A TRIBAL chief who grew up in Sunderland has thanked Wearside schoolchildren for raising thousands of pounds for her charity.
The Wulugu Project, co-founded by Lynne Symonds, helps to make schooling possible for children in Ghana.
The project is in line for a £3,800 bost after pupils from Biddick Academy in Washington voted to help the project buy desks for a new school in a remote village.
Teacher Diane Laws said they were inspired by Lynne’s story. She went to Chester Road and Bede schools before moving to Ghana and being made chief of three African tribes, covering hundreds of villages.
Workers in Ghana are now making the wooden desks, which will go into a classroom at Larabanga, a school built by Prince William’s anti-poaching charity, Tusk.
Lynne, who was known by the surname Luccock when she lived in Sunderland, said Ghanian village children often do not have desks and are crammed up to 70 in a classroom.
She said: “These people were moved off the game reserve and put on to the edge of it, which meant their main source of food was gone. It is absolutely abject poverty. They don’t have desks, so they have to work on the floor.”
Lynn has also been shortlisted for the Clarins/Sunday Mail Woman of the Year award, which could see her land £30,000. She says the money will go towards creating another school, adding to the seven girls schools the charity has already built.