First of all we would like to express our gratefulness for your support in the past few weeks. We receive daily emails from people who in their thoughts and actions are connected with our work here in Sri Lanka. On the one hand we are receiving financial support for our work however it extends beyond this and we are very grateful for the moral support we are getting from you. This shows to us that we are on the right track and not alone with our cause.
Having this close connection between us we would like to give you an idea on where your kind donations are going and we would like to quickly explain and outline our present activities here on the ground.
As there is still not a guaranteed supply of basic goods from government agencies we are still heavily involved and constantly working on getting basic supplies such as Food, Clothing, Mattresses as well as medication to the affected people.
There are still people living in refugee camps or temples. However, many others have returned to their homes, or what is left of them to start with clearing up and laying the foundation for a new future. To support the return of these people to their former places of living we have organized and distributed 40 big-size tents along the south coast of Sri Lanka.
There is now a shift in the approach of aid distribution on our side as well as other aid organizations here. This is due to the fact that people are moving away from camps back into their old communities. Still this shift is not an indication that the people need less support and basic supplies of aid!
We are now working closely with several other local aid-organizations to link and communicate to ensure that an equal and fair distribution of aid is guaranteed.
Last week school started again:
All in all 59 schools were completely destroyed and 110 were partly damaged. Around Galle, where we live and operate, 13 are completely destroyed as well as 9 partly damaged. Many pupils have lost their homes and everything in them including books, pens and Uniforms – sometimes even their parents.
We are getting exact lists from the school directors to determine what is needed to hold classes. With your money we are organizing these materials now and they are being distributed to the pupils. Our estimations are that to fully equip one pupil with the materials needed to attend lessons 12 Euros (8£) are needed – minimal equipping can be done with 6 Euros (4£).
The money collected is also used for the rebuilding of the Kathaluwa School (Photos can be viewed at www.barnabys.blogs.com - please click on tsunami under categories or select the respective album). Only fragments of the buildings are present as the school was built directly on the coastline. Deformed School chairs and child drawings on the wall silently urge us to act rapidly.
Plans are to rebuild the school in a different location (at least 1km inland). To get the necessary permissions to do so we are in close contact with the local authorities, village heads and the ministry of education who are generally very supportive.
Parallel to Kathaluwa we are identifying future long-term as well as semi long-term projects we would like to support.
The Government plans for the whole island are to forbid the rebuilding of any structures on land close to the beach. Instead, it is planned that whole villages and communities are being moved. In other words, this means that fishing families who have lived for generations close to the sea are supposed to move into multi-story apartment blocks further inland.
It doesn’t look like the governments’ plan is being supported by anyone but the government itself!
This is why we are also engaged with collecting information on traditional adobe house- building as well as other natural materials. The idea is to give people the necessary materials and actively involve them in building their new homes with cost effective results. Women can cut palm tree leaves for roofs and walls which gives them the possibility of a small income. Men can cut wood and build scaffolds for the future house, which has the possibility of expansions and annexes.
This project will in a simple and cost-effective way give people the opportunity to work in small scale-projects in their communities. We are expecting building plans as well as estimated cost-spread sheets in the coming week.
To support these as well as other projects in a transparent and professional manner we have decided to found a foundation.
One of the major Law Firms in Colombo is supporting us in this effort by doing their part free of charge. We hope that by the end of the week all necessary steps for this have been completed so that we can make the details public in the coming week.
The opening of a “Lankawave” donation account as well as a charitable society in the United Kingdom is also in the pipeline for further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Homepage (www.lankawave.com) is also progressing and developing so that we can keep you updated and keep out activities documented.
Till then you will find further reports at www.barnabys.blogs.com. Please also send an email to email@example.com to put you on our mailing list.
Once again many thanks for your steady support – Sri Lanka needs your support even when the tsunami is not on the agenda of the world media.