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JIS News

Eden’s Valley Children’s Village, a $25 million facility, which will cater to the health, education and developmental needs of orphaned or underprivileged children across the island, is being established in the parish of Clarendon.
Ground was broken yesterday (Sept. 18) for the facility, which will be situated on 18.8 hectares (47 acres) of land in Four Paths.
The village is being set up by the Educational Foundation for Children’s Care Incorporated (EFCCI), a non- profit, public educational and charitable organization. The Seventh Day Adventist charity is based in Florida.
Marston Thomas, Chairman of the local branch of EFCCI, told JIS News that the village, the first of its kind in the island, would target children, whose parents were in prison, or have died.
“These are just disadvantaged children, who really do not have a home, so we’re hoping to provide a home for them and these homes will be staffed with house parents.and we’re hoping to target 120 children at the initial stage,” he informed.
He said that the village would comprise 10 to 12 separate homes, a church, a school, and a clinic, and a farm for fish and agricultural produce.
Anthony Williams, Acting Executive Director of EFCCI International, said that the project came through the efforts of President, Hugh Creary and Inter American Vice President, Leon Wellington, who had initially wanted to construct a children’s hospital, but later decided to build a village for orphaned or underprivileged children.
“Today is really a proud moment in the life of EFCCI because this is the culmination of lots of planning and hard work and to see this project come to the position, where you can actually break ground, is really a happy moment for us,” he said.
In his remarks, Mayor of May Pen, Councillor Milton Brown, said there was “great need (for this service) in the country and in the parish. On behalf of the people of Clarendon, I say thanks and may this project bring the joy and happiness that we seek for the children we seek to serve”.
The Seventh Day Adventist Church International is providing financing for the project, while a number of private organizations have given their support in terms of providing building material.
The Ministry of Education and Youth has also expressed support for the venture and will assist with the educational needs at the village.
Eden’s Valley Children’s Village will be among 19 such facilities set up by EFCCI around the world.