Wednesday, June 13, 2018

May 4, 2005

Hi,

This is Marc Gold reporting from Phnom Penh Cambodia with the second report from Asia on the 100 Friends Project activities. Last year 100 Friends raised about $18,000 and this year the amount was about twice that so I've been able to help many more people. Thanks again for all of you for your generous support. I've been working in Tnailand, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Indonesia this year and there have been many incredible experiences and the donations have been put to very, very good use.

I will return to California in early January, 2006 for five months to work as a community college professor and counselor but also for opportunities realted to the project in public speaking, educational workshops, media appearances and fundraising for next years work. I will return to Thailand in June, 2006. I am also interested in helping anyone who wishes to start their own project in the future. This information from the 100 Friends web site should be extremely useful as a first step:

http://www.100friends.com/howto.html

So here is a summary of the project activities from the last few months:

1. Give update on Last Wishes. Chulalongkorn shoe photo Shop (boy with Cancer)

2. In October I went to Aceh Province in Indonesia. This is where about 166,000 people died in a few hours in the tsunami last December 26th. Aceh was hit much harder than almsot anyone. I saw a huge amount of destruction and it is w-a-y beyond belief. I took plenty of photos. VERY difficult to describe. COMPLETELY OVERWHELMING. It's also hot as hell there right on the equator not to mention incredibly beautiful. I couldn't help but wonder what it was like when a wall of water ranging from 25 to 100 feet tall that was powered by an earthquake with an astonishing 9.15 on the Richter scale hit this place. It must have been like the end of the world, it sure looks like it. I have never witnessed such devastation in my life, even in Afghanistan. Mile after mile of destroyed homes, even the foundations are gone in many places where homes once stood. Many UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) tents were seen for those without homes, a fair amount of rebuilding is going on as well. I saw cars, boats, and millions of pieces of debris strewn about and the tsunami happened 9 months ago. For the best description I have ever read about what happened last December 26th in Aceh, go here to read an astonishing article from the New York Times:

http://100friends.blogspot.com/

(Scroll down or use the search function to the article entitled: "The Day the Sea Came")

I saw a giant ship, maybe one that carried oil stranded on the land about a mile from the coast, it must have weighed 100 tons, it was huge. People were extremely warm and friendly, waving me over to say hello and to take photos of them or their children. Before the tsunami there was a war that lasted over 20 years but ironically the tsunami has greatly hastened the peace process and Indonesian troops by the thousands have been withdrawing and the rebels have been giving up weapons and a peace deal featuring autonomy for Aceh Province is in the offing.

Thousands of people are still living in tents and temporary housing and the rebuilding efort is going painfully slow. I used funds from the project to help 14 families. The total donations for the 14 families came to $2950. Some people wept when they told me what happened the day of the tsunami, others wept because their situation was desperate and they were overwhelmed with gratitude. Here are descriptions from three of those families (all of the specific donation descriptions will be posted on the 100 Friends web site):

October 19, 2005. Lamkruk, Bandeh Aceh, Indonesia. Donated $150. Father: Mohammed Usman, retired farmer, 60 yrs. old. Mother: Marsiah M. Ali, 52 yrs. old. Four sons and one daughter. Another daughter died in the tsunami. Twenty-four family members (parents, brothers, uncles, nieces etc.) died in the tsunami. Problems: living in a shack that leaks, rains are coming, only have donated rice and vegetables to eat. Will use $90 of the $150 for school uniforms, tuition, and school supplies so they can attend school.

October 19, 2005. Rima Kenerung, Bandeh Aceh, Indonesia. Donated $200. Father: Muhammed Jajar, age 39. Mother: Nilawati, age 28. They had three sons but now they only have two, one son named Muhammed Jasefa, age three, perished in the tsunami. The surviving sons are Muhammed Ilham, age 10 and Muhammed Josellta, age 5. The mother cried when telling me how the tsunami tore her three year old son out of her arms. They live in a tent and have food donated by CARE.

October 20, 2005. Ulelee, Bandeh Aceh, Indonesia. Donated $150. Father: T. Bustman, age 42. Mother: Mauliani, age 30. They had three daughters but now they only have two, one girl named Maulina, age five, perished in the tsunami. The surviving girls are Fajriani, age 10 and Akmalia, age 2. A new baby is on the way and they will use the donated funds for the costs associated by the new baby (doctor, medicine etc.) and for new clothes, school expenses and for food. They live in a tent and have food donated by CARE.

