RINGWOOD Junior School has been strengthening its links with pupils in Kenya.

The school’s head teacher, Sally-Ann Evans, recently visited the Zelyn Academy in Nairobi, Kenya, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

And during the visit the Ringwood pupils were able to interact with their Kenyan counterparts and via internet link were able to sing to them.

Mrs Evans’ suitcase was bulging with school equipment, including skipping ropes, sweets, pencils, pens and greeting cards, taken as gifts donated by Ringwood Junior School children.

Mrs Evans, on her return from this 10-day return visit to the Kenyan school, said: “I have had an amazing school visit and have been able to see first-hand the school, its children, the staff and surrounding community.

“Our fundraising has made such a difference to the Kenyan school and those who go there. The Zelyn Academy continues to grow and serves the most disadvantaged children in this poor Nairobi community.”

The head teacher’s visit to Kenya took place from January 28 to February 4.

Ringwood Junior School and Zelyn Academy have been twinned for eight years.

Many of the pupils in Ringwood are pen pals to the Kenyan children and the school says there is always great excitement when letters are both sent and received.

While on her visit, one of Mrs Evans’ funniest experiences was having younger children approach her to stroke her arm. Many of them had not seen a white person before and so they were fascinated by her white skin and blond hair.

The staff in Ringwood Junior School say it is good for their pupils to widen their horizons beyond what they have experienced in Ringwood, adding: “Many of the pupils are thrilled to have this close link with less-advantaged children overseas and be able to help and encourage in some small way.”