Trip of a lifetime for group of Stubbington teenagers

FUNDRAISING From left, Izzy Cardwell, 15, Ghanian teacher John Ofori-Mensah and Iain Peak, 15. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (133483-3)
FUNDRAISING From left, Izzy Cardwell, 15, Ghanian teacher John Ofori-Mensah and Iain Peak, 15. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (133483-3)
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A GROUP of teenagers are desperately trying to raise enough cash to pay for their friends to visit them — all the way from Ghana.

Eleven pupils from Crofton School in Stubbington, near Fareham, have been taking part in a cultural exchange project with the country.

Last summer, the group all raised £1,500 each to pay for their own airfare so they could stay with a family in Pershie, Ghana, for 10 days and experience African life.

They became good friends and found that despite the 5,026-mile difference, they still had lots in common.

Now, they want to raise £9,000 to pay for the Ghanaian teenagers to come to the UK for 10 days in the summer and experience life in Fareham.

Isabel Cardwell, 15, said: ‘We all clicked straight away and within 10 days, we had made close friendships. We all became so close.’

The group originally contacted each other by letter, but because Crofton School helped the Ghanaian school to set up an IT suite among other improvements, the youngsters have been busy emailing and messaging each other via social media sites, planning the UK trip.

The teenagers all raised their airfare by completing charity events, some did sponsored runs, bike rides, baking, car washing, and much more. They are planning to use that experience to work together to raise the £9,000, and have made a start by selling doughnuts at school break times.

Samuel Cohen, 16, said: ‘It is quite daunting that we need to raise so much in such a short amount of time, but I’m sure we can do it.’

Ben Grattan, 15, said: ‘We are ready for the challenge. I believe we can do it, if we all work hard.’

Two teachers from the Ghanian school visited just before the winter break to check out the school ahead of the trip.

During the 10 days next summer, the group is planning a host of fun activities such as joining in with the school’s sports day, going on day trips and spending time with the English families.

Assistant head Amanda Knight said: ‘The students get so much out of it. It’s certainly something they won’t forget.’

To donate to the Partner Ghana Experience call (01329) 666832.