Schoolgirl Olivia meets African pen pal

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A SEVEN-year-old from West Suffolk has met her pen pal, who lives thousands of miles away in East Africa.

Ixworth Primary School and St Monicah’s Primary School, in Kenya, have forged links due to their shared school colours, with their pupils encouraged to exchange letters.

While on a family holiday over Easter, Olivia Coe visited the school and met pen pal of 18 months, nine-year-old Amina Mbesa.

Olivia’s father, Tim, said: “It was interesting because both were called up in front of about 100 people and you would have expected them to be shy but, when they got about three yards apart, they broke into a run and gave each other a hug.”

On the importance of the schools’ links, Anna Richards, headteacher of Ixworth, said: “It gives our children awareness of life in other countries, and the similarities and differences, which is important because this part of Suffolk is so monocultural.”