YONKERS, N.Y. -- This past Monday I had the honor of serving as the Culinary Chairman of an event that took place at Grace Church in Harlem.
Esther's Aid , a non-profit that was founded by Clare Effong in New Rochelle, provides basic education and skills training to children of Rwanda, Africa.
In 1999, on a trip to Rwanda, Effong saw first-hand the devastation and broken lives that were the direct result of the genocide that took place in this African city.
Children that were orphaned and had no access to education were without parents, shelter, nourishment and clothing. These kids were suffering untold hardships including hunger, neglect, abandonment and abuse.
Effong and her foundation, with a mission statement that says, "We Care, We Train, and We Empower," set up a school and began educating these children one at a time. One of her first students, Justus Uwayesu, is now a sophomore at Harvard University.
The work that this institution has done is truly extraordinary and I am very proud to be a small part of their efforts.
At our event last week, nearly 200 guests helped support Esther's Aid. I would like to thank some of the chefs and rstauranteurs that lent their time and culinary talents to this worthwhile cause.
The community should know when a need exists; the hospitality industry is very often on the front lines. People and restaurants like Christian Petroni of Fortina in Armonk, Nando from Zuppa in Yonkers, Alvin Clayton from Alvin & Friends in New Rochelle, Brett Portier of The Cecil Restaurant in Harlem, and several others were on hand to support hte work being done across the world by this amazing organization.
I encourage all to visit the website, www.esthersaid.org/ and be a part of something great.
This column is a continuing series by Chef Peter X. Kelly of Xaviars Restaurant Group which runs every Thursday.
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