Third world benefactor gives more aid

OVER the past few years, Sheringham artist David Owen has given away more than �300,000 of his savings to help poverty-stricken Tibetan and Vietnamese families.

OVER the past few years, Sheringham artist David Owen has given away more than �300,000 of his savings to help poverty-stricken Tibetan and Vietnamese families.

But following a heart-rending trip last month which saw him meet some of the victims of deadly chemical weapons using during the Vietnam war, David 78, was prompted to

donate a further �36,000.

During his four-week tour of south Vietnam,

the retired meat inspector visited Buddhist monasteries and temples in the coastal

resort of Nha Trang, and was shown around two children's homes in the city of Da Nang run by a Canadian charity for children

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whose disabilities range from limb malformations, to blindness and brain

damage.

After visiting a remote, upland area on his latest trip, David, who began supporting Tibetan refugees after visiting India and Nepal nine years ago, decided to pay for a dozen wells to be built, at a cost of �500 each.

'There is no rainfall and the ground is too parched to grow crops,' he said. 'But the having the wells will mean the local people are able to grow food and sell it, helping them economically and allowing them to feed their families.'

His latest raft of donations saw him give gifts and individual donations to families, schools and children's homes, as well as a further �30,000 for Buddhist-run projects, including

the building of a bridge across a ravine at a village on the Laos border.

But it was a visit to the �120,000 home he funded for displaced elderly people that provided the highlight of his trip.

'It really is my pride and joy,' he said. 'And it was wonderful to see it for the first time as it was so much more impressive than it looked in the photographs.'

David is, for the time being, concentrating on his painting, but is planning to give away more money in the future and hopes local people will help his efforts.

Paintings by David Owen will be on show

at the North Norfolk District Council

offices, Holt Road, Cromer, from May 26 until June 5.

To see more of David's work visit www.davidowenart.co.uk, or to visit his studio by appointment, call 01263 824448.

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