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Saturday, 15 September, 2001, 08:39 GMT 09:39 UK
Centre marks aid worker's memory
Building in Bosnia
The war destroyed buildings and led to many deaths
The memory of the first Scots aids worker killed in the Bosnian conflict will be marked in Sarajevo on Saturday.

A ceremony will take place in the city to mark the official opening of the Christine Witcutt Memorial Day Care Centre for children with special needs.

Christine Witcutt, 52, was one of many volunteers drafted in by the Edinburgh-based charity Direct Aid at the height of the Bosnian conflict.

In July 1993 the retired schoolteacher was travelling in a lorry on a notorious Sarajevo road called "Snipers' Alley" when the tragedy happened.

Christine Witcutt
Christine Witcutt: Died during the conflict
Although the aid truck had the words "don't shoot" emblazoned in large letters on both sides, gunmen fired.

Mrs Witcutt, from Wishaw in Lanarkshire, was struck by a bullet which pierced the cab. She died instantly.

Described as "a living tribute" to her sacrifice, a new unit for children with severe disabilities has been set up in a special needs school in Sarajevo.

The 500,000 cost of funding the Christine Witcutt centre for the next five years will be met by Edinburgh Direct Aid, after that period the responsibility will fall on the local authorities in Sarajevo.

Long-term conflict

Mrs Witcutt's widower, Alan, and their daughter, Julie, are expected to attend the opening ceremony.

The keynote speech will be made by Mr Witcutt and other speakers will include Anne Hand, wife of the British ambassador in Sarajevo, and John Home Robertson, Labour MSP for East Lothian.

The day-care centre allows seriously physically or mentally disadvantaged children to continue living at home with the love and warmth of their family.

The centre will focus on professional care, physiotherapy, speech therapy, prosthesis and general health monitoring.

Edinburgh Direct Aid has had a long-term commitment in Bosnia.

During the height of the conflict, volunteers took food and medical aid directly to the teachers, doctors and nurses in the city.

See also:

21 Nov 00 | Europe
Sarajevo revisited
21 Nov 00 | Europe
Dayton five years on
15 Nov 00 | Europe
Bosnia: The legacy of war
16 Nov 00 | Europe
Bosnia looks ahead
05 Sep 00 | Americas
Opinion: The peacekeeper's view
01 Aug 00 | From Our Own Correspondent
Bosnia's curious currency
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