- Violence Prevention Alliance
‘Mother Roye’ Making an Impact in Effortville, Clarendon
Seventy-eight year-old Myrtle Roye, affectionately called ‘Mother Roye’ has only given birth to two biological children but she has nurtured many others.
The retired teacher who is now a violence interrupter in Effortville, Clarendon has mentored
many children who she taught while as a teacher at Cross Primary and Junior High School in the parish. In fact at the time of this interview, some of her former students stopped by her house to wish her happy Teachers’ Day on Wednesday, May 5.
Besides her biological children, she has raised another five children who are unrelated to her and three grandchildren. Her greatest joy of being a mother to these children is that they have turned out well and are contributing positively to society.
“At the time, there was a lot of violence in the community and these children – all boys were on the road so I eventually took them in and assumed responsibility for them. I saw to it that they all went to school. After leaving school, some went to HEART to learn a skill. They are all now employed and are doing well,” she said proudly.
For her biological children, both successfully completed university with one being employed as an auditor. Her other child passed away leaving behind three children which she is now caring for.
“There are so many joys of being a mother but when you see your children progress in life, for me that is one of the greatest accomplishments. I always encourage them to excel and to not fall below five in placement in their classes. When I saw that my children were doing well
academically, I felt proud,” she said.
Mrs Roye however noted that it was not an easy task in raising these children but underscored that parents have to be a strong and set good example for their children to follow.
“You can’t be stealing and be telling your child not to steal. You have to set an example. You
have to constantly pray for them and let them know that God should be an important part in their life,” she shared.
She has instilled good values in her children with one of those values of being satisfied with
what they have and never watch what others have. She said that advice was passed on to her by her parents who gave her tangible lessons of this throughout her childhood.
The former vice principal said key to raising responsible children is developing a good rapport with them and making them feel comfortable to share information with you.
“As a family, you sit and discuss things with your children. Always include them in your
decision making, you alone don’t make the decision,” she said.
As a violence interrupter, she applied her listening skills when doing her job in the community. She shows compassion, empathizes and then direct them on the right path.
“The young men who are in trouble, you can’t just write them off because when they see that
someone cares and talk with them, you can redirect their lives,” she said pointing out that many of them need employment to keep them occupied and away from a life of crime.
Her advice to other mothers is to spend time with their children and make sacrifices to ensure that they have a good education.
For Robert Grant, caretaker for Palmers Cross, Mrs Roye has positively impacted his life. “She has had a tremendous impact on my life. She is one of those persons I really look up to. She has been a mother, mentor and advisor to me. Where I’m am now, I owe her a lot in terms of the guidance she provided to me,” he said.