Tina's dream come true in Africa

FOR many people who sponsor a child in a poverty stricken country, meeting the youngster they are helping is probably just a dream.But Tina Meydan decided to make her dream come true and had a once in a lifetime experience when she travelled to a remote village in Ghana to see Domopoono Dery, the six-year-old boy she had been sponsoring through the charity Action Aid.

FOR many people who sponsor a child in a poverty stricken country, meeting the youngster they are helping is probably just a dream.

But Tina Meydan decided to make her dream come true and had a once in a lifetime experience when she travelled to a remote village in Ghana to see Domopoono Dery, the six-year-old boy she had been sponsoring through the charity Action Aid.

Greeted by the whole village, the 35-year-old was given sheep, guinea fowl and four yams as a gift by Domopoono's chiefs and left with a burning desire to return to live in the country.

Ms Meydan, who works as a support services manager for Sue Ryder Home in Chantry, said: “It was an amazing thing to do.

“I went for two weeks and spent the first week travelling to and from the village because it was so difficult to get to.

“Everyone I met was so friendly; it just blew me away.

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“They have so little there but everything they do have they're willing to share.

“The only thing I found difficult was the weather, as sometimes it reached 38C.”

And Ms Meydan, who lives in St John's Road, Ipswich, said one of the most rewarding parts was meeting Domopoono who she sends £15 a month to so he can get a good education in his village, Kogri.

She said: “The whole community was out to welcome me. There were 100 children and they were all singing and dancing.

“I was introduced to the elders and the chiefs and given sheep, guinea fowl and four yams and Domopoono's mother made me a traditional dress.

“It was all so incredible and I found it quite emotional.

“Now I know I would love to go back there to live. I would love to be able to do voluntary work out there.”

Ms Meydan, who travelled through the African country with her Ghanaian boyfriend, James, added that she hoped other people would consider sponsoring a child as it was such a rewarding experience.

She said: “For £15 a month you can make such a big difference, over here that is many people's pocket money.”

Weblink: www.actionaid.org.uk

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