Fund backs four
A total of NOK 950,000 has been awarded by Statoil's Anniversary Fund this year to four projects for children and young people in eastern Europe and Africa.
The fund, which hands out money annually to improve the lot of youngsters, has made two grants totalling NOK 550,000 to the Hordaland county branch of Grenland Action.
A further NOK 300,000 is going to the Norwegian Baptist Society, while the Norwegian Mission Society will be receiving NOK 100,000.
Based at Skien south-west of Oslo, Grenland Action is a humanitarian organisation which operates several rehabilitation schemes for children and young people.
One of its grants from the fund will provide NOK 350,000 in backing to a project for blind and partially-sighted children in the Moldovan town of Belt.
The cash will be used to rehabilitate school buildings as well as to buy in Braille writing machines and other equipment.
In addition, Grenland Action has been awarded NOK 200,000 towards a home for disabled children and young people in the Romanian town of Bacau.
The grant to the Baptist society is earmarked for its Bili Bilenge project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, run by Liv Kyllingstad Godin.
This aims to make life a bit easier for children and young people through various measures such as a school programme, sports and leisure activities, and information on Aids and misuse of drink/drugs.
The missionary society will devote its grant to completing a foster home for disadvantaged children as part of a project called Pakapieni - the children's town - in Latvia.
Sigurd Kristiansen, chair of the Statoil Anniversary Fund, reports that 17 applications for grants have been made in 1999.