Linda’s legacy lives on with £1m for women and children

Linda had a great affinity for Afghanistan and its people. Picture: Contributed
Linda had a great affinity for Afghanistan and its people. Picture: Contributed
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THE legacy of kidnapped aid worker Linda Norgrove, who died five years ago during a failed rescue attempt in Afghanistan, lives on – with £1 million raised in her memory.

The parents of the 36-year-old from Uig on the Isle of Lewis set up a foundation following the tragedy.

After the aid worker was kidnapped in Afghanistan, US forces launched a rescue bid on 8 October, 2010, which ended in her death.

Her parents, John and Lorna, wanted Linda to be remembered for her contribution to life, rather than the tragedy.

They established the Linda Norgrove Foundation to help women and children affected by the war in Afghanistan.

Mr Norgrove said: “Our daughter Linda loved the Afghan people and a number of people she met there became close friends.

“She was in the country because she wanted to make it a better place to live, particularly for women and children. She recognised there were hugely positive aspects to Afghanistan which we rarely had the chance to see because of the constant coverage of the war.

“We don’t have the resources to change the world, but we do help in our own small way to fund projects which have a direct impact on individuals.

“And because we are small we can keep a closer eye on what we are funding and we can keep our overheads to an absolute minimum.” The Foundation has now raised more than a million pounds to help fund a variety of different projects.

These include:

• Scholarships enabling 44 poor girls to attend university, including five training to be doctors

• A school in a rough neighbourhood of Kabul which is attended by more than 300children. As well as school for the children they also teach commercial tailoring skills to their mothers

•“Healthprom”, which involves digging underground tanks from solid rock to provide safe drinking water to isolated villages

• The Children’s Medical House which pays for ten operations a year at the French Children’s Hospital in Kabul

• Support for an orphanage caring for children with special needs.

The charity has also, in partnership with Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan, funded Afghanistan Reads! – a network of community- based libraries and literacy schemes for women.

One of the major fundraising projects is an annual run in early October which marks the anniversary of Linda’s death.

As well as the Valtos 10K on Lewis, runners have taken part wherever they are in the world, from Washington DC to Melbourne, from Edinburgh to Liberia.

Unusual locations have included an oil rig off Shetland.