Well…where do I begin? In June this year, Miss Fitzsimmons, Miss Pettifer, Mr Felsted and I were fortunate enough to embark upon the most surreal and extra-ordinarily special African adventure. We were warmly welcomed by everyone: the community of Bunkpurugu, the Diocese of Navronogo-Bologatana and the many people we met along the way who were part of the Missionaries of Africa. Everybody we came across on our journey were eager to hear about our schools and the many fundraising events we have all taken part in. They were extremely grateful for the efforts of all our schools in supporting the young people of Bunkpurugu with the build of the new school.
As a group, we were shown some of the incredible sights and tastes of Africa! From crocodile ponds to delicious plantain, we were well looked after by Father Amani, who was extremely proud of the community of Bunkpurugu. As exciting (if a little frightening) as it was to see the crocodiles crawling along the riverbanks, the highlight of the visit, without question, was being able to spend some time with the children of Our Lady of Hope Primary School, where we met many bright and inspiring young people. They quickly showed us that they loved to laugh, smile and were keen to learn about the children in our schools in Nottingham. The children were thrilled to receive the gifts from us all which included pencils, exercise books, letters, reading books, a football and football kit, prayers of hope and of course, the Trust Scrapbook completed by each of our schools.
Aside from the gifts, the children were most thankful for their new school, which is excitingly taking shape. It certainly is looking impressive with clearly defined walls showing the foundations of the new classrooms, bathrooms, staffroom and even a computer room! How amazing is that?! The children talked
about how much they value education and were overjoyed that they soon will be able to learn in a new school building…a building with a roof that doesn’t leak, windows and doors that close, and room for them to learn safely and happily. The children truly reminded me of the children at our schools – fun, polite, hard-working yet with an undeniable spirit and energy.
I would like to share one extra-special memory. In Ghana I met Philip, a young boy in Year 6. He was a shy boy but it was clear he had a quiet confidence about him and unfaltering, humble determination. He told us what the project meant to him and that he wanted to be a doctor when he was older. Meeting Philip was one of those special moments. Philip encompasses many values that this aspirational project represents: determination, respect, humility, community, inspiration and hope. So let’s do this! Let’s keep our fundraising efforts going and going so we can ensure that the dream of building a new school for the community of Bunkpurugu becomes a reality! ‘Ghana’ build a school in Ghana!