Nine volunteers have returned to Burnley following a week of volunteering work in a rural village in Ghana.
Travelling as part of a group facilitated by Burnley FC’s official charity, Burnley FC in the Community, the team spent the week at the Dedzidi Primary School in Woe, assisting with the build of a classroom block.
The focus of the work was moulding bricks and plastering the walls of completed classrooms.
The trip marked the fourth time the Clarets’ charity has journeyed to Ghana to support the ongoing project at the Dedzidi School. A team of volunteers first headed to the country in 2014 and helped to lay the foundations of the classroom block. The structure now has two storeys, five functioning lower ground classrooms and is entering into the final phase of the build.
The project is managed in-country by Siva Vordgzorbe and his team of staff from The Young Shall Grow International – a non-profit organisation founded by Siva to help children living on the streets in Woe. The work of the organisation now extends to educational development in the area.
Siobhán McNamara, Marketing and Events Manager at Burnley FC in the Community has travelled to Ghana three times and has seen first-hand the progress made over the past five years: “Every time we go back, we are thrilled to see how far the project has developed.
“Speaking to Siva, he confirmed that once the plastering is finished and the roof is added, the project will be complete. It’s in touching distance now!”
The volunteers also took nine suitcases of donations to the village including school equipment, football boots and Burnley FC kits.
Abbey Merrifield, a teacher from Burnley, has returned every year since Burnley FC in the Community started the trips. She is one of three, including her mum Lisa and another volunteer called Jane Priest, who travelled to Ghana for the fourth time this month: “I absolutely love the experience. It changes your life – you’re a different person every time you come. Everybody is so welcoming, it’s such a lovely place to be.”
Siva and his team presented the group with an embroidered banner amongst other gifts on their final day in Woe, describing the Burnley FC in the Community team as “family”.
As well as a drumming lesson, a language lesson and a game of football against the local women's team Anlo Ladies, the trip was rounded off with an adventure weekend in the Volta region of Ghana. The volunteers enjoyed exploring the area with a trip to a monkey sanctuary, a hike up Mount Afadjato and a visit to the Wli Waterfalls– the tallest waterfall in West Africa.
Burnley FC in the Community would like to thank the team of volunteers who gave up their time to take the trip to Ghana. They are Abbey Merrifield, Erin Lashley, Jane Priest, Justine Lorriman, Lisa Merrifield, Nathan Harbottle, Ryan Prest and Vicky Smith. The team were also joined throughout the week and worked closely with three other volunteers - Alex, George and Gabriel - who were visiting the project independently.
Contributions can be made to the ongoing project at the Dedzidi School via African Adventures’ Brick by Brick campaign.
Find out more about African Adventures at www.african-adventures.co.uk.