Norfolk woman is made a tribal chief of a third community in northern Ghana

A Norfolk woman devoted to helping people in northern Ghana has been made a tribal chief of a third community in the country.

Lynne Symonds, from Great Melton, has helped thousands of poverty-stricken African children through her organisation the Wulugu Project. She made national headlines in 1996 when she became the first white woman to be become a tribal chief in northern Ghana. Already the chief of enlightenment and education for Mamprusis and queen of all philanthropists for Gonjaland, she has just returned from a trip to Ghana where she was made chief of peace and friendship of the Dagomba tribe in a ceremony at Karaga.

'I feel exceptionally honoured – it is a unique honour,' she said.

'Part of the ceremony involved the shooting of some very old rifles, a lot of music, horns and drums, and singing and dancing. They wrapped me around in traditional cloth, in my new chief's attire. The Wulugu Project has helped the Dagomba tribe and this was their way of saying thank you. It is the Wulugu Project that deserves the honour really.

'The honour that has been bestowed on me strengthens our work because it gives us more status. Status should not be important but it is,' she said.

Set up in 1993, the Wulugu Project works to reduce poverty by improving education oppor-tunities in northern Ghana. In Karaga it built a vocational school for 150 girls and the project is now finishing off a hostel for girls who live too far away from the school.

Mrs Symonds said: 'A number of these girls have never had any formal education before so this is helping to give them a real opportunity.'

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To donate funds or help the Wulugu Project call Jane Scott on 01603 453750 or visit www.wulugu.co.uk

Are you involved in a project helping people overseas? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428.

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