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Teenager inspired by tragic family history helps set up donation collect point for Afghan refugees


By Jonathan Clark

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Dina Hrnjic came up with the idea of accepting donations at her work place, Finecraft Picture Framing, which are to be donated to Afghan refugees...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Dina Hrnjic came up with the idea of accepting donations at her work place, Finecraft Picture Framing, which are to be donated to Afghan refugees...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

A TEENAGER inspired by a tragic family history has helped set up a donation collection point for refugees fleeing Afghanistan after the Taliban's takeover.

Seventeen-year-old Dina Hrnjic's family fled from Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992, with her sister and mother taken in by Elgin couple Clare and Andrew Findlay.

Dina's family, who lived in the north-western town of Drvar, were fleeing the Bosnian War, which claimed the lives of more than 100,000 people, including 8372 who died in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, and displaced many more.

Seeing the pictures of terrified Afghan civilians fleeing their homes as Kabul was captured by the Taliban resonated with Dina, and she decided she had to do something to help – the same way Elgin helped her family.

Dina Hrnjic came up with the idea of accepting donations at her work place, Finecraft Picture Framing, which will be donated to Afghan refugees...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Dina Hrnjic came up with the idea of accepting donations at her work place, Finecraft Picture Framing, which will be donated to Afghan refugees...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Dina Hrnjic and Jenny Smith outside Finecraft Picture Framing...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Dina Hrnjic and Jenny Smith outside Finecraft Picture Framing...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

She instantly pitched an idea to her boss at Finecraft Picture Framing, Jenny Smith, which saw the business become the first donation collection point in Moray for Afghan refugees.

A total of 550 refugees are originally set to arrive in Scotland from the middle-eastern country, with some set to be resettled in the north-east.

Dina said: "It's awful what these people have been through and it will affect them for generations to come in many ways.

"Some of the things my family saw they can't even speak about to this day.

"As soon as I saw the news I knew I had to do something so I messaged Jenny. She has been so supportive.

"Jaco Boonzaaier from the Church of Scotland has been amazing, too, he has brought in a lot of stuff.

"We have had such a positive response and loads of donations but we could always do with more."

Finecraft, located on Bridge Street, began accepting donations on August 21, and has been overwhelmed by the response Moray-wide.

Donations are taken in by Jaco Boonzaaier, of the Church of Scotland...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Donations are taken in by Jaco Boonzaaier, of the Church of Scotland...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Donations arrive at Finecraft Picture Framing which are to be donated to refugees fleeing Afghanistan...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Donations arrive at Finecraft Picture Framing which are to be donated to refugees fleeing Afghanistan...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

Shop manager Jenny Smith said: "We have had a fantastic response. We have got a corner of the shop put aside to store everything, but we are running out of space because people have been so wonderful.

"It's gone way beyond just our customers. We have even had other shops contact us to bring stuff to us.

"We are hearing that some refugees will be relocated in Inverness, Elgin and Aberdeen so we are considering giving councils a phone to see if they want to take this stuff and distribute it locally.

"If not then we will get the donations transported to Glasgow."

Jenny added that the shop will continue to accept donations until there is no space left.

They are accepting a wide variety of items, with the most sought after items clothes, toiletries and long-life and tinned foods. Cash donations are also being accepted.

For more information on how and what to donate, visit www.facebook.com/finecraftpictureframing.


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