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22 August 2003 1239 BST

Norfolk tribal Chief returns to Ghana
Pic: Victoria Holden: link
It's difficult to imagine that Norfolk could have any links with Ghana in West Africa - but it does! We have our very own African chief right here in the county, writes Victoria Holden.
Norfolk's African tribal chief, Lynne Symonds, is celebrating the tenth anniversary of a project assisting people in northern Ghana. I will be there with her in Ghana on behalf of BBC Radio Norfolk to mark the event.

Wulugu Project

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The Wulugu Project: intro

Victoria's first day in Ghana

Celebrating ten years of The Wulugu Project

Lynne is made Chief for the second time

bullet point.

GHANA FACTS Population: 20.9 million.

bullet point.   Size: 240,000 square meters - roughly the same size as Britain.
bullet point.   Capital: Accra.
bullet point.   President: John Kufuor (Elected 2000)
bullet point.   Major languages: English, indigenous African languages.
bullet point.   Major religions: Christianity, indigenous beliefs, Islam
bullet point.   Life expectancy: 56 years (men), 59 years (women)
bullet point.   Monetary unit: Cedi
bullet point.   Main exports: Gold, cocoa, timber, tuna, bauxite, aluminium, manganese ore, diamonds
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Norfolk's Lynne Symonds was made African Chief of the Mampreusi tribe, a tribe in northern Ghana in honour of the work she has done to help the community in Wulugu.

To commemorate the tenth anniversary of The Wulugu Project, I will join Lynne in Ghana to see how much an impact the organisation has made.

I will be flying into the Ghanaian capital, Accra, and then travelling to northern Ghana to an area known as Wulugu where the project is based.

Lynne Symonds in Chief costume with the Mampreusi tribe.

Over the next week I'll be travelling with Lynne and her husband to find out about the type of work that is being done by Lynne's charity to help the people in the Wulugu community.

The idea for The Wulugu Project started when Lynne sent out a container of books donated from schools in Norfolk to the community.

In Ghana the main language is English so even though children speak a tribal language amongst their families they learn to read and write in English.

Contact info
If you'd like to get involved with the Wulugu Project then contact:

Lynne Symonds
Wulugu Project
Church Farm
Great Melton
Tel: 01603 453750

These old text books and reading books that were donated were a great help to the locals as there were very few books in that part of Ghana, so they enabled the teachers to improve the children's education.

Since then a library has been set up and the money raised by The Wulugu Project here in Norfolk has funded a school, a library and the building of an education centre specifically for girls enabling them to further their education and which helps to enhance the status of women.

Farmers have also been helped with various bits of equipment, although most importantly, education is being provided on issues such as HIV and Aids - something which is a growing problem as 40% of hospital beds are used to treat Aids patients.

A doctor on a motorbike bought by the project to help him travel to isolated villages and teach HIV and Aids awareness.

The majority of funds for the Wulugu Project come from people here in Norfolk. More than £100,000 been raised over the ten years since the project was first launched.

Just as important as money has been the donations of items like books, sewing machines and some very weird and wonderful items.

What's even more exciting is that thousands of BBC Radio Norfolk listeners have contributed over the years through various appeals. Only last week we appealed for a mega phone which will be used by doctors and health organisations to educate about HIV and Aids.

I'll be out in Ghana for just over a week but will be doing live radio interviews from the country over the coming week.

When I return there will be a series of pieces on BBC Radio Norfolk starting Monday 14 July. You'll also be able to read my regular updates here on the BBC Norfolk website.

Read more: Victoria's first day in Ghana»


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