October 21, 2005. Ulee Cotlangkueh, Bandeh Aceh, Indonesia. Father Marwan, age 38. Mother: Ida Sumiati, age 36. Late Sister: Iksan, age 12 (died in the tsunami). Brother: Kiki, age 10. Sister: Imelda, age 8. The Father sometimes finds work doing construction. He usually makes only about $20 per month. They live in a tent donated by the United Nations and on rations distributed by Oxfam. Donated $200 for a used sewing machine to start a small tailoring business. They also want to buy a used motorbike which can also help them to earn money.

October 21, 2005. Ulee Cotlangkueh, Bandeh Aceh, Indonesia. This family lives in a tent donated by the United Nations. This couple has three children who died in the tsunami. When the tsunami occurred the Father was buying food in the market and the Mother was in Java visiting her parents. The Father is named Lukman, age 50. His wife is Susilowati, age 46. They asked me to publish the names and ages of their deceased children: Brother: Agus, age 25. Sister: Aprilia, age 19. Brother: Syahrial, age 14. They are extremely depressed and need counseling but none is available. I tired to give some counseling through the interpreter. The mother cried during this short session. Donated $200 for the purchase of a sewing machine and other materials needed to open a tailoring business.

October 22, 2005. Lambada, Bandeh Aceh, Indonesia. This family suffered staggering losses. You can see in their faces that, nine months after the disaster, they are still very much devastated. They said that 50 of their family members died (parents, bothers, sisters, cousins etc.). In the immediate family they lost a 13 year old boy named Faizal. The parents were working in their (now destroyed by tsunami) “mini-market”. Donated $250 to start a new “mini-market” or as they call it a “kiosk”. Father Sanuh, age 46. Mother: Farida, age 34. Brother: Fauzul, age 9.

October 24, 2005. Parngabli Hospital, Medan, Indonesia. Boy named Niko, 5 yrs. old. Hematoma (stomach bleeding). Received blood transfusion, improving. Donated $10.

October 24, 2005. Parngabli Hospital, Medan, Indonesia. Boy orphan child named Kadir, 13 yrs. old. Dengue fever. Donated $10.

October 24, 2005. Parngabli Hospital, Medan, Indonesia. Boy named Saddam, 8 yrs. old. Hematoma (stomach bleeding). In hospital for seven days. Good prognosis. From Nias, Indonesia. Parents always in hospital with child. House collapsed in earth quake. Donated $10.

October 24, 2005. Parngabli Hospital, Medan, Indonesia. Girl named Noorluma Sari, 14 yrs. old. Hematoma (stomach bleeding). Pain, swelling of stomach. From Medan, Indonesia. Donated $10.

October 24, 2005. Parngabli Hospital, Medan, Indonesia. Baby boy named Ocok, 9 months old. Extremely small baby. Protein deficiency and malnutrition. In hospital for forty-five days. From Medan, Indonesia. Five siblings, all okay. Treatment: IV with electrolytes and albuminium. Donated $10.

October 24, 2005. Parngabli Hospital, Medan, Indonesia. Girl named Anisa, 3 yrs. old. Pneumonia, but correct diagnosis unknown. Child has pain in lungs. Good prognosis. From Medan, Indonesia. Five children. Donated $10.

October 24, 2005. Parngabli Hospital, Medan, Indonesia. Boy named Lamual, 6 yrs. old. Pneumonia, in hospital for sixty days. Child has been in the hospital for four years out of six years of his life. Treatment operations on lungs and antibiotics. Five siblings. From Medan, Indonesia. Five children. Mother named Martelena, age 43. Donated $10.

October 28, 2005. Purchased two sewing machines and two pairs of scissors for group of women who lost everything in the tsunami. Kalutara, Sri Lanka. Two sewing machines@ $155= each = $310; Two pair of scissors @ $10 each = $20; Total amount donated= $330. Women now are able to support themselves by making clothing to sell.

October 28, 2005. Paiyigala, Sri Lanka. Donated $100 to Seela Munasighe, 45 yr. old mother. Husband needs the funds for a spinal operation and recovery costs. He suffered a slipped disk in an accident. Family lost everything in the tsunami.

October 28, 2005. Paiyigala, Sri Lanka. Donated $100 to Pathma Jayawardeno, 49 yr. old mother. She has three boys and one girl. Husband is alcoholic, jobless for 15 years and has abandoned the family. Donated $100 for the mother to start a small business to buy items to resell. Family lost everything in the tsunami.

