A retired school teacher from Sunderland who has dedicated 23 years to bringing education to remote areas of Ghana, has been recognised by the Prime Minister.
Lynne Symonds received a Points of Light award from David Cameron.
Lynne’s service will benefit the people of Ghana for many years to come. The whole country should be incredibly proud of her.David Cameron
The awards recognise outstanding individual volunteers, people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others.
Lynne’s charity, The Wulugu Project, has helped more than a quarter of a million children in the most deprived districts of Northern Ghana receive an education and improve their chances.
She became involved in education in Ghana when she met Wulugu Project co-founder Karimu Nachina in 1993 and heard about the challenges preventing Ghanaian children, especially girls, getting an education.
Since then, the project has built or substantially repaired more than 40 primary schools and provided desks for many more, built eight local Junior High Schools and seven vocational schools for girls aged 16-25, with hostel accommodation, and provided accommodation for teachers, including safe rooms for women.
“Our amazing volunteers in the UK and the communities we work with in Ghana will be so very honoured by this award,” said Lynne.
“All our work in Ghana is carried out by volunteers who really care. We are well known for our stance against ‘hand-outs’.
“The women in Kokpeng, where we are building a new school, are carrying raw materials and water on their heads to the building site for us.
“We are helped so much by the support of all sectors and all religious groups in Ghana.”
Mr Cameron said: “Every child deserves an education and thanks to the dedication Lynne has shown for over two decades, over a quarter of a million children in Ghana have had the chance to go to school and build a better life for themselves.”
“Lynne’s service will benefit the people of Ghana for many years to come. The whole country should be incredibly proud of her.”