drawback, he said, was that the work was not on a regular basis.
Kim said although the job situation in the district was grim, she loved her home.
“[There is no] noise or violence. It’s very cool, everybody does unite. It’s a family thing.”