Freetown MP Dionisio D’Aguilar said yesterday that he has helped raise $15,000 to help an elderly blind woman living in poverty on Abraham Street off James Road.
The Nassau Guardian featured Mary Thompson, 89, last month, and her story of destitution and neglect.
Thompson, who is blind, lives in a wooden shack with her three cats.
“Ms. Thompson is a member of the Freetown constituency who is blind and for many, many years she has lived in deplorable conditions,” D’Aguilar said.
“To solve that problem is going to cost many tens of thousands of dollars.
“If we were in a first world country, she would have been institutionalized, not from a negative sense, but put in a home where persons with her disability could live with dignity, but we don’t have that here.
“…Yes, I’ve made a donation but my $5,000 donation is not going to solve the problem. This is a much bigger problem.
“…I got some corporate sponsors to put in another $10,000, so we’re at $15,000.
“But she needs a lot more than that to solve it properly and to provide her with a home with dignity. She needs someone to live with her. She needs a caregiver.”
D’Aguilar added that these issues should be addressed by the Ministry of Social Services, however he acknowledged that the need is great and resources are limited.
“…I’m not an expert,” he said.
“This is really something the state should take care of. I can assist, but to expect an MP to come in and to solve what is a massive social ill is difficult. I honestly don’t have experience in this.
“I’m looking for government agencies to provide with that and, of course, they’re limited in their resources and what they can do.
“…It’s a vexing problem.”