October 28, 2005. Paiyigala, Sri Lanka. Donated $100 to Silva Udaye, 49 yr. old mother. She has three daughters and one son. Husband (age 50) is partially paralyzed from a stroke and is unable to work. Donated $100 for the mother to start a small business to buy items to resell. Family lost everything in the tsunami.

October 30, 2005. Donated $1,000 to St. Francis Home for Boys in Matale, Sri Lanka. This Roman Catholic orphanage is run by Father Marcus. The orphanage is operating under very difficult conditions. There are 85 boys from all religions and ethnic groups including Singalese, Hindus, Tamils, Buddhists, Muslims and Christians. They respect the religion of each child and do not attempt to convert them to Catholicism.

Some of the children are victims of the tsunami, other of the war and everyone else through poverty or extremely difficult poverty-related conditions. Some of the boys have parents who are simply too poor to provide support for their children. The children attend the government school four kilometers away. The education provided by the government school is not very good, so the orphanage has some teachers and tutors on the staff to try to improve on the education offered by the public school.

The staff of 11 consists of:

2 priests
2 cooks
2 child care providers
2 teachers
3 tutors

Their monthly budget for 75 boys and 11 staff members (including all expenses) is about $1,000-$1,500 per month. Recently the cost of living in Sri Lanka has gone up a great deal, largely because of the rising cost of oil and gas. Two months ago they had an outbreak of mumps. It was very difficult to find a proper place to keep the infected children separate from those who were uninfected. All the children do chores to help keep the orphanage going.

Here are interviews with four of the boy’s representative of the other boys in the St. Francis Home for Boys.

1. Sugaphan is 11 years old and he is Tamil and a Catholic. He is from the Northeast part of Sri Lanka, war-torn Vaunya. His mother works as a housemaid and his father is a bicycle mechanic. He has been in the orphanage for 10 months and he says he is happy here and he claims that he does not miss his family. He has two younger sisters living at home and one older sister who lives at another orphanage. He is a victim of the war and the children often had to hide when fighting broke out. His parents placed hi in the orphanage because they are so poor they cannot feed him and the area where he lives in extremely dangerous. He wants to be a driver when he grows up and playing with friends makes him happiest.
2. Sinthuthan is 11 years old and he is a Tamil and a Catholic. He is from Trincomalee. He has been at the home or 1 year. He is a victim of the tsunami. He was home with his parents when the tsunami struck. He ran for his life, ending up at the home of his uncle’s house. “The waves were higher than a coconut tree.” He is the oldest child in the family and he has one brother with him in the orphanage and two smaller siblings, a brother and a sister, who are still with the parents. Their house survived but all of their possessions were gone due to the tsunami. Sinthuthan and his brother are in the orphanage because they are terrified to be near the ocean and the parents cannot support them as yet. “I am happy to be away from the sea.” Their parents come to see him and his brother on a monthly basis. They are now feeling safe enough to visit their parents during the holiday season. The father has no job, he was a tailor.
3. Nagaraja is 12 years old and he is a Tamil Hindu boy. His parents died when he was a small boy. His mother died of “an illness” and his father was accidentally electrocuted. He has been in the orphanage for 2 years and he has one older sister and a younger brother who lives with his uncle. Nagaraja is not with his uncle because the uncle used to beat him. “I am angry with my uncle and I do not ever want to live with him.” He wants to be a teacher, reading books make him happy and he likes living at the orphanage.
4. Krishna Kumaruri is an 8 year old Tamil Hindu boy. He doesn’t know it, but his parents died in prison, they were drug addicts. He has no brothers or sisters and he has been living at the orphanage for 2 years. Previously he was in another orphanage. Father Marcus said that Krishna is, “a little naughty, but in a charming and harmless manner”. He likes to study his school lessons, and he especially enjoys learning to speak Singalese.


$180 to Lilly for ladies group.

November 1, 2005. Donated $35 to St. Francis Home for Boys for 2 soccer balls, 2 cricket bats 6 tennis balls and toffee candy.

November 1, 2005. Donations of $20, $30, $20, $20, $50 and $50 ($190 total) to six families at the pediatric wing of the Kandy General Hospital.

Promised financial aid to about 15 families via Father Charles. Kandy, Sri Lanka.

November 3. 2005. Koneshwaram Hindu Temple, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka. Met a man named Alexander Fernando, aged 58. At age 33 he lost his leg in an accident while driving a tractor. He begs for a living, makes about $2 per day. He had many family problems and he lives on the street. He stays at the temple because in the city thieves rob him. Donated 20 which is a lot of money to him. He will lend the money to a shop keeper and he will receive the interest on a daily basis to help him with living expenses.

