Santa checks in early at Overland
August 27, 2004

Santa checks in early at Overland

by Jude Knight

Christmas came four months early for four unfortunate children and the DeSouza family of Overland.
The four – Natasha, 12, Natesha, 10, Courtney, 6, and Chevonna, 5 – lost their mother, Pamela DaSouza, in tragic circumstances when she was stabbed to death in front of them at their home in St. Michael, Barbados, last year August 17. {{more}}They were the recipients of boxes of shoes, clothes, books, an undisclosed
sum of money and other gifts from readers of
the Nation Newspaper in Barbados and Searchlight Newspaper, who pledged their support after reading of the children’s misfortune a few weeks ago.
Readers, touched by the articles and the thought of what those little minds must have endured during and since their ordeal, and their unceremonious dispatch to St. Vincent, offered their support in many ways, from actual material gifts to psychological help. Calls and
e-mails have also been coming from countries far and wide requesting information about the family, and seeking advice on how they could assist.
Nation Newspaper Editor Timothy Slinger and company receptionist Marva Lokai, journeyed to St. Vincent and the Grenadines from Barbados with the boxes of gifts on Wednesday, August 18, while many Vincentians were biting their nails during the tough World Cup football encounter between the host country and Trinidad and Tobago at Arnos Vale Playing Field.
Vincentians were so wrapped up in the football game that obtaining transportation to travel to the Windward village of Overland was almost as difficult as the treacherous road itself. But after linking up with the writer, Searchlight’s Chief Sub Editor, at the airport, connections were made and the journey began.
At Overland, there were visible signs that construction had begun on their modest little wooden house, and the children seemed much happier than previous visits. But when the boxes were opened, it seemed as though a burden was lifted off the family and smiles could be seen on every face. Grandparents and guardians of the children, Victorine DaSouza and husband Albon, hugged and kissed the bearers of the gifts and expressed thanks to all the people who had come forward and assisted in their hour of need.