Community Focus | Survivor donates funds while in native Jamaica to launch business

Andrene Lewis-Longwe, who survived poverty and child sexual abuse in Jamaica and is now an acclaimed entrepreneur, is back in her homeland.

She will on December 10 open a local branch of her homecare services business – Break Barriers Caring Hands, which is headquartered in Britain, and which is now providing scores of jobs in Jamaica.

Lewis-Longwe is also using the business trip to visit and help people in need.

A few days ago, she somewhat retraced her footsteps when she visited the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation, where she got help in 1988 after becoming pregnant at age 15.

“The Women’s Centre saved my life; it was a pleasure to be able to give back,” she noted.

Lewis-Longwe donated a cheque valued at $50,000 to the Centre, which she lauded for expanding its presence and services across the island.

The business guru also journeyed to Seven Heights in May Pen, Clarendon, where she donated a cheque valued at $100,000 to a gunshot victim, Kevin Robinson.

“I am elated and thankful,” said Robinson, who already has access to half of the funds. The remainder is to be provided on condition that he puts the first portion to good use.

Robinson said he will carry out much-needed repairs to the house he shares with his 96-year-old bedridden paternal grandmother, Rubena Brown, who raised him.

The 38-year-old, Robinson, has been paralyzed since he was 16. He explained that two shots struck him in the back when gunmen indiscriminately fired on a section of a community, which he visited in 1998 while spending time with his siblings in Kingston.

Robinson said life has been a struggle for him and his grandmother.

Lewis-Longwe told The Beacon that she was moved to contact Robinson – a total stranger, after she read media reports about his plight.

“His story really touched me,” she said.

“The reason it touched me is because I know that, for people who have physical disabilities in the UK, it doesn’t have to be that difficult, because of the social care system there. Robinson would have been looked after from day one if he were in the UK. Seeing that he suffered for so long in such condition, it really touched me.”

The businesswoman noted that other kind-hearted people responded to an appeal she made and contributed to the donation she presented to Robinson.

READ: Woman rises from poverty in Jamaica – she now employs over 80 people in Britain


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