SIX-YEAR-OLD twins celebrating their first Scottish Hallowe’en have been given a £5000 treat thanks to a fundraiser who slept on the streets for a week.

Paul Pettigrew slept rough to raise cash for Bebe and Mohammed Zamir, who were evacuated from Afghanistan with their family in August.

The young siblings battled thirst, heat and hunger to make it into the airport compound in Kabul as part of the family group of Tabasum Rasoli, a newly-married woman fighting to join her husband Zabidullah in Scotland.

The Sunday National told how they’d met at a family wedding in Afghanistan and struck up a long-distance relationship. Glasgow taxi driver Zabidullah returned to Afghanistan for their own marriage then flew back to Scotland to take care of the paperwork Tabasum needed to join him. But the Taliban overran the country shortly afterwards, leaving her in a desperate battle to fly to him.

The National: Paul Pettigrew slept rough for a weekPaul Pettigrew slept rough for a week

In the end, she and seven relatives were airlifted out in the final hours, including Bebe and Mohammed. Now in Scotland, they’re continuing to work through the processes needed to forge their new lives, including housing and school placements. They’ve also been making Hallowe’en videos with older relatives, using filters to turn themselves into vampires. Now their resettlement in Scotland has become sweeter thanks to the 180 donors who gave a total of almost £5000 to Pettigrew’s fundraiser.

The Port Glasgow man, founder of the gambling awareness charity Gamtalk, slept rough in Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen to benefit the youngsters after learning of the family’s story. In his crowdfunder, he told how they had “escaped hell” and fled “with nothing but the clothes on their backs”. He went on: “This family have been through hell and their worries are not over yet. So please, help me raise as much as possible for them and, above all, give these young children a chance at a better life.”

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It’s the second year Pettigrew has undertaken a charity sleepout and says the process is “an experience”: “A pavement is a pavement; you don’t sleep. I knew it was going to be tough. The response was amazing – I wanted to make a difference for the family.”

The children are adapting well to life in Scotland but remain deeply affected by their last days in Afghanistan, struggling to get into the airport amidst despairing crowds and enduring heat, thirst, hunger and tiredness. The driver, who himself came to the UK as an eight-year-old seeking asylum, says they’ll need more time to overcome the bad memories, which includes the arrival of the Taliban near their home and a suicide bombing in a camp the family turned to.

He and Tabasum were surprised by the generosity shown to the youngsters: “We are very happy. They need things very much and now we can make it feel like home for them and get them winter clothes.”