Salsa dancing is not usually associated with Hampstead but at the weekend, the Great Hall at University College School was filled with Cuban beats as parents, pupils and staff raised money to support El Shaddai Charitable Trust. Saturday’s salsa evening at UCS raised just over £6000 and this money will be used by El Shaddai to pave the playground in one of their children’s homes. The evening started with a lively set played by the UCS salsa band. An introductory dance lesson was given by dance experts and UCS teachers, Rose Tran and Stuart Cork, and guests also enjoyed a delicious meal which gave them just enough energy to dance throughout the second of the band’s two sets. The band, led by the inspirational Ben Albu, Musician in Residence at UCS, comprised of twenty current and former UCS pupils and kept the crowd on their feet with their pulsating Latin rhythms and their powerful vocals.
El Shaddai provides homes, schooling and shelter for street children and underprivileged children in Goa. The UCS community has supported El Shaddai for five years and every October, a group of pupils and teachers visit Goa to work for the charity in their schools, homes and day centres and to see how the money raised each year by the UCS community has been used. Last year’s donation was spent on renovating a house which is now a home to forty children who were previously homeless. In recognition of the support from the UCS community, the home’s large hall is now known as the UCS Hall. Chris Reynolds, Vice Master at UCS, was overwhelmed with the response from the local community at this event, “We are delighted by the success of our Salsa for India fundraising event. The money raised will be spent on renovating the play area at one of the children’s homes. It is currently on rough, stony terrain and this investment will make a tremendous difference to the lives of the forty children who live in the home.”
If you would like more information about the work carried out by the El Shaddai Charitable Trust, please see: www.childrescue.net