A restaurateur from Eskbank has given more than£24,000 of her own money to causes in Ethiopia during the past four years.
Virginie Brouard (45), who owns the La P’tite Folie restaurant and Le Di-Vin Wine Bar in Edinburgh, has made eight trips to the African country in that time. She also has a four-year-old daughter, Genat, whom she adopted from an Ethiopian orphanage.
She said: “When I was a kid they had a big famine in the 1980s so I was aware of the country and its problems for a long time. Little did I know then that I would later adopt a little girl from Ethiopia. I have been going there for four years now. I’m really attracted to it and there is so much that needs done. There is a drought just now so it’s really bad.
“I do enjoy what I’m doing and I feel needed when I go there. I have got the restaurant and wine bar which are going well, so that allows me to help out charities there.”
Virginie is delighted to see what her money goes towards when she makes one of her regular visits to the poverty-stricken country.
She said: “I have no problem at all with what they do with my money. I know exactly where it goes. It’s about £24/25,000 so far. A hundred families have a roof over their heads now.
“It makes a big difference to the children too, as I also fund about 700 kids a year at kindergarten and school. They have to go to school to be fed. A lot of kids don’t go to school as they work to make money but the food is an incentive to get an education. Parents are delighted, as they can’t afford to feed their kids.
“I went volunteering at the orphanage. Oh my god it was very hard.
“There are four million orphans in Ethiopia, so the need is incredible.”