Posted on May 11th, 2013
by Janaka Perera
Every dark cloud has a silver lining, they say. The tsunami of December 2004 brought untold suffering to many in Sri Lanka as elsewhere. But for the villagers of Kosgoda 100 km South of Colombo and of Miyagala about 100 km from the east coast it was a blessing in disguise.
In January 2005 – a month after the calamity – Sri Lankans domiciled in Germany together with their German friends founded the Sahana Tsunami Relief organization to help those who survived the tsunami in the two villages. By December of the same year the STR completed the construction of four houses for four homeless families - a total of 22 people in Kosgoda. It is a part of the Galle District in which 128,077 people were displaced by the tidal waves.
The following year 2006 – another house was built in Kosgoda and handed over to a family of three. The same year a toilet and a urinal were constructed for the Sunday Ethic School.
Between December 2005 and December 2010 the Balapitiya Base Hospital was supplied with medical commodities including a stock of recording paper for the two mobile cardiographs of the maternity ward, two glucometres for the children's ward together with additional test strips and a box of batteries for the ENT ward.
Also within the same period benefactors helped to reconstruct the 300-year-old temple in Kosgoda.
In Miyagala - a very poor and remote village – they initiated in June 2008 a schooling project with seven children sponsored by four German patrons under the theme, 'Building the Future, Gifting Hope'. Extra school uniforms, bags, stationery, umbrellas and sandals were provided. Sahana organized a village lady to be the seamstress for tailoring the uniforms for the school children
By 2009 the schooling project grew to a total of 35 children sponsored by 25 patrons from six different countries. The foundation stone to reconstruct a new building for the Ethic School was laid the previous year when the old clay building collapsed. The new building was completed late in 2012 by which time the project had grown into a total of 67 children from five to 18 years of age. The education project includes English and computer classes for young people to improve their employment prospects and earning potential
In August of the same year the children were taken by hired bus on a weekend educational excursion to Colombo. The Ethic School comprises Library at the back for all community members and an office room at the front for village grama seva niladhari and the village nurse to be shared.
Sahana is committed to contributing to a sustainable future of Sri Lanka through these village development projects.
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