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'We had to do something positive for her' - parents build community hall in Namibia in daughter's memory

PUBLISHED: 13:18 24 September 2018 | UPDATED: 14:27 24 September 2018

Linda Bullen MBE and Roger Bullen have used their foundationt to fund several projects in Namibia Picture: CATHERINE BULLEN FOUNDATION

Linda Bullen MBE and Roger Bullen have used their foundationt to fund several projects in Namibia Picture: CATHERINE BULLEN FOUNDATION

Archant

A couple whose daughter died in Namibia have launched their latest project to build a community hall in her memory.

Catherine died in 2002 after contracting gastro enteritis Picture: CATHERINE BULLEN FOUNDATIONCatherine died in 2002 after contracting gastro enteritis Picture: CATHERINE BULLEN FOUNDATION

The Catherine Bullen Foundation, established by Linda Bullen MBE and Roger Bullen in 2002, raises funds for projects in rural Namibia, fighting poverty and improving the country’s infrastructure.

Mr and Mrs Bullen established the foundation when their daughter Catherine Bullen, a 22-year-old University of Bristol student, tragically died of gastroenteritis whilst visiting Africa on safari.

They have now announced that construction of a community hall in the village of Otjimanangombe had begun.

Mr Bullen said: “We have been involved with the village hostel for a number of years. Our last project saw us build them a new dormitory.

The dormitory Roger and Linda's foundation funded Picture: CATHERINE BULLEN FOUNDATIONThe dormitory Roger and Linda's foundation funded Picture: CATHERINE BULLEN FOUNDATION

“When we were doing that, we noticed that the children there didn’t have anywhere to go once it went dark. They would just go off to their room there was no where for them to do activities.

“The headmaster at the school, Steve Kavari, also mentioned that they had nowhere to go for meetings or school assembly. We thought that would be a good opportunity for the whole community to get something out of it.”

Catherine’s parents arekeen to ensure that something positive emerges from her death, despite the tragedy.

They launched the Catherine Bullen Memorial Fund, which later became the Catherine Bullen Foundation.

Mr Bullen said: “She was an astounding student at Bristol University nd the loss of someone so talented affects everybody, we decided that we had to do something positive for her.”

In July this year contractor Riaan Potgieter, who has taken on several of the foundation’s projects, agreed to go ahead with the project.

Mr and Mrs Bullen are now seeking to raise additional funds to kit out the hall with items such as tables and chairs.

The hall will provide a venue for school assemblies which are currently held outside, a place for hostel children to play indoor sport as well as a place to hold community meetings and a weekend indoor market.

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