November 5, 2005. Thirukkovil, Sri Lanka. Reverend R. Dayanithi and Mr. A.D. James, financial offers for the Methodist Church, Thirukkovil and Methodist Boy’s Home. The home is an orphanage for 65 children, 17 of them are tsunami victims. Donated $1,500 for the completion of work on the computer centre. The centre will provide training and employment for the children and many people from the community. This is the only place where people can receive excellent and affordable training that leads to desperately needed jobs. Starting salaries range from $60 to $100 per month. Commercial training is offered for almost $100 per month but the Church offer training for $24 per month. If a person has no income then they receive training for free.

Jobs are needed here more than anything else. One thousand, two hundred and eighty-seven people perished here in the tsunami and many others were or lost their homes, possessions and employment. Three thousand seven hundred and forty homes were completely destroyed and 924 houses were partly damaged. This district (Amppara District) has the highest number of deaths in Sri Lanka, over 15,000 people perished. The training ranges from six months to one year and the graduates receive certificates that lead to employment in most cases. Many others in this community have suffered from war and poverty for the past twenty years, not only tsunami victims.

November 5, 2005. Thirukkovil, Sri Lanka. Methodist Church, Thirukkovil. Japamani. 30 year old widow. She has one daughter, 10 years old and she works as a counselor at the church for $55 per month. Her special project is to work with “LTTE returnees.” They are former terrorists who have given up their arms and violent activities. Her house and all of her possessions were all washed away. One the day of the tsunami she was taking a bath getting ready for church when people shouted that the sea was coming so she ran away from the wave which was chasing her while she pushed her bike. Her daughter was found alive and well three hours later. The water was, “…very dark and like a big mountain.” She has no house but she stays with her Aunt but now she must leave that house. The government is giving money for a new house but it is not enough. Donated $200 to help to build her new home.

November 5, 2005. Thirukkovil, Sri Lanka. Methodist Church, Thirukkovil. Thusyanthan, is a 19 year old young man who has been disabled since birth. He uses a special wheelchair for mobility. He was asked by the Reverend what he was doing with his life and he said, “I am doing nothing.” He said that nobody in his family respected him and that he is an unwanted person who can do nothing. The pastor said that he can go to the market and sell something. He asked the merchants and they suggested that he sell coconuts. He was given 20 coconuts from the trees of the church premises and Thusyanthan took them to the market and sold them. The Reverend lent him 1,000 Rupees ($10) to purchase coconuts at a special price. He started the business and it was a big success. Two weeks later the Reverend asked him how much profit he had and he had 2,000 rupees ($20). He only went to school through the fourth grade. The Reverend helped him to open a bank account. Now he is helping his family with clothing and other expenses and he has the respect of one and all for the first timer. Now he has $100 in the bank. 100 Friends is lending him $100 to start a small shop to sell coconuts, vegetables and newspapers. The loan will be repaid within two years and then loaned again to another handicapped person in the village.

November 5, 2005. Thirukkovil, Sri Lanka. Methodist Church, Thirukkovil. Widow named Karunambaigai 39 years old. She lives in the tsunami affected family refugee camp with her three children, a 16 year old daughter, a son who is 14 and another daughter who is 10 years old. Her husband was a “drunkard” who died from alcoholism 9 years ago. She is a very good mother and a hard worker. She sells chicken and makes “hoppers” (rice flour pancakes). She also does tailoring. She makes $1 per day.

On the day of the tsunami she was making hoppers when people started yelling, “The Sea is coming.” She went in a tractor with her children and they drove 5 miles inland to safety. Her brother and nephew died in the tsunami. She lost her house and all of her possessions. The night before the tsunami her son dreamt of a tsunami coming. This happened several people in the village. Most animals ran away before the tsunami. Only caged animals died. Cows and bulls, which usually sleep on the beach, ran away. She is a Hindu and she thinks God caused the tsunami, she doesn’t know why. She is a model to motivate the community.

She needs a machine to grind the rice to make hoppers. Now she has to go elsewhere for that and she 300 rupees per month to do that. She can make an extra 80 to 100 rupees per day if she has this machine. The machine costs $150. 100 Friends has given this to her. From her profits she will give 500 rupees per month ($5) to help an elderly woman.

