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  1. ITV Report

University student is Olympic torchbearer

Melissa Ilboudo is originally from Burkino Faso in Africa and was nominated because of her inspiring work back home.

The peanut and maize fields of Burkino Faso are a far cry from the leafy campus of the UEA.

But it's where Melissa Illboudo's heart is. Despite studying in the UK for the last seven years she's managed to raise £100,000 to help farmers back home learn how to grow food on land that is parched by drought. Her reward - carrying the Olympic torch

"I used to watch the Olympic Games on TV and get excited with the torchbearers and the ceremony, the opening ceremony," she said.

"I never thought that I would actually be part of an Olympic Game. It is amazing, I am so grateful for that."

She was nominated for the role by her head of department at the UEA.

Dr Steve Russell, from the School of Development Studies at UEA, said: "She was chosen for two reasons really, firstly she's an excellent student, academically. But secondly she's an inspiration to anyone who's got a small idea and wants to turn it into something really big."

The torch will arrive in our region in July - starting at Peterborough on the 3rd and then travelling through Norwich, Ipswich, Chelmsford, Cambridge, Stevenage and many places inbetween. Leaving again from Dunstable on the 9th.

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