The Barita Education Foundation (B.E.F.) is a charitable organization committed to developing Literacy and Numeracy at the Early Childhood level (3-6 year olds) in vulnerable communities in Jamaica. The programme operates over a two year period or more in each partner school, where the children are taught through an integrated agenda that incorporates their classroom teachers and parents.
A critical complement to the literacy and numeracy programme is the B.E.F.’s parenting programme. Working with parents and guardians, B.E.F. Social Workers use various methodologies to improve parental consciousness, understanding and participation.
Barita’s belief in the importance of corporate social responsibility on our nation’s development led to the launch of the Barita Education Foundation in October 2004. Prior to this, Barita supported the work of a group of concerned citizens called, "The Friends of St. Martin de Porres", as well as a breakfast programme at the St. Martin de Porres Primary and Basic schools. “The Friends”’ were invited by the school to assist in improving literacy and numeracy skills among students.
A comprehensive analysis of the methodologies used and the performance of the children indicated that weaknesses existed in the training process. A programme was therefore developed to assist with training so as to improve literacy and numeracy in the schools. Barita supported the efforts of “The Friends of St. Martin de Porres” through major long-term financial sponsorship and guidance, and eventually expanded and took over the programme.