By Humphrey Carter THE foreign resident community in Majorca has stepped up its efforts to raise much-needed funds to help the relief efforts in tsunami-hit South East Asia.

Yesterday, ESRA, the English-speaking Residents Association, announced that it has set up an ESRA appeal which is going to continue until March 8 in order to collect as much money as possible.

ESRA president, Dorothy Loefller, whose family was one of many in Majorca which had either friends or family in South East Asia on Boxing day, said yesterday that each of the four regional ESRA committees will be making a donation out of their funds with members being asked to add more.

ESRA North has got the ball rolling by making a donation of 1.000 euros out of its own funds and the other regions will be following suit as soon as they hold the next ESRA meetings. “We are not going to organise any fund raising events or anything, we are simply going to be asking members to make a donation, we want to keep it simple, she said.

The money raised will go to one of the main charities like the Red Cross or UNICEF - one which Loefller said she will be sure all the money goes to the heart of the crisis. Loefller's son Damien, a budding young Majorcan chef, is spending this winter in Indonesia working at the Melia Bali Village.

Fortunately Bali was not affected. But Loefller said yesterday that the 24 hours between hearing of what had happened and receiving an e-mail from Damien were very worrying.

Dorothy also said that a number of people in the north east of the island have had friends and family in the area, either on holiday or for work commitments. The first few days, until news was received, were very nerve racking for the whole community.

As the Bulletin has been reporting, the foreign residents community across the Balearics has been affected with a number of members caught up in the disaster.

Over New Year in Andratx, hundreds of candles were lit in solidarity with the tens of thousands of victims while efforts to hold a fund-raising cricket match on Saturday, January 22 are gathering momentum.

Son Antem is holding a charity golf tournament on January 30 and Alcanada Golf Club is organising a fund-raising tournament for February 5.
This weekend, a couple from Ibiza who survived the killer waves have held a rock and arts festival featuring a large number of local musicians and artists while money continues to flood into local charities from the general public.