In response to a post here --based on a request from a relief worker in Trincomalee-- about the need to suply shoes and socks to children returning to schools in affected areas in an East coast city of Sri Lanka, here's a follow up.
The board of the New Era Children's Fund, a Arizona-based organization has transfered $2,000 toward the cause. Also, CEO of NECF, has agreed to privately fund the balance for ths socks. Thank you for such speedy action.
The supplies are being purchased through Ceylon Leather Products, in Colombo 10.
Side note: Other organizations are helping with back-to-school projects. See this BBC article. But let's not forget these other little projects --especially those in the areas that the media don't always visit.
1. The Center for National Operations (cnosrilanka.org) in Sri Lanka is a powerful database-driven site maintained created by a private group of individuals, and now run by the Presidential Secretariat.
It covers many aspects of disaster operations in the country such as Water and Sanitation, Childcare, Logistics. Even an UN desk, and useful links. See this map of affected areas.
2. MapAction (http://www.mapaction.org) a UK-based international charity that assists in mapping of disaster areas. It uses satellite imagery, GIS and GPS. Want to see affected areas in Hambantota, or Galle? Check here.
Should it take a calamity to make us empty our pockets and mobilize us into action? 'Honky Tonk Woman,' writing for the Sunday Leader newspaper in Sri Lanka says something most of us feel, but haven't put it into words.
After such a tremendous disaster, you begin to realize the triviality of your problems. I'm very sorry to say it has become a kind of a contest with some folks, who like to make sure everyone knows how and what their contributions were to the relief effort. Let's hope everyone will keep up the the level of enthusiasm over a longer period of time, for this effort has to be continued for a while in order to be successful. The real heroes/ heroines are those who work steadily and silently, they don't even talk about it. They don't feel the need for the whole world to know. I called up one of my oldest friends and told her I was proud to know her, she's one such person. I know she doesn't wait for tsunamis but always helps people and DOES NOT TALK about it.
I spoke to several people over the last few days who have amazing sories out of Sri Lanka, of Sri Lankans helping Sri Lankans all over the country. These private individuals who load their cars and double-cabs and make sorties into affected areas on work days and weekends. They don't receive --and don't care for- media attention. We can't thank them enough
The 'Wave of Hope' web site forwards to this address from today. A big thank you everyone who is supporting this cause. I will be updating the waveofhope.ussite shortly, with specific information on the project.
Until then, please check these Sri Lanka Tsunami relief updates at this blog.
These pics are of the city of Hambantota which is now fully bulldozed. You will notice there are more vehicles to be cabled out of the mud and water. This is a really sad site. The telecom tower has just crumbled down to ball of metal.
At Triton Hotel in Beruwala, several employees living in the area had their homes destroyed. These pictures, sent via Amanthi Dias Abeysinghe (whose dad is the General Manager of the hotel) tell their story. We visited Triton, a beautiful, sprawling beach resort, in June 2003, so I know exactly where these stories come from.
This picture shows you the hotel in the background.
And this one, how high the water has reached in the home.
Lest we forget the truly amazing stories, I encourage you to please post your own here. Or email me here. I have 2 today:
A health club in California RoughFit is planning to collect money for the four families affected along the southwest coast of Sri Lanka.
A Fulbright scholar Jeremy Gantz (from Cape Cod, Mass.) who had been in Sri lanka, is reportedly involved in relief work.
For the past three months he had been studying the history of Sri Lankan education and its connection to colonial and post-colonial political and economic developments! He had been on holiday in Thailand when the tsunami struck and he says “I felt fairly hedonistic on holiday in Thailand after learning of the tsunami… so flew back to Sri Lanka to help with the relief effort; my research feels very unimportant now”.
As I reported a few days ago, Professor Joe Fernando (harendra) of ASU, is in Sri Lanka to study a model that would allow us to develop a tsunmi warning system.
“We want to know what the size and distribution of the wave impact was during the tsunami,” Fernando said. “By knowing that we can see if currently available wave models are correct. If the model works, then the science behind it is correct, and if the wave model is correct, then we will have a good idea of how to develop a tsunami warning system for the region.”