IN a desperate bid to survive, a boy in rural Jamaica has turned to working in ganja fields, reaping the illegal weed in order to buy his meals.
But while his actions would be considered illegal and he could have been arrested and later imprisoned if the police had caught him, the lad said that he had no choice.
“My mother don’t treat me good, Miss,” he told the Jamaica Observer in an interview days ago.
“She do me whole heap of things, Miss, like she don’t give me any food for two days straight. I have to be going to ganja bush to pick weed and then she cuss mi ’cause she don’t want me to go there. But I have to go ganja bush, Miss. Because anytime she cook she only give it to the other two children them and don’t look pon me, Miss.”
A relative of the child confirmed that he has in fact been left to fend for himself.
“His parents do not care,” the relative stated. “He has no birth certificate, no vaccination paper, no baptismal paper, has to fend for himself, and is dirty all the time. This child has to fend for himself to eat, wash his own clothes and walk on the road daily.”
It is a situation that has affected the boy psychologically.
“I feel bad because I was the only one in the field and everybody else a pure big man,” he stated.
He said that when he goes to pick the crop he would be given $500 per day which he would use to purchase his meals. However, he said that the crop is seasonal and so the work is not consistent. Therefore, after buying himself something to eat he would put aside some to take him into the next day.
“When I get money — like how mi have a little phone now — I would buy phone card and buy food and have money for the next day,” he said.
What made him feel even worse, he said, is having the men in the field often belittling him.
“Because is me alone as little boy and is pure big man, they always cuss mi ’bout mi fi go a school. That did make mi feel a way, Miss, but mi never used to answer because mi never have nothing to say,” the child said.
But despite feeling cheated by his mother, the child said that he still intends to grow up, get a respectable job and work to help support her.
“I would do it, Miss,” he said. “But all wah day she a cuss mi, and she say she should a do what my auntie say she did fi do — kill mi when mi still deh in a belly. I did feel bad when she say that, Miss.”
The child’s mother, who refused to be interviewed, and who declared that she had no interest in having her ‘business go public’, finally admitted to loving her son when the Sunday Observer asked her if she did.
“Of course mi love mi son,” was all she said.
Others in the community admitted to having knowledge of the child’s survival skills and have even discouraged his actions by helping to provide for him and showing him the dangers of his ‘job’.
“I always see him around, but I never know that was what he did,” one community member told the Sunday Observer. “He told us that sometimes he didn’t get anything to eat. So I told my daughter that even if I am not home she should cook and leave for him so whenever he comes he would get it.”
It was after seeing him appearing at her house late at nights that she decided to question him about his whereabouts and he confessed to her that he was coming from the ganja field.
“I told him not to go to those places. I said you don’t see that I don’t send my children to those places?” she said. “So I try to assist him as much as I can.”
But the child said he does not feel at home in his mother’s house, especially since he eats breakfast, dinner, and washes his clothes at another home in the community. The only times he goes home is to sleep.
“All the other day, the lady [where he eats] daughter say that mi come een like her little brother and mi feel good ’bout that,” the child added with a smile.


  1. Good Morning,Happy Sunday ;-)…
    This touched my heart; I hope he overcomes the obstacles of being undocumented and the emotional scars that he’s being gifted by his mother. Hopefully someone will see to it that he gets his birth certificate, the longer he goes without one, the more likely it is that he won’t get one….This likely means his mom never sent him to school…. madness, its like she trying to guarantee failure for this one child…

  2. Well isn’t life a bitch! I eat 2 grapes from the fruit section in the supermarket, and an old lady cusses at me, yet, this woman doesn’t take care of her child, leave him dirty, hungry, and working illegally to survive, and the authorities don’t do anything about it? Neglect of any child is a serious offence. No 10 year old should be left fending for himself like that, with the Mother not providing for his basic needs. Damn it man, if de pickney nuh have no manners and is disrespectful in many ways, or is a problem child, then give him up for adoption, than deal wid him so harsh man. This woman should be charged for leaving her child unattended, and getting psychological help pon top a dat. How dare her tell the Reporter that she loves her child, when the yute say fe 2 days him nuh eat nuh food, and yet she feed the adda 2 yute dem, and a tell de yute say she shoulda kill him from him inna belly? Wah kinda almshouse dat u a tell a likkle yute? Where is Lisa Hanna and her crew, Jamaica for Justce Representatives, labor law advocates, and other children advocates in Jamaica when you need them?

  3. Morning met, such a sad sad story. What i want to know is what this little boy could have done that is so unforgiving why she treats him this way. MY GOD MAN! Children are a product of thier environment. If this situation continues and this little boy should decide to rob and steal fi survive you cant blame anyone but the parents and the state. And such a mannerly child. Him nuh end a respond without saying “miss” to the interviewer. Him have potential man mi just hope him get the help him need. Lisa Hanna/CDA please find some way to help this child! And poor ting, him seh him still woulda help di mada if him shoulda progress. Aah boi.

    1. Di child likely just come out looking like di father and every time shi look at him she see di father, so shi do to di child the things shi couldn’t do to the father wah prolly leff har wid belly. She also could see the child as the source of her life not going in the direction she wanted.
      Whatever her reasons, it is an evil act, cause dung to the snake build a nest and look food for its young widdout complaint or expectation of gratitude, it just dweet cause it know seh a wah fi do. When humans caan even treat dem children better than the snake dat crawls in the bush and have no intelligence something is surely wrong. Most every animal in the wild treat their young as such, and let us not touch the greatest of all, the elephant whose young ones are their pride and joy. Life wasted pon humans more time, God’s greatest failure in all him creations a man.

      1. Mi hear weh yuh seh and see weh you ah come from, but memba seh God nuh fail ah human fail an all when we fail Father mek ah way fi restoration and rebuild ah relationship wid Him. Some parents jus too wicked towards dem owna pickney.

  4. Met am telling u life is so unpredictable am here trying so hard being through five miscarriages and still trying to conceive and god bless here with this little boy and she acting so brutal and selfish to her own child . And I bet u this same little boy is the one going to help her when she get old nothing but she have a man that don’t love the little boy and she putting the man over the child .May god have mercy pon har..

  5. This is touching. Women need to realize that they can have all the sex they want and not become pregnant. Once you have the kid, you have to take care of them. THis kid is a survivor. He will come out to something because of the harsh life. Nonetheless, he should not have to live like this. I hope he remembers how the mother treated him when she turns to him for help later on in life. This is too common. Some mumma and pupa fi guweh!!!!

  6. The old ignarant tuff man dem inna the field could have given him likkle more support. If him no have no damn birth certificate and shot records how him fi reach inna school. Aii sah. Him might have a good heart still cause him naw figet him madda no matta how she treat him bad. I only hope he can get in school soon. I can’t knock his spirit.

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