El Shaddai International hosted a benefit jazz social May 13th at the Old Congress Heights School in Ward 8. The social was designed to benefit its many social programs in Africa and here in Southeast Washington, DC. The organiÂzation is founded by Rev. Ernest Lyles, Sr., who is the pastor of Brighter Day MinisÂtries. The church has four locations in the southeast community – AP Shaw, Congress Heights, Ryland-Epworth and Bradbury Heights, The event featured several of its marquee projects that include: The Greta D. Shepard School in the Anyaa Village of Ghana, West Africa, a scholarship fund, micro-credit programs for women in SenÂegal, and their Summer Academic ExploÂsion here in Southeast Washington.
During the event, the El Shaddai board members made pleas to those in attendance to help support their program through pledges (contributions that can be made over a period of time), immediÂate payments, or volunteering your time to support one of the many programs locally or abroad. The organization had a goal of raising $60,000.00, primarily to finish the school it started two years ago in Ghana. The school which started with 350 students and nearly 75 to 100 students in one classÂroom has now grown to over 1000 stuÂdents.
The nearly one hundred fifty supÂporters in attendance were entertained by a Caribbean jazz band called â€œHigher Vision Bandâ€ that treated attendees to both traditional Caribbean music in French and some American jazz standards. As all great family functions end, as did this one, with attendees on the floor jamming to the Electric Slide.