Appeal for extra funds leads to remarkable response

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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.

As John explained: “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.

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.

As 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.

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: here