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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 August, 2003, 12:59 GMT 13:59 UK
Ghana welcome for girl guides
Newcastle guide in Ghana
The Newcastle guides worked at crafts with the Ghanaian children

A party of a dozen girl guides from Newcastle have returned from three weeks helping fellow youngsters in Ghana.

After a year of fundraising the party of 12 guides and their leaders spent part of their summer holidays at an orphanage, the King Jesus Charity Home and School near Boadi.

Money had been sent to Ghana to build a new classroom block and dormitories, but when the Tyneside girls arrived there was still plenty of work to do.

The new building was well advanced but before it could be used by the local children once builders' rubble had been removed.

The guides used two wheelbarrows, and also copied the local people by carrying trays on their heads to take away the sand, rubble, slates, and cement from the floors.

With drainage problems in the surrounding areas, the rubble was used as aggregate to improve the ground.

Fantastic welcome

After arriving at the site, the girls were delighted to be able to leave a clean building that would be an asset to the school.

Cath Dixon, leader of Girlguiding Newcastle, said: "The welcome we received was unbelievable, with over a hundred children rushing forward to greet us.

"There is still much to be done at the orphanage, but we have made a difference, both in the present by teaching them some English and games, and in the future by providing somewhere decent to work and live."

Due to the intense heat in the afternoons not all of the day had been spent working on the building.

Tribal chiefs

The girls took pencils, rulers, paper and soap as gifts, and helped the local youngsters with their English.

Ms Dixon said: "This and other simple events made the Newcastle party appreciate the poverty experienced in Ghana, and just how much is taken for granted in the UK. "

In addition to their time at the orphanage, the Newcastle Guides spent some time sharing songs and crafts with Ghanaian Guides at Accra.

They also attended a reception with local tribal chiefs in full regalia, where they took a plate and letter from the mayor of Newcastle.



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