Visiting Bunkpurugu was an amazing experience, filled with (supposedly) tame crocodiles, gifted chickens, inedible Cola nuts, roadside melons, song, dance and laughter that I will cherish forever. But it is the interactions with the children which have left the deepest memories.

Since our first exchange of letters with the pupils on Our Lady of Hope in 2016, we have felt as if those children are our classmates – their original letters showed us how similar we are, despite the many miles which separate us, and we relished learning their names and seeing their photos. For me, our trip to Bunkpurugu was an opportunity to be the eyes, ears and hearts of our community and meet those children in person.

They did not disappoint!

We were all so impressed by the polite, confident and heartfelt greeting we received from them all as they recited a song about the value of education. We chatted to Philip and Laurencia, amongst others, and agreed they were head boy and girl material! They are rightly proud of their school community and are so grateful to us for supporting them in their improvements to the buildings. It was an eye-opener to see the poor standard of the current facilities: it helped me fully understand how the money we raise is vital to giving these children the school they deserve.

I came away with another bulging envelope of letters to bring back to the English Martyrs’ children – with new pledges of love and friendship from their Ghanaian classmates. I also came away with a pocketful of slightly nibbled Cola nuts, but that’s another story!

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