Observer story sparks help for young fire victim


Observer story sparks help for young fire victim

Monday, June 17, 2019

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Less than one month after eight-year-old Rickayla Scotland lost her house and everything in it during a fire, more help is coming for the little girl who wailed, “All a mi book dem burn up!” when the Jamaica Observer visited the scene at 126 Orange Street, in down- town, Kingston, where she lived with her family.

Rickayla, a grade three student of Holy Rosary Primary School, seemed more disturbed about missing school than the fire as she told the Observer, “If I was at school I would be learning or playing with my friends.”

Moved by her concerns the Library and Information Association of Jamaica (LIAJA), last week presented five book vouchers valued at $25,000 to little Rickayla.

LIAJA president Nicholas Graham and other members of his executive made the trip to Orange Street to present Rickayla with the vouchers.

According to Graham, having seen the article in the Observer the LIAJA felt compelled to render assistance to this little girl.

“In keeping with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 2030, the LIAJA strongly believes in quality education for the nation's youth and as such saw the need to make a contribution to Rickayla so that her educational pursuits were not disrupted. The book vouchers will therefore be useful in assisting her to recover books lost and more,” said Graham.

The LIAJA represents information professionals and institutions in Jamaica.

Rickayla was among eight children and 22 adults who had been left homeless as a result of a blaze at 126-128 Orange Street on May 15. The fire was allegedly started during a domestic dispute involving one of the occupants of the tenement yard and his girlfriend.

Kingston Bookshop Ltd had also donated $60,000 worth of book vouchers to Rickayla.

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