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MERTON: Royal award for Wimbledon resident
2:13pm Friday 2nd January 2009 in Latest News
Forget the New Year’s Honours, a former Wimbledon resident has been made a queen for her work helping African children.
Liz Busch runs a network of educational centres called Kids’ Corner in the town of Hohoe, Ghana. Mrs Busch, who used to live in Alwyn Road, SW20, established the first one in 2006. And on Saturday, December 27, her effort was recognised when she was made a queen at a special ceremony in the nearby village of Santrofiki.
Kids’ Corner allows children to use materials like books, pencils and paper that are often scarce in the West African country. Its founder also helps to organise events like sports days and film screenings. Other recent projects include the building of a computer classroom and playground in the town.
Mrs Busch said that receiving the honour, which the community has never given to a white person before, had been a complete shock. She said: “I received a call to attend a meeting in Santrokofi. I was rather surprised to find all the Elders gathered together under a tree. They informed me they had decided to make me a queen, for services rendered to the children of their community.”
She described the event as “an amazing festival with hundreds and hundreds of people”.
The number of Kids’ Corner centres in Hohoe has now grown to four, with a new one opened on the day of the ceremony. The success of the scheme has encouraged local people who have moved to the country’s capital to send some of their wages back home to help support it.
Describing the challenges faced by youngsters in Ghana, Mrs Busch said: “The children have no books at school or in the home. Some schools have a room with Library written above the door, but inside there are bare shelves. So the centres are a very important part of the children's lives.”
For more information about the work of the charity, and to see how to donate or volunteer, visit cdp-ghana.com.