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Chinese medic from Hethersett joins forces with charity for Ghanaian girls

PUBLISHED: 12:00 13 February 2017 | UPDATED: 16:40 14 February 2017

Tribal chief of three tribes in northern Ghana, Lynne Symonds, with Chinese practitioner Dr Alex Qiao, at his practice Nature & Health in Wymondham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Tribal chief of three tribes in northern Ghana, Lynne Symonds, with Chinese practitioner Dr Alex Qiao, at his practice Nature & Health in Wymondham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2017

Here’s an act of kindness that shows how small the world is, if we want it to be.

Tribal chief of three tribes in northern Ghana, Lynne Symonds, with Chinese practitioner Dr Alex Qiao, at his practice Nature & Health in Wymondham. Mrs Symonds's charity has been nominated for an award. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Tribal chief of three tribes in northern Ghana, Lynne Symonds, with Chinese practitioner Dr Alex Qiao, at his practice Nature & Health in Wymondham. Mrs Symonds's charity has been nominated for an award. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

A Chinese medic, who practices in Wymondham, has decided to give part of his earnings to a charity that helps girls in Ghana.

That charity, the Wulugu Project, is run by a Norfolk woman who is the chief of three African villages.

Dr Alex Qiao is giving 10pc of everything he earns for the next three months to the charity founded by Lynne Symonds, who lives in Great Melton.

Mrs Symonds said she was thrilled to have Dr Qiao’s support.

Tribal chief of three tribes in northern Ghana, Lynne Symonds, with Chinese practitioner Dr Alex Qiao, at his practice Nature & Health in Wymondham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Tribal chief of three tribes in northern Ghana, Lynne Symonds, with Chinese practitioner Dr Alex Qiao, at his practice Nature & Health in Wymondham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

She said: “We were totally amazed, at Chinese New Year, to be contacted with a wonderful offer from a highly-qualified Wymondham-based Chinese medic.

“Alex has kindly promised to help our work by contributing a generous percentage of his earnings.

“There is little medical help in northern Ghana, although we helped with a new medical school.”

Dr Qiao, who moved to the UK about 15 years ago and now lives in Hethersett, said he was happy to help the Wulugu Project.

He said: “I wanted to give to a charity I trust, and with the Wulugu Project I know the money goes straight to Africa. Lynne goes to Africa every year.”

In gratitude for her charity work Mrs Symonds became the first white woman to become a tribal chief in northern Ghana in 1996.

She now has titles for three different tribes: Chief of Enlightenment and Education (Mamprugu), Queen of all Philanthropists (Gonjaland), and Chief of Peace and Friendship (Dagomba).

Mrs Symonds said urgent work was now needed to several of the 60 schools the charity has helped build and equip over the past 23 years. She said: “We are building strengthened schools to stop collapse due to harsh weather.

“We need to make repairs to our schools and hostels for teachers, and seven vocational schools promptly to avoid temporary closure that always mean that girls never return.”

To find out more about the Wulugu Project, visit www.wulugu.co.uk
Dr Qiao is a specialist in acupuncture, Chinese massage and traditional herbal remedies, and his practice is in Griffin Court, Wymondham. Call 01953 836061.

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