Valhalla Voyage to Ghana
Tuesday 2nd October 2012
Valhalla Voyage to Ghana
The Widnes Vikings Valhalla Foundation is delighted to announce that from 20th October for eight days, it will join with the Anglican Diocese in Accra, Ghana offering a series of fun and entertaining Rugby League related activities to the new school at Buerko in the District of Prampram east of Accra.
The big project, a partnership of the Diocese of Accra and an American charity called 'Branches of the Vine', commenced in the early 2000s and sought to bring clean water, free medical examinations and schools to the remoter villages of Ghana. These basic facilities are taken for granted by most in the West. Diseases such as meningitis, malaria and bacterial diarrhoea are relatively easy to prevent with clean water, simple healthcare and education.
In 2009 the charitable work grew with the introduction of a North West England element. In conjunction with the main organizer, Dr Maria Akrofi of Whiston Hospital and local Widnes businessman Peter Morris a team of volunteers went to Accra. After taking part in several health camps and visiting various schools projects they believed that they could raise enough funds to provide a water supply to the village of Buerko and set about reaching their target of £3000.
What followed however, was a wave of interest, including that of Vikings Chairman Steve O'Connor and several Churches in Liverpool. The response exceeded the initial fund raising expectations of the team, who were so overwhelmed at the gifts that as well as providing the essential of water to the village, they decided to raise funds to build the proposed new school, costing £26,000.
The building work began back in October 2009 and was eventually completed two years later. Though the school project is a private venture, the Government will fund the teachers providing that the facilities include running water, toilets and living accommodation. As of September 2012, the teachers are funded by the state. The future of Buerko School is now secure.
Since the admission of the first pupils 2 years ago, as soon as the roof was fitted the success of the school has gone from strength to strength. There are now 180 attendees. The North West team are pleased to have supported the Diocese of Accra and Branches of the Vine in the building of the 6th school to have been built under their initiative. The annual trips from the charity providing free medical examinations and care to the people of Ghana continue this autumn.
The Valhalla Foundation have been asked to showcase their support for the initiative through the sport of Rugby League, by providing activities to encourage involvement from the pupils. In return the team will be educated about the life and difficulties of equatorial West Africa, so the events promise to be emotional.
Roger Harrison, Valhalla Foundation Manager, who has provided support to many local causes this season, spoke of the brand new challenge awaiting the organisation; "This is an exciting project for the Foundation, being able to support the good work that organisations are already doing to improve people's lives in Ghana. It is an honour to be invited to use our expertise to enrich the curriculum at a newly built school in Buerko."