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Links with Ghana city celebrated

DIGNITARIES from Ghana attended an exhibition at the University of Plymouth to mark the city's links with the West African nation.
The exhibition, attended by Ghanaian director of education Kofi Imbeah and his wife Nora, was one of many events organised for Plymouth's first Ghana Week.
The week celebrates the link between Plymouth and Sekondi-Takoradi, a city of 300,000 in Western Ghana.
The Link, as it is known, was set up in 2003 by a group of Plymouth people looking for something other than twinning, which for Plymouth was then exclusively with European cities.
Peter Reid, Link Secretary, said that the founders were looking for somewhere able to communicate in English, a country at peace, easy to get to by air and a place the same size as Plymouth.
He said: "Sekondi-Takoradi is ideal – it's a port and a naval base as well, with lovely beaches close by."
He added that the Link is a partnership of equals, with learning and friendship for both.
Several schools have strong links with partners in Ghana, and teachers in both countries learn from each other. Over 50 teachers have now travelled to and from Ghana, and use their knowledge of each other's school and city to plan lessons that contrast lifestyles and attitudes.
Other young people have benefited from the Ghana Link. In 2005, 12 teenagers went to Ghana with a Theatre Royal director and a producer. A group of 24 rehearsed 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' before bringing the production to the Drum Theatre. And a year later a similar group of young people from the two cities performed a Ghanaian play in both countries.
The jewel in the crown of the Link is 'Operation Hernia', set up by Professor Andrew Kingsnorth and Mr Chris Oppong, surgeons at Derriford Hospital.
Mr Oppong, who went to school in Takoradi, said: "We operate on hernias in Ghana which the local teams simply don't have the time or resources to deal with. You can't farm or fish with a hernia, so what we do really is life-changing." Since 2005, more than 2,500 procedures have been carried out.
It is hoped that Ghana Week will become an annual celebration of the link between the two communities