Wulugu Project is run by a small team of volunteers, based in Norfolk, helped by skilled active supporters throughout U.K. The major work is carried out by our amazing team of Ghanaian volunteers whose deep understanding of the real needs, the communities and culture really make sure that our projects tackle the greatest needs and make the greatest long term difference, all at incredibly low cost. There are no paid staff or offices. We fundraise locally and are extremely grateful for donations from many large trusts, based in the UK and abroad, who support our work and appreciate our very low 2% running costs and our stance against corruption in Ghana. We know where all our money is spent carefully in Ghana.
See our latest newsletter: Wulugu 2015 Newsletter
Lynne Symonds, our founder, was born in Sunderland. Her home was an upstairs flat with no toilet or water supply. Similar, in many ways, to the problems ‘Wulugu’ has helped with in Northern Ghana.
A career in Norfolk in science education promoted an interest in ways in which making science education relevant and interesting could improve lives in UK and across the world. A chance meeting with Karimu Nachina, in Japan, catalysed the start of ‘The Wulugu Project’ by an initial link between girls in Wulugu Secondary School with Lynne’s sixth form students. This lead to supplying books for a library and building a hostel so that girls could attend Wulugusec. Both of these are still working well, 20 years later, but the work of ‘Wulugu Project’ has reached across Northern Ghana.
Lynne’s involvement in international science and Wulugu brought a move into national science projects, together with some teacher training. Amongst other things she became the force behind the International arm of the Association for Science Education in UK and Chair of the Commonwealth Association for Science, Maths and Technology Educators. She had a number of awards, including 3 honorary chieftaincies of tribes in Ghana as a reward for her effective interventions. Communities across the North of Ghana credit ‘Wulugu’ as the most effective charity in terms of helping them to improve education in ways that work for their people.
She does find it hard to believe just how much has been achieved, particularly with so little money, and credits the loyalty of supporters who, once they discover us, stay with us. We couldn’t manage without their help.
Karimu Nachina 1946 -2014
We are extremely saddened by the recent death of our beloved Karimu Nachina. Our achievements are a reflection of Karimu’s input, who has been the Ghanaian voice of Wulugu Project since 1993.
Our team in Ghana is made up of volunteers from many sectors. What they have in common is a deep understanding of local culture and history coupled with a realistic approach to what is most needed and how to bring dreams to fruition.
Our Ghanaian founder is Karimu Nachina who retired from Ghana Education after working as a head teacher and being involved in running the regional education system as Director of Education for Northern Region.
Karimu was born in a very remote village in ‘Overseas’ – so called because it is cut off by flooding for much of the year. There was no history of education in the North during most of the time that Ghana was a British colony. (The people were thought of as being more suitable for physical work.) Because there was no school in the region, the Government decided that a child from every village should be sent away to school and Karimu was chosen. He had to live with a family far from his home while he studied.
After successfully completing ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels (all education was based on the UK system) he became a teacher and was eventually appointed Head of the new secondary school in Wulugu Village. Here he had the foresight to encourage girls into school and this is really what brought Lynne and Karimu together and to found the Wulugu Project.
Karimu’s work in other schools in the North, for Ghana Education and in local government, coupled with the very deep respect he has earned from communities across the North and his real dedication to defeating the endemic poverty through education, makes him unique. Today, he is joined by ex-colleagues and younger volunteers who share his vision. This make the work of Wulugu Project truly sustainable.