Africa in our hearts

KIRKCALDY’S generosity is being praised after charities revealed increased donations for the East of Africa Appeal.

With the United Nations estimating the total number of people in need in East Africa could rise by another 25 per cent soon, surpassing 15 million, charity shops and agencies in the town said every penny counts from Fifers who can spare some change.

War-torn Somalia is currently facing the worst famine in decades, with more than 500,000 people at risk of starvation, and hundreds of thousands being displaced at the Kenya-Somalia border.

However, kind hearted Langtonians are showing their generosity, with one local even handing £500 into the town’s Oxfam store.

Martina Eichelkraut, Oxfam manager, said the reaction has been great, but there is always more needed.

Fantastic

She told the Press: “People have been fantastic.

‘‘On Friday we had one gentleman come in and donate £500 which was incredible -we normally don’t get donations like that.

‘‘But every day somebody comes in with something for the appeal and that’s what is important.

‘‘Right now, every penny counts.”

Kirkcaldy’s Save the Children shop has also seen a rise in people donating to the crisis.

‘‘The charity warned last week that the number of malnourished children in feeding centres in northern Somalia has doubled from 3500 to 6000 in just two weeks.

Betty Johnstone, who has volunteered at the shop for 19 years, said: “People are trying hard to donate when they can - we had a lady who emptied her loose change into a jar each night for a couple of weeks.

‘‘It’s that kind of generosity that helps so much.”

Donations

Robb Scott, Kirkcaldy Rotary Club secretary, told the Press that without local donations, there would be no aid.

He said: “Rotary are working closely with our two charities to provide aid for the East Africa crisis.

‘‘Any money donated through the rotary for East Africa will be going to Shelterbox, a unique charity which provides disaster relief essentials, and Water Survival Box, which provides essential water purification and survival items.”