Ankoma

Farney Close pupils have been fundraising for Ankoma Outreach for 3 years now, raising a massive £4500 to date!

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This year, however, we had the opportunity to host 5 children from the poor farming community in Ghana.  These children had completed application forms and interviews and been selected by the village elders and teachers among others. At the same time, during the last half of the Summer term, the young people of Farney undertook further fundraising in order to pay for trips out with the Ankoma children and through this they raised a fantastic £510, predominantly by completing a sponsored walk cake making and selling made bracelets.

This meant that at the beginning of this term the 5 Ankoma Dreamers: Solomon, Peter, Agnes, Tiema & Melody, arrived at Heathrow on their amazing adventure to visit us and to see something of the rest of England.  Indeed, prior to this big project, they had never even left their village.  On the morning of their arrival, they were collected at the airport on the school minibus and returned here, where they were settled into Somerville House for the next 5 nights. Within an hour of arrival, they were shown around the school and Solomon joined in the gym session in PE, whilst Peter completed a maths question at the front of the class.  On Monday, after breakfast in school, 5 of our pupils accompanied the group to London to visit the London Eye and to enjoy an open-top sightseeing bus tour.  They all had a meal out at Pizza Express in file2London Bridge before returning too. What followed over the next few days saw more trips out with a range of pupils from the school and the development of friendships between the both groups.

Despite seeing lots of photos and videos during Ankoma assemblies, meeting these 5 children had a huge impact on the pupils and staff.  Not only were they extremely polite, engaging and enthusiastic, but they befriended everyone they met, especially with their infectious beaming smiles!  Indeed, they gave an assembly before leaving on their last morning, with all 5 relating one thing they were thankful to Farney Close for and one thing they found different from their homes and schools.  This was such a powerful experience for our staff and young people alike.  Many people were reduced to tears as they recounted their punishments in school and how they went without food and slept on hard, dusty floors.

Our pupils are desperate for them to return and some have written messages to them, while others made a reminder of their time here in Art, which was presented to them as they left.

It has been a completely magical experience.

Thank you to Austin (Sn. RSCW) for providing this information and organising their visit, and thank you to you, the Governors, for agreeing to their staying at Farney Close.

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