November 5, 2005. Thirukkovil, Sri Lanka. Methodist Church, Thirukkovil. Jenithaiajiny is a young lady 20 years old. Father left the family two years ago. She lives in refugee camp because the tsunami washed away her house and all her belongings. She lives with her mother (47) and sister (26) and brother (18). Day of tsunami her house was 75 meters from the sea. She was not home, was visiting her Auntie in the village. When she learned the waves were coming she fled with her Auntie to the highland for three days. Then she saw her mother and sister who were hospitalized. Later she found her brother. She thought God has sent the waves.

The church is training her in sewing. She wants to start her own business selling rice. She also needs money for table and chairs so she can sit and stitch and sew and she can also make money that way. Donated $100. She will give back $20 within two years to help another needy person.

November 5, 2005. Thirukkovil, Sri Lanka. Methodist Church, Thirukkovil. Mother is named Yogamalar 47 and her daughters are Suthajini is 19years old and Sutharshini is 15 years old. Husband is Yogaraja is 50 years old and a son named Thivakarthivakaram is 21 years old. Day of tsunami they were in church. Their house was 200 meters from the sea. All of their belongings and the house were destroyed. They all ran to the highland. The waters receded 3 kilometers and people could see the bed of the sea. They live in a temporary shelter at their relative’s house. Husband’s mother died in the tsunami. The daughter lost her friend to the tsunami.

Before the tsunami they had a chicken farm with 100 chickens (broilers). They lost everything. They want to start again. Within 60 days she can make $60-$120 per month. They will use some of the money help the son while he is in university and the rest to save for the daughter’s education.

November 5, 2005. Thirukkovil, Sri Lanka. Methodist Church, Thirukkovil. Donated $50 towards heart surgery for a 6 year old girl named Shoumiya. She has a hole in her heart. The surgery is to take place on December 15th, 2005. The cost is $2300 and the government will pay for most but not all of it. The mother (Anulawathy, 26) is collecting the rest from “well-wishers”. 100 Friends contributed $50. She can raise the rest.

November 5, 2005. Thirukkovil, Sri Lanka. Methodist Church, Thirukkovil. Selvam Ranjan, 40 year old fisherman. He lives in a refugee camp. At the time of the tsunami he was away from the house buying food in the market. “The sea is coming!” He went to find his family but his house was gone with everybody and everything. His wife (Selvarani, 32), two daughters (Nilaxesha, 14 and Saranitha, 12) all died and he lost all his possessions including his fishing boat, motor, nets etc. Tears were in his eyes as he was telling me what happened. His daughters loved music and were both vocalists.

He almost committed suicide but the Reverend helped him and he received counseling from the counselors at the church (they are Methodists, he is a Tamil Hindu). He can now talk about his family, it wasn’t possible before. He has been given a fishing boat and a motor will come soon but he needs fishing nets. 100 Friends is giving him $300 to purchase the fishing nets. Within two years he will repay the $300 and the money will then be used to help two poor girls be identified by the Reverend in honor of his lost daughters and wife. He was pleased with this plan.

November 5, 2005. Thirukkovil, Sri Lanka. Methodist Church, Thirukkovil. Helping Surethiran, age 26. He lives with Mother (47), brother (22), sister 24 (she studies Bharatya Nattyam classical dance) and a younger sister 19 who is finishing high school. His father died two years ago (drowned while working as a fisherman). Donated $250 to help the family to finish their house before the rainy season. He and his siblings will give 500 Rupees per month to an elderly person and spend one hour per week doing cleaning, shopping or visiting to help them.

November 5, 2005. Thirukkovil, Sri Lanka. Methodist Church, Thirukkovil. Yukunarajh, young man age 30. When the tsunami happened he was in the church and he heard people shouting but he thought it was a joke or people trying to interrupt their church service. They ran to a higher safe camp. He had a son age 7 with him and the other child, a 4 year old girl was with the Mother (25) in the next village. There house was destroyed along with all of their possessions but Mother and daughter survived. Many neighbors and friends died. His mental state after the tsunami was extremely fragile, he had a nervous breakdown.

He is working now as a mason laborer. As a farmer who lost everything in the tsunami, he wants capital to start again as a rice farmer. He needs money for cultivation of rice, rent of two acres of land, tractor rental, fertilizer, etc. In return, at the end of the year he will have saved 2,000 Rupees ($20) which he will take to the pediatric ward of the local hospital and give it to parents who need money for medicine for their sick children. 100 Friends gave him $250. He was weeping while speaking about those who died in the tsunami. He thinks God saved his life so that he could help his family and hi community.

