The Linda Norgrove Foundation was established in October 2010 in memory of Linda Norgrove, who was devoted to ensuring that the people of Afghanistan would achieve prosperity and stability as their country was rebuilt. Her parents, John and Lorna Norgrove, set up the Foundation to continue her work. Linda was completely committed to her development work and she loved Afghanistan and its people.
The Foundation’s primary goal is to help women and children in Afghanistan, the innocent victims of the decades of conflict in the poorest country in the world outside Africa.
We are developing programmes with special emphasis on providing education and incomes for women because we believe that these are most likely to create a positive lasting change for the country. A particular focus is on helping women and children affected by the war. There are more than 1.5 million widows in Afghanistan and they comprise one fifth of the adult female population. They are not visible, in all senses, and their situation receives less publicity than, for example, the disabled and children. For this reason, we believe that this sector is under funded and we aim to redress this imbalance.
We are funding smaller projects that do not appeal to larger charities but which fit better with the donations given by the majority of our supporters. This way, you have a better idea of what is being achieved with your money and we can more easily ensure that the funds are getting through to those who need them. Occasionally, we fund work directly but mostly we provide funds to other charities for particular projects.
Some of our projects include:
A further aim of the Foundation is to promote understanding and links with Afghanistan. Our initial focus will be Scotland, where Linda came from, as there is little information available about Afghanistan here. For example, we are investigating links and communications between schools in Afghanistan and Scotland, and helping Afghan enterprises develop products for export.
How we are run
The Foundation is funded by individuals, from all round the world. Our Trustees, who are not paid and receive only reasonable expenses, ensure that the charity’s funds are devoted entirely to the charity’s aims.
In Afghanistan we rely on voluntary help supplemented by occasional part-time paid assistance.
In the UK the trustees undertake most of the management, administration and financial work and we employ one full-time graduate.
Our first annual report will be published online in September 2012.
The Foundation's trustees have a personal investment in the Foundation and a genuine belief in the work that Linda was doing combined with the skills and experience to ensure that funds are used effectively to make a real difference to the lives of women, children and families in Afghanistan.
I graduated as a civil engineer from Manchester University. Lorna and I met shortly after, travelled overland to India via Afghanistan on honeymoon and then settled in northern Scotland. For many years I headed up the design and construction team of the engineering department of the local council for the Western Isles (Outer Hebrides), then spent five years as Western Isles Manager for the North of Scotland Water Authority.
I have been self employed since 2000, mostly working on the supervision of dams. We have lived on the Isle of Lewis in the Western Isles for 36 years and run a croft with small numbers of cattle. As a trustee, I am able to bring project management experience, financial skills and a genuine affection for and knowledge of developing countries gained from travelling independently on our holidays each winter.
I’ve lived in the north of Scotland most of my life, and brought up our two daughters on our family croft on the Isle of Lewis. Until recently, I did most of the work with the stock and still keep a large organic vegetable garden.
In 2000, I started the charity ‘Western Isles Beach Clean Up’. I obtained sponsorship from local businesses and the local council and persuaded voluntary groups to undertake beach clean-ups. The majority of the sponsorship goes to Water Aid, a UK charity providing clean water, sanitation and hygiene education to the poor communities in developing countries. Our fundraising ideas have expanded over the years with the help of a committee of women local to the Uig area on Lewis where we live.
As a trustee, I bring my knowledge of charity work, book-keeping and secretarial skills, a practical knowledge of developing countries and, last but not least, a woman’s perspective.
I've worked in development for most of my life, primarily in India and Britain, but also in other countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific. My involvement began when I was a Fulbright Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University, and I have co-authored 3 books on development and one on the UN.
I lived for four years in India, researching rural non-farm employment and building capacity in the Tibetan refugee community.
Back in Britain, I was a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex University, and then Director for Enterprising Communities at the New Economics Foundation in London. With funding from the Ford Foundation, I also continued working with micro-finance institutions in India.
I settled on South Uist in the Western Isles in 2003, ran the local Children's Parliament for 3 years, and now divide my time between parenting two young children and working with the local community to develop the local economy and enhance opportunities for young people.
I feel honoured to bring my experience, and love for diverse cultures, to the Foundation as it seeks to continue the inspiring work of Linda Norgrove.
I was born in Glasgow and have lived and worked in many different parts of the UK, finally settling in Beauly, a village near Inverness. Most of the family are grown up now but I still share the house with my husband, two daughters and two large dogs. Originally a journalist, I moved into PR in the early 80s and worked in the public and third sectors. I met John Norgrove when we both worked for the North of Scotland Water Authority.
For the last ten years I’ve run my own PR consultancy – Platform PR – named after the railway station which is our office. I’m a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and a Chartered PR Practitioner. I am a member of the Board of Eden Court Theatre in Inverness and sit on the Council of the CIPR, so have some relevant experience for my role as a Trustee.
Hugely impressed by the way John and Lorna have turned such a tragic experience into a force for good, I was deeply touched to be asked to become a trustee. It is a privilege to use my PR skills to help this worthwhile cause.
My working life has focussed on rural development and included European policy research work, delivery of rural development grant programmes, feasibility and impact assessment studies, as well as rural training organisation. I live in Ness, Isle of Lewis, where I have a croft with cattle and sheep. I have always been involved in local community organisations and projects and particularly enjoy being a part of communities taking control and managing their own development. In recent years I have become increasingly interested in the use of sustainable energy as a means to assist development.
I hope to be able to bring to the Foundation skills in and experience of programme and project management, accountability in managing allocation of funds and grants, and governance – and my enthusiasm to support the valuable and important work in any way I can.