From a remote part of Britain to remote parts of Afghanistan, Linda Norgrove travelled many miles and affected the lives of many people. She devoted her working life to helping improve the lives of others, especially in Afghanistan. Growing up on a croft in Uig on the west side of the Isle of Lewis in Scotland, Linda appreciated from an early age what rural agricultural life was all about.
Linda was kidnapped in Kunar on 26 September 2010 and died in an attempted rescue by US forces on 8 October. She was 36. However, Linda is not defined by the tragic circumstances of her death but by the life she lived and the choices she made.
Linda chose to live a life that matters. She was a highly qualified and dedicated environmental expert. She began her studies in Tropical Environmental Science at the University of Aberdeen, latterly graduating with a PhD from the University of Manchester. It was her rare and precious gift of empathy with all people no matter their condition, culture or beliefs, that was her driving force.
Linda was regional director for DAI (Development Alternatives Inc) in Jalalabad where she oversaw a USAID (United States Agency for International Development) project designed to create jobs and strengthen local Afghan leadership and economies in unstable and vulnerable areas. The effects of her work are still being felt today.
Linda taught herself to speak Dari, an Afghan version of Persian, to help her establish proper relationships with her Afghan staff and the local communities she visited and worked in. This was clearly a key factor in the success of her work.
Her ethos lives on in the Foundation established in her name by her parents John and Lorna Norgrove. The Linda Norgrove Foundation gives grants to small grass-roots projects supporting women and children affected by the war in Afghanistan.
The BBC is grateful to Rachel Wade from the Linda Norgrove Foundation for writing this biography.
Bho iomall Bhreatainn gu pàirtean iomallach de dh’Afghanastan, shiubhail Linda Norgrove iomadh mìle agus thug i buaidh air iomadh duine. Chosg i a beatha-obrach a’ leasachadh beathannan dhaoine eile, gu sònraichte ann an Afghanastan. Thogadh i air croit ann an Ùig air taobh siar Eilean Leòdhais ann an Alba. Bho h-òige, bha tuigse aice air cò ris a bha beatha-àiteachais coltach.
Chaidh Linda a thoirt am bruid ann an Kunar air 26 An t-Sultain 2010 agus bhàsaich i fhad ‘s a bha an t-airm Ameireaganach a’ feuchainn ri a sàbhaladh air 8 Dàmhair. Bha i 36. Ach, chan e an dòigh san do bhàsaich Linda as cudromaiche, ach a dòigh-beatha agus na roghainnean a thagh i.
Thagh Linda beatha neo-fhèineil. Bha i foghlamaichte agus na eòlaiche-àrainneachd. Rinn i Saidheans Àrainneachd Thropaigeach aig Oilthigh Obar Dheathain agus, an dèidh sin, cheumnaich i o Oilthigh Manchester le PhD. Bha co-fhaireachdainn aice leis a h-uile duine, ge bith dè an suidheachadh pearsanta a bh’ aca – bha a bhith gan cuideachadh a’ toirt spionnadh dhi.
Bha Linda na stiùiriche roinneil airson an DAI (Development Alternatives Inc) ann an Jalalabad far an robh i a’ cumail smachd air pròiseact USAID (United States Agency for International Development). B’ e amasan na proiseict obraichean a chruthachadh agus ceannas ionadail is eaconamaidhean ann an sgìrean cugallach a leasachadh. Tha buaidh a h-obrach fhathast follaiseach san là an-diugh.
Dh’ionnsaich Linda Dari, beul-chainnt Afghanach den chànan Persian. Bha seo cudromach airson ceanglaichean a leasachadh le a co-obraichean Afghanach agus na coimhearsnachdan ionadail san robh i ag obair. Tha fhios gun d’ thug seo buaidh air mar a shoirbhich leatha.
Tha feallsanachd Linda fhathast beò tro charthannas a chaidh a stèidheachadh le a pàrantan, John agus Linda. Tha an Linda Norgrove Foundation a’ toirt taic-airgid do phròiseactan ionadail a tha a’ cuideachadh bhoireannaich is chlann air an d’ thug cogadh Afghanastan buaidh.
Le taing do Rachel Wade bhon Linda Norgrove Foundation.