I am glad that this time I can share with you more good news. In two different locations in Kalmunai we built thirty housing units. On the 26th and 27th of February as we dedicated the premises 30 homeless families got a private space where they can call home until the permanent housing for them will be built.
What we call a “temporary home” is actually a 12+12 room and five feet long space where the family can cook and keep their belongings. Each room has electricity and cement floors. Toilets are built outside the building for communal use and the water tanks or wells are prepared for drinking water and daily use. You can view these photos from the above link.
For the thirty units we built two big buildings. One with twenty units and the other with ten. The building with ten units were built for the medical staff of Kalmunai hospital. Many staff members lost everything and have become homeless. We need to think of the medical staff who provide one of the most essential services.
More than ten weeks has passed now since the tsunami disaster. Still there are hundreds of families living in schools or homes of their families and friends. Every one of them have lost their homes and everything they own and many of their family members. Those who live in schools have to live in big halls with a pile of their belonging in a corner somewhere. They sleep in mats and there is no privacy.
Many of them are becoming more and more impatient and angry of the conditions of the refugee camps. The government in Ampara District, that is south east of Sri Lanka has no plans to build permanent homes yet. Can you believe!
Thousands of families are still living in a limbo. That is why our temporary housing is a luxury for some and they are so happy and grateful to receive them.
I got a chance to speak with some of the recipients of the rooms. For example, Mrs. Paramasiva is a thirty year old Tamil woman. She received unit #10 in our triple gem camp number one. She has lost her mother, sister and seven year old son Didlakshan. I knew her quite well because almost every time I visited the refugee camp I saw her sitting in a corner weeping and crying. Because of the language barrier I was able to have only brief conversations with the help of an interpreter.
The day after she received the room I visited the camp and spent some time with them. Paramasivam invited us to her room she showed us the photos of the family members who died. The photos were hanging on the wall of her mother,sister and son. She had put flower garlands around each picture. She started crying again.
Her seven-year-old son was at the Sunday school at the time of tsunami. When the Sunday school got crushed by the tsunami waves, forty five children died including her son. Later she saw all three bodies and they were buried in a mass grave. She saved her older son who lives with her now.
The tears in her eyes and the sadness in her face told me one more story of the struggle of the tsunami victims and how they try to come into terms with their shattered lives. Very often I noticed how my happiness of helping them gets pinched by the experience of the pain they hold in their hearts. I have bad dreams at times because of this dilemma.
We are currently building forty more housing units which will be dedicated on the 13th of March. We will keep you informed. Thank you again for all your support and kindness. I do all this wonderful things because of your kindness, caring and support.