'We will pour into the lives of these special needs children,' charity group EDEMI pledges
Eagles Deliverance and Empowerment Ministries International (EDEMI) founder, Apostle Erica Raymond (left) presenting a cheque to Best CareSpecial Education School Principal Sharifa Brock-Lewin (fourth left) and Best Care Foundation Chairman Orville Johnson (second right), duringa church service on February 28. Sharing the occasion are Avril Bailey (second left), Allison Trowers (third left) and Kathryn Campbell, EDEMImembers.

THE little-known but fast-rising Eagles Deliverance and Empowerment Ministries International (EDEMI) has adopted the Best Care Special Education School saying that after a fact-finding tour it had seen what it liked and would now “pour into the lives of these children”.

EDEMI, based at 9 Red Hills Road, St Andrew, had been searching for an organisation “with a true need that could be aligned with our goals and objectives”, said apostle and founder Erica Raymond.

“EDEMI's mandate is to do outreach ministry. We found the Best Care school to be a reputable institution that provides services for children with special needs. It was an opportunity for us to pour into the lives of these children,” she told the Jamaica Observer.

The seven-year-old Best Care Special Education School based at Trevennion Road off Half-Way-Tree Road, St Andrew, caters to 140 students from age six to 21, many of whom can scarcely afford tuition fees. Raymond said what drew her group to the institution were its activities such as the growing of a variety of crops, water harvesting and solar energy projects.

“We were impressed by the implemented agricultural and energy efforts of the leadership and the children's involvement in it,” she said at the end of the tour last week Sunday. “These programmes and efforts are not by chance, they are the intentional outcomes of the Best Care Foundation which is committed to the welfare of their students with special needs.”

Best Care Foundation Chairman Orville Johnson bemoaned the fact that individuals with special needs are often not given the attention they deserve in society and that because of the difficulties they have, they required special treatment, which is why EDEMI's help was so important.

“What Best Care Special Education School has sought to do is provide an oasis where special needs persons can feel welcome and feel that they can operate in an environment where they can be their best selves, despite any limitation,” said Johnson. “Getting funds to support our efforts becomes critical to our survival.

“The board, staff and students appreciate contributions from organisations such as EDEMI who came to the Best Care premises to see what we're doing and to develop a relationship,” Johnson pointed out, adding that he was grateful that the charity group was “not seeking to have a one-shot deal but to build a relationship where they provide support from time to time as Best Care progresses”.

He said that partnerships are cherished because they create sustainability for the school, which relies heavily on partners who assist financially and in other ways.

“We appreciate the fact that EDEMI singled us out. There are other places that need support, and we are happy that we were chosen,” said Johnson.

Orville Johnson (second right), chairman of Best Care Foundation, thanks members of charity groupEDEMI for their assistance to the Best Care Special Education School.
Apostle Erica Raymond (left) pledging her organisation's support forthe Best Care Special Education School recently. Listening intentlyis Michelle Goulburne.

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