November 5, 2005. Thirukkovil, Sri Lanka. Methodist Church, Thirukkovil. Young woman Jeyacheaavi, age 40. Father died in the war and Mother is still alive (65). She has two brothers who are married and she lives with her mother and two sisters. None of the sisters are married. They are victims of the war. Their village was burned and looted by Muslim mobs. Then government troops took 263 young men in one day to the army camp and killed then in 1990. This happened many other days to many other people. The only thing that ever happened to a soldier who did this was a promotion and transfer. They tied the men’s hands with barbed wire, put a tire around their necks and then covered them with kerosene and lit it. This is called a “tire garland”.

All of the sisters have mental illness from the shock of the war. They live of the help of a brother and the father’s pension. They lost everything in the war so they need money to help to improve their house which is very small and needs many improvements. House has two rooms, one for a kitchen and one for a bedroom. 100 Friends donated $200 to help build the house.

November 5, 2005. Thirukkovil, Sri Lanka. Methodist Church, Thirukkovil. Young lady named Kumuthamalar, 23 yrs. old. Mother is 42 and she has two brothers 21 and 19 yrs. old (Sasilan). Her dream in life is to become a fabric painter and dressmaker. She teaches adults in the community tailoring, sewing, stitching and pattern making. Many of her students have graduated and now have jobs (97%).

Day of the tsunami she was washing her clothes at the well and people yelled that the waves were coming. She saw the wave and that it was a “big smoke” but it was the wave. She only lived 100 meters from the sea. She ran with her grandmother. Her grandmother fell down and she drowned. She also fell down and then she held on to a tree and the water lifted her to the top of the tree. She was wounded by many thorns on the tree. She swallowed sea water but the tree saved her life. She stayed up in the tree until the water receded. Then a man came on a motorbike and took her to higher land.

She lost her house, all of her possessions, and 36 family members died (Uncles, Aunts, cousins etc.). She lives in the refugee camp. She very depressed for 8 months but with counseling she is much improved. She needs $200 to help her brother Sasilan start a business selling petrol in a village station. 100 Friends gave her the funds and by the end of the year her brother will give $20 to the Reverend for emergency medical fund for the orphans.

November 5, 2005. Thirukkovil, Sri Lanka. Methodist Church, Thirukkovil. Benjamin, 32 yr. old man. Lost everything in the tsunami, house and possessions. He is Tamil Hindu married to a Sri Lankan Buddhist girl. They have three children is Sharon, boy age seven, Sharomi, a girl age 5 and the youngest is Sharwen, 1.5 years old baby girl. On the day of the tsunami the whole family was in church. Now he lives in the welfare camp. His land is in the “buffer zone” between the government and the LTTE. He is an LTTE (Tamil Tiger) returnee. He was in the Tigers for 7 years. Fifteen members of his family were killed by government forces.

He needs help to buy a motor rickshaw that costs $2350. He has saved $235 so far. 100 Friends is giving him $400. Now he has $635 and the bank will give him a loan for the purchase of a new rickshaw. He has promised to help the Reverend with his work with the poor.

November 5, 2005. Thirukkovil, Sri Lanka. Methodist Church, Thirukkovil. Talked to a man named John Selvaretnam, age 49. In 1990 were in Pottuvil Village and in the ethnic war they were severely affected. The government burnt their homes and they became refugees in Thirukkovil. They stayed in a rented house. The tsunami washed away their rented house and all their possessions. Now they are in a temporary shelter. He has a wife (48), and one son who is 15. The mother-in-law stays with them as well.

The house is about 150 meters from the sea. He was in the house with his son and his wife and mother-in-law were in church. They ran to the high land when the wave started to come. He couldn’t run fast because of the water and he was injured in his foot by barbed wire and nails and the waves had him “rolled up’. He swallowed sea water and thought he was going to die. When he thought he will die he was afraid, but when he came up he thought, God is helping me to live. He came looking for his son and stayed upstairs at the boy’s home. He found his son in 1 hour.

He works in a shop making $40 per month. He wants to start a bicycle spare parts shop. 100 Friends will give him $250 and the bank will lend him $125. This will be enough for him to start his business. When his bank loan is paid he will save 5,000 Rupees ($50) and give it to the church for a very poor person.

November 5, 2005. Thirukkovil, Sri Lanka. Methodist Church, Thirukkovil. Vasanthini, a girl who is 21. She lives with her Mother (38), grandmother (58) and three sisters ages 13, 14 and 18. They lived 50 meters from the sea. The whole family is Hindu but she is Christian. The father died in the war, caught in the crossfire. There were three huge waves, coming at ten minute intervals. They ran to safety but the grandmother drowned.

