Fri | Dec 9, 2016

Children's home faces closure

Published:Thursday | January 15, 2015 | 12:00 AM

THE NATIONAL Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) recently continued its tradition of spreading Christmas cheer to the residents of Best Care Children's Home, even as the home faces possible closure at the end of this month.

Armed with toys, toiletries, and food, the NEPA team sought to make the Yuletide season that much brighter for the 40 wards at the home, located a stone's throw from the agency's head offices in Cross Roads.

NEPA's interaction with the home, which caters specifically to children with special needs, had its genesis in the agency's desire to give back to society in a meaningful way. That was three years ago, and now the mutually beneficial relationship is stronger than ever.

"Our last treat was particularly special because we visited expecting to bring gifts and entertain the kids, but they surprised us by putting on a mini concert which we thoroughly enjoyed," said environmental officer at NEPA, Jodiel Ebanks.

SUPPORT APPRECIATED

Orville Johnson, chairman of the Best Care Foundation, which operates the children's home, said that the team was very appreciative of the support it gets from entities like NEPA which choose to not only donate cash and kind, but to spend time with the children.

However, a dark cloud looms overhead, as the home may have to close its doors by month end because of financial woes.

"It takes approximately $24 million annually to run the children's home. While we get a subvention from the Government, this only covers 45 per cent of our operating costs. We do fundraisers throughout the year to supplement this amount. However, given the tough economic times we are facing, it has been difficult to make ends meet," said Johnson.