ORPHANS in East Africa will enjoy a merry Christmas thanks to County Durham youngsters.

Pupils at Crook Primary School will send out parcels to children in poverty-hit Tanzania tomorrow.

It is part of a link scheme between the school and Mdawi primary school in the city of Moshi, which has an orphanage attached.

Youngsters sent gifts, including pens, books, socks, toothbrushes, hats and football boots, as well as letters.

Headteacher Antonella Lipton, who is one of 25 teachers from the region visiting the country early next year, said that the idea was to provide the Tanzanian youngsters with some gifts for Christmas.

She said: "They have all brought them in themselves and they have all written to a child.

"We've been having regular letters from the children in Tanzania. We can tell from the letters that the children have a real connection."