Linstead brothers finally get birth certificates; their mother now tells other parents to do it early

Jason Ridge, 24, shows his brand new birth certificate. The photo of the certificate is deliberately blurred.

Jason Ridge from Wakefield district in the Linstead area of St. Catherine did not have a birth certificate when The Beacon first published his tough life story in May this year.

However, the 24-year-old yesterday received the crucial document from the Registrar General’s Department.

“I am grateful,” he said, adding that he can now acquire other important documents for which the birth certificate is a prerequisite.

Jason, an aspiring artiste who uses the stage name Kehaos, also never attended school.

His life story touched many readers, including a Jamaican native, Sandy McCook, who lives in Denmark.

McCook donated the larger portion of funds associated with acquisition of the birth certificate for Jason. It was her generosity that inspired Jason’s mother, Verna ‘Valerie’ Davis, to take the first big step in applying for the birth certificate.

The single mother, who struggles with poverty, said the process was tedious, adding that she travelled on numerous occasions and paid different fees. Nonetheless, she was determined to finally correct her misstep.

“The process was long and hard; mi haffi goh different different places,” she told The Beacon.

The mother stated that an employee of the Registrar General’s Department – known as Miss Townsend – was very helpful.

A Justice of the Peace in Linstead, Ruby Tenn, who is also a member of the Linstead Community Development Committee, also assisted with the necessary paperwork.

Jason’s mother, in the meantime, has 14 children, including three who are deceased.

She told The Beacon that two of her sons – including Jason – did not have a birth certificate up to yesterday. The other son who was without the document is 17 years old.

The mother explained that she applied for the birth certificate for her 17-year-old son more than a year ago, but did not get it until yesterday when she went to collect Jason’s.

She expressed regret that her sons were not registered when they were babies. The process would have been much cheaper and easier, she noted.

The mother is now encouraging other parents to register their babies early.

“Try to register them no matter what it takes because it is going to be a very hard road to travel when they grow up,” she further said.


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