HAVANA TIMES – Diana’s story is perhaps one of many. However, my family and I have experienced it firsthand and suffered as a result… she is our neighbor. Diana is 16 years old now, and doesn’t have a mother, and you can also say that she doesn’t have a father either. She has a large family; however, they turned their back on her when she needed them the most.
Diana’s father gave her his surname, and he took care of her while he was with her mother, but then he disappeared. When the little girl turned 10, her mother left this world, passing away suddenly.
Her aunts and uncles and maternal grandmother immediately began to argue over who would have custody of the girl, more than anything because they would be able to live in the comfortable house she had. Seeing how her aunts, uncles and grandmother were only interested in inheriting four walls and some furniture, the girl sought refuge in my mother’s arms.
My mother is almost 60 years old, kind and loving, and she took care of her for some time. She learned that her father was a schizophrenic, and that his family didn’t know a lot about Diana.
Finally, a maternal uncle (who had stayed on the sidelines up until then), who was probably the sanest and best prepared to look after the girl and help her, assumed parental responsibility for the girl, with no ulterior motive. He took her to his house, promising her a home and education.
Everything seemed to go well, until the uncle had his own daughter and Diana was already a teenager who he didn’t have patience for. Diana ended up alone again one fine day, a few months ago. She is now 16. She had begun her studies at Camilitos (a military pre-university academy), but she had to drop out because she now has to work.
Luckily, she has four walls and a roof over her head, the house her mother left her. My mother and I help her out with some money and even with food, but we are concerned about her future.
What do you do or should you do when faced like a situation like this one, in a country like ours? Where supposedly there aren’t any children without a family to look after them.