Linda Norgrove charity reaches £500k milestone

A CHARITY set up in memory of a Scots aid worker kidnapped and killed in Afghanistan has reached a momentous milestone.

Linda Norgrove in Afghanistan in 2010. Picture: Hemedia

Since it was set up in 2010, the Linda Norgrove Foundation has distributed more than £500,000 to help women and children affected by the war in Afghanistan.

The foundation was established after Linda Norgrove, an aid worker from Uig working in Afghanistan, was kidnapped and died in a failed rescue attempt. Her parents, John and Lorna, started it as a way of creating something positive from the tragedy.

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So far the foundation has funded almost 50 grass roots projects including orphanages which care for some of the country’s most disadvantaged disabled children, homes for widows, education for girls and emergency medical help for women who have been severely abused.

Almost £400,000 of the money distributed so far has come from fundraising all over the world with some donations from unusual places.

A recent donation of £1,600 came from British Embassy staff in Kabul after one of their colleagues spent a night in a snowhole outside the embassy.

Last year the foundation also received a grant from the United States International Development Agency (USAID) to help fund Afghanistan Reads – a network of community libraries and literacy schemes for women and girls in several communities across the country.

John Norgrove said: “We are delighted to have reached this great milestone. Linda passionately believed that empowering women was fundamental to changing the future of Afghanistan for the better.

“Thanks to the generosity of everyone who has helped raise funds for the foundation we are able to make a real difference to some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people and we’d like to thank everyone who has made that possible.”

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.

Linda Norgrove had worked for the firm Development Alternatives Inc (DAI) and oversaw an aid project designed to create jobs and strengthen local Afghan leadership and economies in vulnerable areas.

The 36-year-old was ambushed and later killed in October 2010 by a grenade thrown by a US soldier as a Special Forces squad attempted a night-time rescue at the compound where she was being held.