Charity set up in memory of Stevenage doctor killed by Taliban faces uncertain future without support

Doctor Karen Woo dedicated her life to helping others.

Doctor Karen Woo dedicated her life to helping others. - Credit: Archant

A charity set up in memory of a young doctor killed by Taliban while delivering aid in Afghanistan is in need of more support to keep going, the victim’s mum has told the Comet.

Karen Woo, who grew up in Stevenage and attended The Barclay School, was shot dead in August 2010 while on a trip with medical charity International Assistance Mission to reach villagers desperately in need of medical help.

She was killed along with nine others of the mostly American team, two weeks before she was due to get married.

The Karen Woo Foundation was set up in the 36-year-old’s memory - a grant-giving charity which focuses on providing healthcare and education, particularly for women and children, in the war-torn country.

For 2017-18, the foundation was able to give out four grants following various fundraisers.

Funding was given to HealthProm to help improve maternal health and safer deliveries, and War Child UK was given money to help improve access to early years education for 540 vulnerable and marginalised four and five years olds.

La Chaine de L’Espoir was given a grant to provide 12 deprived children with pre and post-operative care following surgery, and a year’s grant was given to the Enabled Children’s Initiative to help an orphanage.

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Karen’s mum, Lynn, said: “We are hoping to give a grant to them for this year, but need to achieve more fundraising.

“It is getting more difficult to get the funds. Of course there are so many needs worldwide.

“Fundraising is the biggest problem for all charities - the need being so great.

“Donations come from those willing to support such a charity as ours. Many knew Karen and so their support comes in her name. Others have felt inspired by her story. To begin with, when Afghanistan was in the front news, people did feel touched by how the ordinary folk of Afghanistan were affected by war.

“What inspire us to go on is that we see positives arising from the various projects we have been able to support in Afghanistan.

“This support can only go on as long as there are people willing to donate, but we are hopeful to keep going for as long as there is sufficient interest.”

To support the KWF, through time or money, email