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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 November 2006, 18:03 GMT
Cher to join chef on African trip
Robert Wood
Robert Wood has spent his lifesavings on the project
A retired chef, who has spent his lifesavings sending aid to an African school, has told how singer Cher phoned to ask to join him on a charity trip.

Robert Wood, 55, of Glenrothes in Fife, was stunned when the star called to say she wanted to help following a TV appeal he recorded recently.

Mr Wood with his wife, Eleanor, set up Peace Village School and Orphanage Trust following a holiday to Kenya.

Mr Wood said he would visit the school with Cher in December.

Worth every penny

Mr Wood said he had spent his lifesavings of 15,000 sending aid to the school.

He said: "We were on holiday in Ukunda in Kenya in February and decided we had to help these children because they had nothing.

"They sleep on the floor of a mud hut which is also a classroom and have no pencils, paper or food.

"Some people might think we are crazy spending all our lifesavings but it is worth every penny when you see they have no food, clothing and toys.

"But they need a lot more so I recently went on TV asking for help and the next thing I know Cher called me last Wednesday."

Cher has pledged her support to the cause

Mr Wood said he needs to raise the money for the piece of land worth 18,000 where the mud huts are built on before it is sold to developers.

He added: "Cher said she wanted to buy the land and help build a school after she saw my appeal.

"It brought a tear to my eye. She was calling from Germany and said she had heard I wasn't sleeping at night because I was worrying about the children.

"I agreed and then she said 'Well sweet dreams babe because when I start a project, I finish it, you can start sleeping at night now'."

A UK spokesman for Cher confirmed the star intended to get involved with the project and had spoken to the couple.

He said: "Cher does quite a lot of charity work but keeps her efforts low key."

The couple describe their surprise at the phone call

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