Island charity reaches half million pound milestone

A Western Isles based charity has reached a momentous milestone.

Since it was set up in 2010 The Linda Norgrove Foundation has distributed over half a million pounds 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 started the Foundation as a way of creating something positive from the tragedy.

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 £1600 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 from the Foundation 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.