Nardini with Susannah, Mavis and Patricia

Nardini at m Oxfam food aid warehouse

Nardini calls for action in Malawi Scots star in famine appeal. Words: Andrew Dougal

aniella Nardini has just returned from visiting a famine zone. as a guest of the third world development charity Oxfam. The Scottish Sirens star agreed to travel to Malawi to help highlight the famine that is threatening 18 million people. ‘Thousands are facing starvation.‘ says Nardini. ‘We can't just wait for the bodies to start piling up before we help.’ Droughts and floods have destroyed the maize crop upon which 90% of Malawi's population depends. Having been reduced to eating their seed corn to stay alive. they now have nothing left to plant a new harvest. Over three million are already starving. People are catching rats or trying to turn wild plants into food in an effort to survive. The crisis is made worse by the AIDS pandemic, So many adults have died that it is estimated that 800,000 children have been orphaned in Malawi. ‘Child headed' households, where small girls struggle to keep families together. are commonplace. In Pulula village in the Balaka region. Nardini met three girls aged 9. 1 1 and 14 living alone. The oldest. Susannah, walks 40 minutes twice a day to fetch water. She then makes the children. Mavis 10 and tiny Patricia who is 9. say grace before making them a meal of maize porridge. from a supply given by Oxfam. Nardini says: ‘We gave the girls a bag of maize. which costs about $36. which will keep them fed for about a month. but we also gave them some toy handbags and silver hairgrips which they really loved. That's when yOu realise that they are just wee girls and the enormity of the disaster they are living thrOugh really hits you.’

You can give a donation to Oxfam on 0845 3007070 or at

Amsterdam 0 London Luton London Stanstedw London Gatwick“

Chinese whis rs pe First British Chinese fest. Words: Miles Fielder cotland has more than its fair share of film festivals. yet there's room for one more. according to the Scotland- China Association. which launches the first ever Overseas Chinese Film Season on Friday 18 October at the GilmorehillG12 cinema in Glasgow.

The season's organisers boast this is the first event devoted to British Chinese cinema. The programme looks at the experience of Chinese peOpIe living in Britain and includes Hannah Robinson's Night Swimmer. the first film portraying Chinese life in Glasgow. It opens on 18 October when Davrd Yip introduces two shorts. Blue Funnel and Chinese Whispers (made by Yip). as well as the feature Ping Pong (starring Yip). Thereafter. features and documentaries will be shown weekly on Saturdays until 9 November. Each screening in the season. which also includes Mike Newell's Sow Sweet. will be followed by a discussion.

All films are in English and Chinese with English subtitles where appropriate. and. best of all. all screenings are free. For tickets and further information phone CimorehillG12 on 0141 330 5622 or email

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