December 10 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
A project set up by a Norfolk teacher is celebrating its 20th anniversary of helping poverty-stricken communities in northern Ghana.
The Wulugu Project was set up in 1993 by Lynne Symonds, of Great Melton. Over the years it has helped about a quarter of a million children in one of the poorest parts of the world, and raised more than one million pounds for its many education projects.
These include repairing schools and building new schools, creating vocational schools for girls, providing rooms for teachers to live in so that schools can attract good-quality teachers, and offering small loans to help young women start their own businesses.
Mrs Symonds said she wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who has donated funds to enable the Wulugu Project to help so many people.
“It is quite unbelievable we have been doing this for 20 years,” she said. “All our projects have come from the needs of the people, not grand ideas from elsewhere, and we are really helping people for the long-term.
“We have helped about 250,000 children and it is a joy meeting those who have now grown up, and can read and write and have got jobs and businesses, and are helping their families out of poverty.”
She added: “We began at Wulugu Senior Secondary School and now we work in hundreds of schools across lands that are difficult to travel.
“We are working a lot in primary schools for children aged five to 14 and we have increased the number of girls going to school.
“We have built some junior high schools, and we have opened six vocational schools for girls and have funding for a seventh. These vocational schools teach skills like hairdressing, tailoring, and catering, and we offer the girls loans to set up their own businesses.
“All of these projects are not short-term: they have changed lives.”
The Wulugu Project works in partnership with the local communities in Ghana and in 1996 Mrs Symonds became the first white woman to become a tribal chief in northern Ghana.
She now has three titles for three different tribes: Chief of Enlighten-ment and Education (Mamprugu); Queen of all Philanthropists (Gonjaland); and Chief of Peace and Friendship (Dagomba).
A fundraising Evening of Squit and Polish with Keith Skipper is taking place at Hethersett Old Hall School Barn on Saturday, November 23 at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £12.50 and include a meal. To book, call Jane Scott on 01603 453750.