The Story of Lukula, Karimu’s Village
65 years ago there was no school in Lukula and no school nearby as Lukula was ‘overseas’ i.e. beyond the Black Volta and seldom reached by the government 400km south in Accra. Lukula continued with no school buildings until 1995 when the Chinese built a three class block. To reach Lukula from Tamale or Wulugu was a 5 hour journey, in the dry season so Lynne had never visited. The people of Lukula asked Karimu, who had built primary schools in many remote villages, funded by Wulugu Project
‘Why did not he build a school in his own village. The need was great.’
Karimu worked for nothing for 12 years with Wulugu Project, being our man in Ghana, before he asked for help in his village. A bridge had been built at Kspenke to cross the Volta and shorten the journey to 3 hours so our support of Lukula village school became a possibility.
In 2009 we built a three class room block which was funded by Martin and Eugenia Ephson Educational Trust who have been long term supporters. We visited in 2010 and Lynne and Karimu were given a tumultuous welcome with speeches, singing, dancing as the ‘Local boy made good’ and gifts from the village of Guinea fowl and lengths of hand woven cloth.There were some desks in the school but more were needed and have since been built. A month later Martin visited the School that he had provided. This is from his report.
Back in Tamale it was early to bed, in readiness for the following day’s 6am departure. Similar roads to the previous day took us on a circuitous route to Lukula, a primary school with a new classroom block built in 2009. We were met by hundreds of children, ranging in age from 3 to 15 and showed all 6 classrooms from Year 1, which has 190 pupils in a classroom built for 60, to Year 6 where 30 students were studying biology in readiness for going on to secondary school. We were then treated to a full durbar with the village chief, the elders and chiefs from neighbouring communities who benefit from the Lukula Primary. After much drumming and dancing we were on our way back to Tamale with wonderful gifts including live guinea fowl!
What Martin did not mention in his report was that after completing the visit , he realised how isolated Lukula is , even with the new bridge. He understood that it was very hard to keep teachers, especially lady teachers, at the school as there was nowhere to stay . In 2011 he funded the building of teachers’ accommodation at Lukula which has allowed women teachers to work safely with the children of Lukula. At the moment there is a junior high school class being taught in Lukula and at Kubori, about an hour away the government is building a new senior high school for the school children of Kubori and Yagaba Junior High Schools that we have renovated . The students at Lukula have worked hard and hopefully they will be rewarded by more support for Junior High School classes, if not classrooms, so they can attend the high school at Kubori later. This continuing support means that more bright children, boys and girls can get an education locally and reach their full potential.