NAKAMANI suffers from debilitating asthma and his wife is stricken with tuberculosis. Unable to work, this elderly couple lives in sub-human conditions. Together, we determined that they would be able to tend a few chickens and sell the eggs. For less than $150 we built a hen house and filled it with 15 hens. They are able to eat regularly on the $1 they now earn each day.
Our team has always worked to fill the immediate needs of those we work with. Whenever possible, however, we set a higher goal of giving individuals the tools necessary to build a better life. We wholeheartedly embrace the adage: "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." The following are a few examples of how our efforts and the contributions of our donors are paying dividends well into the future.
SUCHATTAis a young tsunami widow with two children. Without training or education there was little she could do to provide for her family. We assisted her in opening a small roadside market. She built the structure and we provided the food and other supplies as her initial inventory.
SATHAKARAN was a young man we found in the Thiuchentor camp. He clearly was intelligent and ambitious but without the resources to expand his horizons. Since the tsunami we have been providing him with classes necessary to excel in high school and obtain entrance into college. We also provided necessary school supplies. He brought us his test results on a weekly basis to show how well he was doing. In 2008, he graduated with honors from high school and has begun classes at the Eastern University with a goal of becoming an accountant.
AMA is the grandmother of Karushan, our young friend who is dying of a braintumor. She is raising Karushan and caring for her own mother as well. Unable to leave home all day she could not provide for her family. We built her a small roadside store where she now makes "appam" a popular coconut pancake. She is able to earn about $3 per day and continue her loving care at home.
One of our first reconstruction projects after the tsunami was the home and office of KANAN, a country doctor. He was extremely grateful. We were pleased to see his practice operating again and serving those wounded by the tsunami.
We checked with him frequently and during one of our visits in 2007 we had quite a surprise. His home and grounds were filled with over 120 war refugees. At that time, the civil war was raging in and around Batticaloa. Rocket fire over our heads became a common sight. Many thousands were driven from their homes and came to Batticaloa for refuge. Without official support, their conditions were pitiable. We asked Kanan why he would take on such a burden, and his answer left us stunned. He said that after the tsunami, Sri Lankan Help was the only organization to offer him aid. Since that time he has always wanted to repay us but did not know how. Now, by taking in these refugees, he felt he was paying us back in-kind. Truly he was!