LINKS forged between Torrington and Ghana are helping to support the creation of a centre in Africa to let impoverished young people lift themselves out of poverty. Jude Keohane and her family have become wholehearted supporters of Project Okurase, the vi

LINKS forged between Torrington and Ghana are helping to support the creation of a centre in Africa to let impoverished young people lift themselves out of poverty.Jude Keohane and her family have become wholehearted supporters of Project Okurase, the vision of African drummer and musician Samuel Yeboah, a familiar visitor to the region, performing at Westward Ho! Potwalloping and the Northern Devon Respect Festivals.As their friendship grew, Jude, husband Will and son Jake became more involved helping Sam with his work to build a centre in Okurase, Ghana, to educate and train AIDS orphans and other vulnerable children. Sam is also planning a series of fund raising events for Project Okurase in North Devon next summer. While in Ghana he is the leader of a collective of artists and performers known as Nkabom - when in the UK he leads and performs with the well-known Unity Train.Last year at his invitation the family visited Ghana, enjoying the beauty of the rainforest and the country's culture, including time at the Nkabom Arts Centre where they learned Ghanaian culture in crafts, dance and drumming workshops by Nkabom musicians and craftspeople led by Sam."They will be teaching those skills to others so they can make a living for themselves," explained Jude.There was also a grim reminder of the past during a visit to the Cape Coast Slave Castle and plenty of examples of modern hardship."We met children on the beach who would love the opportunity to go to school, but their parents had no money for uniforms, books and stationery," added Jude."I was told poverty even leads to destitution as parents cannot support their children, making them vulnerable to abuse, exploitation and disease."Jude is keen to hear from any people in North Devon who could help with Project Okurase, both with ideas or ways to assist with building the new centre. "For example, if you can help build a website so people can donate online, would like to organise a fundraiser event to raise money towards the building or can help with IT skills to create a documentary about the project, that would be wonderful," she said.If you would like to help, call Jude on (01805) 623480 or visit www.projectokurase.org to find out more.