Tropical Cyclone Sidr, the deadliest storm to hit the country of Bangladesh in a decade, destroyed tens of thousands of homes in southwest Bangladesh in November, 2007 and ruined much-needed crops just before harvest season in this impoverished, low-lying South Asian country. More than a million coastal villagers were forced to evacuate to government shelters. Latest estimates show that over 3,500 people have died.
Those who lost everything they owned, including their homes, should not be forgotten with time. It is not easy for them to start a normal life again without the help of others. We can not solve all of the problems caused by Sidr but we can do our part to help some families who are in need of help.
We have already started the construction work in two different remote regions of Bangladesh. In the remote regions of Potuakai and Taltoli we have committed to build 50 homes with outdoor toilet facilities, a Buddhist shrine, a Hindu Temple and two Muslim Mosques.
Currently we have completed a sample house with an outdoor toilet; have completed one of the village mosques and we have started work on the Buddhist shrine and the Hindu temple. By January 20, 2008 we will start 15 more homes.
The plan has expanded from 15 homes and the structures of worship to 50 homes, since the need for houses is crucial for those with none.
We can keep our expenses low with the help of the military and a local volunteer businessman, Mr. Hakim in Dhaka, who is managing our money. I have chosen John (Akbar) to supervise the work. I chose him out of many others because I feel he is trustworthy and has the best intentions of his people at heart. Lt. Col Hasan of U.S. central command in Florida is communicating with me regularly and updating me on the progress of the project. The Lt. Col. Hasan is prepared to provide any help needed from the military. We have a wonderful team and we have great confidence that all of our resources will be used efficiently, so as to provide the most help for the lowest cost.