An 11-year-old African orphan who was badly burnt by her step father will be acting as bridesmaid for a Terrington St Clement couple who are tying the knot later today.
Farmer Roger Barnes and his fiancée Lisa Carr invited 11-year-old Sharon to be part of their big day.
The couple are trustees of the Shout for Orphans charity which is raising £350,000 to build a school at Mama’s Orphans Children’s Home in Busia, Kenya, where Sharon lives.
Sharon is one of 160 orphans, who have been abandoned and abused but are building a new life thanks to the care of Monica Odour.
She has been enjoying a short holiday to West Norfolk with Monica and Betty Odour ahead of the wedding in Southwold today.
But Sharon is also in Britain to have surgery at Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital to repair the horrific injuries left by her step father.
When she was just four, he threw boiling porridge over her face, causing the skin around her chin to be moulded to her neck.
While her chin has been released during an operation in Kenya, she needs further surgery to her neck.
Mr Barnes said: “She is such a lovely little girl. “We wanted to get her over here to have treatment as she is growing so fast.
“We wanted to have her as bridesmaid at our wedding.
“She is really looking forward to it and had a lovely time at Sandringham.”
Mr Barnes was inspired to become involved with the charity after visiting the orphanage last year.
He said: “The enthusiasm of the children when you get there is amazing.
“Children as young as four are walking 11 miles to go to school as they know the value of education.
“Our long-term aim is to put up a school so these poor little mites will be able to get the education they deserve.
“They are always smiling and are always walking around with a book.
“They get up at 4am to have a wash, there are no towels so they have to stand until they dry before rummaging through a big pile of clothes to see if something fits.”
The couple are planning a number of fundraisers, including balls.
The charity is also running the 1,000 Angels campaign, which is hoping to raise money to pay for counselling, food, medical treatment and a mosquito net. To help go to: www.shoutfororphans.org.uk