The mother worked in Saudi Arabia as a housemaid. She used the money to help the children. They live on food given by the World Food Program. They are extremely poor. She wants capital to start a poultry farm and for that she needs 20,000 Rupees ($200). She will buy 25 chicks, mash (food), cages, water cans, medicine and other items including 25 new chicks when the first group get bigger. She was given that amount by 100 Friends and she will give back 5,000 Rupees ($50) to help another poor person.

November 5, 2005. Thirukkovil, Sri Lanka. Methodist Church, Thirukkovil. Donated to Ravindran, a 42 year old man. He is a Tamil who suffered by war and by the tsunami. He was arrested in 1982 by the government and placed in a bossa detention camp for those suspected of being in the LTTE when in fact he was a temple boy. He was in the camp for 1.5 years and was released when Indian forces came to Sri Lanka. He can only see out of his eye because in the camp they used a baton to beat him and then he lost the sight on his eye. He fainted and when he woke up he couldn’t see out of either eye and received no medical care. They beat him almost every day for three months.

Then he became a fisherman. He is married (wife 41) and he has four children. He lost everything in the tsunami and now he lives in the camp. He is living on tsunami relief (food rations: oil, rice, flour, dhal, soap and sugar). He and two other fishermen have been given a fishing boat to share and the engine will come next week. They need new fishing nets and that costs 35,000 Rupees ($350). The money will be repaid within two years, no interest (50% to be paid at the end of year one and the other 50% at then end of year two. The repaid $350 will be then used again to help another poor person.

November 5, 2005. Thirukkovil, Sri Lanka. Methodist Church, Thirukkovil. Donated to Yogasundary, age 28. She served as a soldier for 7 years in the LTTE. She lost an eye and injured her thigh. She fought in many battles. She became a returnee because her mother was very old and she begged them to let her go and help her mother. After checking out her story they allowed her to return home in 2002. She was happy to see her mother but she was sad to leave her fellow soldiers. The church provided counseling and employment, she is now the instructor in assembling and repairing radios.

She lives with her elderly father and mother. She made 3,000 Rupees $30 repairing radios in her first month. Now 100 Friends will lend her 20,000 Rupees ($200) to start an electronic repair shop. In the tsunami she lost her house and all her possessions and now she lives in the refugee camp. She will pay back 50% of the grant ($100) to the church after she purchases land for a new house. This will take a few years.

November 5, 2005. Thirukkovil, Sri Lanka. Methodist Church, Thirukkovil. Donated to Kalachelavan, a 40 yr. old LTTE returnee. He was in the LTTE for 10 years and he was wounded by the Indian Peacekeeping Forces and he was shot in the leg, the foot and the hand. The Indian Army arrested him and beat him and he cannot do hard work. His wife Christian and he is a Hindu but he attend church sometimes.

He works as a welder at the church for 400 Rupees ($4) per day, only occasional work. He is a Tamil Hindu, married (wife 34) and he has a six month old baby girl. The tsunami did not destroy his house but he lost all his belongings including his poultry business, 150 chickens died. He says that war is worse than the tsunami because the tsunami is over in a very short time but war kills you “…cell by cell…”.

He is a qualified welder and he wants to start an electrical welding shop. 100 Friends is lending him 35,000 Rupees ($350) to start his business. He has the electric welding machine, Welding rods, a vice, a drill, a paint gun, electric saw and other tools. He will repay it within three years to the Reverend who will then use it to help another poor person.

November 5, 2005. Thirukkovil, Sri Lanka. Methodist Church, Thirukkovil. Kalaimathi is a 20 year old girl. She has a hole in her heart. She desperately needs surgery within one month or she could easily die. The surgery is 400,00 Rupees ($4,000). The government will pay 150,00 Rupees but she has to come up with the rest of the money or she will die. Her family is very poor but they can collect 100,000 Rupees ($1,000) They still need 150,000 Rupees ($1,500). Get the money or die…soon. Simple as that. So 100 Friends has donated $1,500 to her so she can receive the life saving heart surgery. She was extremely happy, to say the least. I will receive regular reports on her progress. The Reverend wept during our meeting. 100 Friends will also help her after her surgery is completed with her education etc. The church has agreed to provide free computer training. She has completed class 11 (advanced level high school diploma).

