A FORMER nurse has been honoured by having a school in a remote part of Africa named in her honour.

The Karen Slowe Junior High School opened last month in the village of Akokoa, in eastern Ghana.

Mrs Slowe, of Sacriston, met her husband Dr Peter Slowe while he worked as a professor of Geography at Durham University and she was a nurse in Stockton.

They later moved to West Sussex where she helped her husband establish Projects Abroad, which grew to be one of the UK’s leading global volunteer placement organisation.

Projects Abroad sends students, trainee doctors, and other volunteers to countries from Senegal to Samoa.

Mrs Slowe died two years ago following a long illness, aged just 56.

But she had spent many months over the previous decade in Ghana, where she became well known amongst the locals as somebody to turn to for help.

Her husband said: “Karen spent a lot of time in Ghana because our son Alistair was out there from the age of 17 playing professional football for a local team.

“Karen helped local people with English, devised nutritious ways of cooking with local ingredients, and cared for abandoned children.”

The grand opening of the Karen Slowe Junior High School was attended by nearly every one of the 420 strong population of Akokoa, as well as guests from England, Germany, Norway, South Africa and Togo.

Mrs Slowe's brother Peter Britton was also present.

He said: “I hope one day to see a former pupil of Karen Slowe Junior High complete the circle and visit Sacriston.”

Dr Slowe added: “In my speech at the opening ceremony I said how I was moved by the real friendship shown by Chief Nyako and the village elders. She was often welcomed into homes to share fufu and groundnut soup. She was made to feel part of the community.”

Princely Bondzie, the headteacher of the new school, said: “The Karen Slowe Junior High School will have a broad curriculum, including music, theatre and sport.”

“She did a lot of good in Ghana."

The new school hopes to give children from Akokoa somewhere accessible to continue their studies after 11.