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TAMESIDE 'ADOPTS' KOSOVAN VILLAGE

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Tameside MBC is to adopt a Kosovan village and help it get back on its feet after its destruction in the recent war...
Tameside MBC is to adopt a Kosovan village and help it get back on its feet after its destruction in the recent war.

The council this week unanimously supported the moves which will offer practical help, including provision of essential materials and goods, for refugees returning to Shtime. Shtime, with a population of around 15,000, is the home town of some of the 62 Kosovars currently living in Tameside.

After initial discussions, national charity RedR (Engineers for Disaster Relief) has already volunteered to help liaise between Tameside and other aid agencies.

Council executive leader Roy Oldham explained: 'Now the war is over the priority for the vast majority of refugees, including the families in Tameside, is to return home, be re-united with their families and begin the massive job of reconstruction.

'All have suffered unimaginable hardship as a result of the forced eviction from their homes.

'This will be impossible on their own.

'So we propose to establish a link - to adopt this town - to allow us to help the population to return to a life of normality. We will be asking our whole community, businesses, householders and local groups, to participate and officers of the council will be working closely with international aid agencies.

'The people of Tameside have already shown overwhelming generosity to these people who've had to flee their homes and I'm sure we can rely on their support again.'

Meanwhile, The Times (July 10, p13) reported that Tameside is appealing to residents and businesses to donate basic household essentials to give to the village of Shtime in Kosovo.

Council employees are all being asked to make a small cash donation from their salaries to send to the town.

Cllr Oldham told the paper: 'We don't want to become a twin town with them, we want to adopt them. They have lost so much that they need

to have somebody to help them restore their dignity, way of living and

authority.'

Mr Oldham spoke to the Local Government Association conference last weekend about the town's plight.

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