Indonesia

Indonesia: The Dutch is the biggest contributor to British tsunami fund

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Edinburgh, Indonesia-Relief -- The British Mercy Corps announces the list of top ten contributors who donate to its £500,000 fund rising efforts in Edinburgh. The largest single donation, a staggering £238,000 - almost half the appeal's £500,000 target - was made by Dutch insurance and banking giant, ING Baring, which has an office in George Street.

Mercy Corps, as reported by Evening News, which backed the fund raising efforts --Capital Appeal for Tsunami Survivors--, also revealed that the youngest on the ''most generous supporters'' list were the children at Corstorphine Primary School whose fundraising netted more than £11,000 - placing them at number six in the top ten.

Other businesses that feature on the list include Morrisons Bookmakers, Scotmid and hairdressers led by Charlie Miller and Jennifer Cheyne who held a range of fundraising initiatives.

Mercy Corps is congratulating all the top ten supporters, as well as every person who helped the six-month appeal break its target weeks ahead of deadline. David Welch, Mercy Corps' director of development, says: ''We've been overwhelmed by the generosity of the Edinburgh public.''

Corstorphine Primary School headteacher Kirsty Jack says: ''We're obviously very pleased and proud. The children really enjoyed raising the money. They were very affected by the disaster. In fact they want to continue with this sort of charity work next year. Instead of raising money for Help the Aged, or Save the Children, they want to raise money for more practical things like buying chickens for communities where people need food.''

The pledge from ING was made after Mercy Corps staff contacted the firm as part of a Europe-wide search for corporate donations. A spokesman for ING says: ''We are delighted to have supported the work which Mercy Corps is undertaking in countries affected by the tsunami. The donation to the Edinburgh Evening News Capital Appeal forms a significant part of the $1.4m (around £770,373) ING and our staff have so far raised in order to support victims of the tsunami.''

The Capital Appeal was launched jointly by Mercy Corps and the Evening News on January 14, when the worst-hit area of Aceh in Indonesia was chosen as the area to be ''adopted'' by Edinburgh. Over the past few months, money has poured in from people and businesses throughout the city, culminating in Edinburgh Giving Week which saw a host of events - including a version of the TV game show It's A Knockout with full fancy dress - push the appeal total past its target to a massive £618,578.24.

However, with the target reached and the six-month appeal officially closing on July 14, the focus now is on where the money will go. Mercy Corps has produced a ''shopping list' of five key areas, each needing roughly £100,000, adding up to the appeal's £500,000 target.

Those areas include midwifery, where Mercy Corps has identified 44 experienced midwives in the Aceh area who need help to get back to work. The midwife programme will rebuild clinics and buy them birthing delivery kits. They will also be given refresher midwifery training, and trauma counselling, as well as teaching them how to counsel others.

Another key area is education. The charity aims to help open another 30 schools closed by the tsunami, enabling around 15,000 students to return to education. This will include repairing and cleaning buildings, buying desks and other school furniture and day-to-day equipment such as jotters and pencils.

The charity is also very focused on community work and pioneers so-called Cash For Work schemes where local people are paid a wage to carry out short and medium- term clean-up projects. These include retrieving bodies, making bricks for buildings, making wooden pallets, clearing wells, and cleaning up homes, hospitals, mosques, offices and schools.

Business is another area where money will be spent, with start-up loans of £5000 to be given to around 150 individuals or small firms.

Finally religious institutions will be helped through initiatives like training heads of mosques to give trauma counselling to the many people who turn to them in times of crisis. © lan

1 ING £238,003

2 Homes for Scotland £100,000

3 City Tsunami Foundation £60,000

4 Edinburgh public appeal £23,179

5 Scotmid £11,441

6 Corstorphine Primary School £11,420

7 Morrisons Bookmakers £10,000

8 Glasgow Academy £8469

9 George Watson's College £6550

10 Charlie Miller and other city hairdressers £6045