November 5, 2005. Thirukkovil, Sri Lanka. Methodist Church, Thirukkovil. Helped a lady named T. Selvini, age 52. She is a tsunami victim, a widow, she has two boys aged 20 and 22, they are unmarried. She is a farmer. She needs money to cultivate her rice paddy. 100 Friends is giving her 20,000 Rupees ($200) to help her. She lives in a temporary shelter. Her sons help her with the land. She will repay 10,000 Rupees ($100) to the Reverend so that he can help someone else in the future. She has two years to repay the $50.

November 5, 2005. Thirukkovil, Sri Lanka. Methodist Church, Thirukkovil. Met a young man named Nagendran, age 30. He is an LTTE returnee. He joined in 1988. He was in Jaffna. In 1997 he became a returnee. He stayed in the North until 2004. He was badly injured (shot in the hip) in the war. After the tsunami he came back to his home village here because his father died in the tsunami.

He is working for the Methodist Church and he has learned how to drive the tractor and now he has a job for $75 per month driving the tractor and delivering clean water for the tsunami victims. She lives with his mother (67) and his sister (27). He is the sole means of support for the family. He wants to get a driver’s license and do rice cultivation. 100 Friends is giving him 20,000 Rupees ($200). He will repay half, 5,000 Rupees ($50) and the end of the first year and 5,000 Rupees at the end of the second year ($50).

November 5, 2005. Thirukkovil, Sri Lanka. Methodist Church, Thirukkovil. Met a young man named Jeyandran, age 24. He is a tsunami victim. He cannot do hard work because his hand has been dislocated. His family had a shop selling vegetables, rice, dhal and sugar because it was destroyed in the tsunami. His house was only slightly damaged in the tsunami. He needs to start a small business selling groceries. He lives with his father (56), mother (45), brother (30) and two sisters (28 and 25). His brother works for World Vision making 6,000 Rupees per month ($60). 100 Friends is giving him 25,000 Rupees ($250) to start a grocery shop. He will also receive help with his dislocated shoulder.

November 5, 2005. Thirukkovil, Sri Lanka. Methodist Church, Thirukkovil. Donated to Selvarani, age 39. She is a widow and she has two children, a girl (14) and a boy (7). She is a tsunami victim. She is the one who ran into the church screaming, “The sea is coming!”. Her house was not damaged much but her possessions were all gone or ruined. She stays in the temporary shelter. Sometimes she cooks in the orphanage for 200 Rupees ($2) per day. She receives food rations from the UN. Her daughter is in an orphanage but she cannot afford to keep her now. She wants money to go into a yoghurt business. She needs to buy pots, bottles, milk and other equipment. She will try to get her daughter back from the orphanage to live with her. 100 Friends is giving her 25,000 Rupees ($250) to help her start the yoghurt business.

November 6, 2005. Thirukkovil, Sri Lanka. Methodist Church, Thirukkovil. Donated 10,000 Rs. ($100) to Reverend R. Dawanithy and his family for medical care (problems with balance) and other family expenses.

November 6, 2005. Thirukkovil, Sri Lanka. Methodist Church, Thirukkovil. Donated 15,000 Rs. ($150) to an 11 year old boy named S. Pathmanecthan. He has hemophilia and needs a pump to help with blood transfusions.

November 6, 2005. Thirukkovil, Sri Lanka. Methodist Church, Thirukkovil. Donated 12,500 Rs. ($125) to Mrs. R. Jeya (47). She is severely mentally ill and cannot take care of herself. Her husband (Rajadurai 51) sells fish from house to house. They lost everything in the tsunami. Funds needed to restart the business (bicycle, scale, boxes etc.).

November 6, 2005. Thirukkovil, Sri Lanka. Methodist Church, Thirukkovil. Donated 12,500 Rs. ($125) to a young woman named Suthahini (20). She cannot because she has polio. She needs money to complete her education and then she can receive free computer education and then she will have a job.

November 6, 2005. Thirukkovil, Sri Lanka. Methodist Church, Thirukkovil. Donated 10,000 Rs. ($100) to a widow named Pamila (24). She has two children ages 5 and 7. She needs money to fix her leaky roof because the rainy season is approaching.

November 6, 2005. Thirukkovil, Sri Lanka. Methodist Church, Thirukkovil. Donated 10,000 Rs. ($100) to a widow named Mrs. E. Thangeshwary (53). Her husband was a policeman and was shot dead during the war. They lost everything in the tsunami. She needs money to start a small business.

Promised donation to Carole Sasaki’s Aceh program

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Grandma Choun Kim from CambodiaGrand

Children Bridge Organization                   100 Friends Project Grandma  Choun Kim Background Grandma Choun K...