El Shaddai International builds a school in Ghana


A local non-profit community development corporation is building a primary school in Ghana, West Africa. The El Shaddai International (ESI) Global Community Development Corporation has decided to supply the children in the Anyaa Village, near the Ghanaian capital of Accra with a much needed school. Many African countries have substandard education due to the lack of funds, facilities and resources. According to statistical reports, overcrowding is major problem in Ghana, a nation with over 20 million people. Reports also show that the teacher to student ratio is inflated and there are often 70 to 150 students in one small classroom, with severe shortages in textbooks and furniture. This is true in the Anyaa Village. There is only one school and it is not big enough for the number of children who attend. There is little to no electricity and running water. The teacher to student ratio is astronomically high and the school‟s infrastructure does not sustain a suitable environment for educational learning.

The ESI organization with President and Founder Rev. Ernest Lyles and Acting Vice President Phinis Jones, along with a delegation, first toured the village back in 2002. Concerned with the lack of re-sources for the village, ESI decided to invest in this village and build a nice state-of-the-art school for community. The delegation just returned from another visit this past March and work on the school has begun. The school will be named Greta D. Shepard Community School, in honor of a remarkable former public educator who created positive futures for both children and adults throughout the District and in New Jersey for nearly five decades. It will feature 12 large classrooms fully fur-nished, a new library and health room, computer lab, 2 large restrooms, 2 offices and a supply room and it will be fully wired for electricity and air-conditioning.

When Rev. Lyles embarked upon this journey almost 10 years ago, the school only had 300 students. However, today the school has grown tremendously to over 1200 students. He stated, “I saw a need and I had a vision. I wanted to give back to this much needed community because I believe education the key tenet in a child‟s upbringing.” He said this was something that he felt would make a tremendous impact on the village because the school can be utilized for a variety of functions outside of the daily educational learning. In addition to the new school ESI will provide on-going support for the Anyaa Village. The organization has committed to providing teacher training, supplying textbooks and other materials that will be necessary to make the educational experi-ence exceptional. Acting Vice President Phinis Jones said, “We want to give the village all the tools and resources they need to be successful. I understand the importance of quality education and no child should be denied to opportunity to learn be-cause of structural limitations.”

Since 1999 ESI has been committed to alleviating poverty through targeted educational and economic empowerment programs. ESI has helped thousands of children in these West African countries by providing tools and resources to help im-prove the quality of their education and raise themselves out of the widespread poverty that exists in this region. ESI is empowering women in Senegal to raise themselves and their families from a life of poverty through the Anti-Poverty Initiative‟s Women’s Micro-Economic Empowerement Program in Senegal. In 2003, ESI expanded its programs and initia-tives to the Eastern United States – specifically low-income communities in West Virginia and most recently Washington, DC. ESI has supported educational youth programs such as “Project Excel” after school tutoring and mentoring program in West Virginia, and is currently supporting Camp Explosion summer enrichment program in Washington, DC. In the fall of 2009, ESI is launching the new Aim High program in Washington, DC modeled after the successful “Project Excel”. In addition, ESI supports and is an advocate for creating and expanding minority-owned businesses.

For more information on ESI, please email info@createapositivefurture.org call 202.562.1874.


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