Boy plans to fight poverty with six chickens
Although he is just 12 years old, Conroy Shakespeare has a big heart. When the Inswood High School first-former saw his mother, Simone Spence, struggling financially, he said he knew he had to step in to try to help ease her burden.
He saved $680 from his lunch money one week and was able to purchase six chickens, which he said will be the key to taking his family out of poverty.
"Sometimes me madda nuh have nuh money, sometimes a rice and butter she can afford to cook gi we, and me nuh like see when she broke and look sad," Conroy told THE WEEKEND STAR.
"Me just decide to buy these six chickens, and dem give me a extra one, so me can help her. For one entire week, me no eat no lunch and save me money. Me only take out me bus fare and bear the hunger," he said.
The youngster constructed a small coop to house the chickens in the back of his yard in Gutters, Old Harbour, St Catherine.
When THE WEEKEND STAR visited him on Wednesday, Conroy had just returned from school and was in the process of feeding his chickens.
"When them get big, me ago give me mother two a dem so she can cook for we and sell the rest so me can buy more. Me want a big chicken farm so me can supply all the wholesale and supermarket dem," Conroy said.
"When me get the chicken money, me a guh buy some goats and pigs," he said.
Conroy is the eldest of three children for his mother. They live in a one-bedroom house on a leased property. Spence said she was completely surprised when she saw him building the coop.
"I had some boards that I was using to make a bench for them to sit on when they are doing their homework, and I saw him use it and build the coop. Me never know him did a save him lunch money or anything, so the way me impressed, me put it on Facebook and it went viral, and people start reach out to me and wish him well. Persons even send a money to buy more chickens and build a bigger coop, so next week we ago start build it," she said.
The pre-teen said that since the amateur video of him purchasing the chickens went viral, he has often been laughed at by other youngsters.
"All mi fren dem laugh at me and mock me say how me make people video me with fowl and put me on Internet, but me nuh pay them any mind. Nuff time me all say me wah be prefect and dem ask me if me a idiot because people ago take set on me. Me naah pay them no mind still, because me still a guh try," he said.
Persons who want to assist Conroy may contact his mother, Simone Spence, at 876-348-6839.