Linda Norgrove fund stunned by remarkable response to appeal

Linda Norgrove. Picture: Contributed
Linda Norgrove. Picture: Contributed
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THE parents of Linda Norgrove, the Western Isles aid worker who died in a failed rescue attempt in Afghanistan in 2010, have been overwhelmed by the response to their latest appeal for funds.

John and Lorna Norgrove used their annual newsletter to explain they had decided to donate an additional £20,000 of their own savings to help fund new projects and they asked their supporters to match the funds.

John and Linda Norgrove. Picture: Phil Wilkinson/TSPL

John and Linda Norgrove. Picture: Phil Wilkinson/TSPL

John said: “We have several great long term projects that rely on our regular funds and where it’s impossible to stop funding without dire immediate consequences.

“But at the same time we constantly receive applications for inspirational new projects and with our dwindling funds we simply weren’t able to support them.”

Including a Gift Aid element, their additional contribution amounted to £25,000.

So in their Christmas newsletter John and Lorna asked people to help match that in the hope they could raise a total of £50,000 to allow them to support some of these new projects.

READ MORE: Father of aid worker Linda Norgrove honoured

As they explained: “We have developed a commitment over the past six years and don’t feel ready to stop when so many people’s life chances depend on LNF’s support; especially now that other charities have scaled back their operations, leaving Afghans feeling abandoned.”

And they have been overwhelmed by the response to their appeal.

Lorna Norgrove said: “Every day the postman was bringing new cheques and our funds were increasing at the rate of more than £1,000 per day. We have also doubled the amount we receive in regular donations.

“The money is vitally important but we’ve also been touched by the letters and messages of support and encouragement for what we are trying to achieve in this wonderful country which our daughter loved so much.”

The special appeal has seen almost £55,000 more raised than in the same period the previous year. Together with John and Lorna’s contribution and Gift Aid they expect to raise a total over £115,000 since their appeal.

The long term projects the Linda Norgrove Foundation support include a home in Kabul for children with disabilities, a school for poor children and widows and university scholarships.

New projects have included equipping 80 women with the means to generate income through silkworm rearing, spinning and weaving, the Ascend programme which inspires young women to climb mountains, and two projects in the remote Wakhan valley, one for the planting of trees, small orchards and kitchen gardens, another teaching basic hygiene to remote pastoralists and nomads.

It is now six years ago since Linda Norgrove, originally from Uig on the Isle of Lewis, was kidnapped while working in Afghanistan where she was overseeing development projects such as road building and irrigation projects. She tragically died in a failed rescue attempt by US Forces on 8 October 2010.

Her parents wanted Linda to be remembered for her contribution to life rather than her tragic death and established the Foundation to help women and children affected by the war in Afghanistan.

READ MORE: Parents of Linda Norgrove hit back at spy claims

Since the Foundation was set up in 2010 in Linda’s memory it has distributed more than a million pounds to help women and children affected by the war in Afghanistan. It has funded over 80 grass roots projects.

You can find more information on the charity and its work on the website at www.lindanorgrovefoundation.org.

The Foundation was set up in 2010 by Linda Norgrove’s parents John and Lorna, in memory of their daughter who was kidnapped and subsequently died during a failed rescue attempt in Afghanistan.

The Foundation aims to support women and children affected by the war in Afghanistan.

The Foundation is run solely by volunteers with administration costs covered by an anonymous donor. This means almost all the money raised goes directly to projects in Afghanistan.

Projects funded in year to March 2017 include:

March 2017 - £8,186

6 month’s funding for Support Children and Afghan Women in Need Organisation

March 2017 - £2,213

Annual contribution to allow ‘Womanity’ to provide libraries in girls’ schools in rural Afghanistan.

January 2017 - £7,070

A project, managed by Serve Afghanistan, to improve the business skills and access to markets for existing business women in three provinces.

January 2017 - £5,600

A grant to Christian Aid to equip more than 80 Afghan women with the tools and skills needed to generate a good income from silk worm rearing, spinning and silk weaving.

January 2017 - £11,303

Grant to Healthprom for the excavation from solid rock of the final two, out of our programme of ten, drinking water tanks in the Qaraghage area of Balkh province. Providing safe drinking water to remote villages and reducing the mortality of infants.

January 2017 - £8,437

Funding the travel and surgeries of ten poor children from rural areas at the French hospital ‘La Chaine de l’Espoir’ including accommodation for them and their families at the Children’s medical house.

November 2016 - £2,106

School fees for 7 girls from poor families at the Heela Model School in Jalalabad.

November 2016 - £4,059

Provide business training and part contributions towards the cost of additional hives for women within the Bamyan Beekeeping co-operative.

November 2016 - £7,000

Ongoing support towards the cost of running Window of Hope, the home for children with disabilities in Kabul.

October 2016 - £5,124

Half yearly payment for scholarships for nine potential female doctors.

September 2016 - £11,344

39 scholarships to enable women to study for degrees in law, economics and business at the Gawharshad Institute of Higher Education.

August 2016 - £11,214

6 months support for SCAWNO, part funded by the sale of their calligraphy in Stornoway.

August 2016 - £10,000

Two thirds of the funds required to provide an all-weather sports pitch for the Aschiana School for Street Children in Kabul. Previously a dust bowl in summer and mud bath in winter, this allows all year round sports and also provides an income from pitch rental to other clubs.

August 2016 - £5,476

An Emergency Fund, managed by Women for Afghan Women based in Kabul, to pay for surgery and the ongoing care of women and girls following the most extreme forms of violence and sexual abuse.