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Caring For Vulnerable Children In SRI LANKA

© Still Waters International 2013


10th Anniversary event remembering the Boxing Day 2004 Tsunami

December 2014

How do you arrange an event to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Tsunami, which brought death and destruction to thousands who lived and worked along the beautiful, tropical coast of Sri Lanka?  Still Waters which was established in 1998 had been working with the community for many years when on Boxing Day 2004 the Tsunami destroyed lives, livelihoods and communities, and left a legacy of carnage never seen before in Sri Lanka.  Many in our community still carry the pain and trauma of the Tsunami, and the 10th anniversary was a good opportunity to recognize the loss and sorrow and, most important, to celebrate life and allow hope to shine into lives again.

The event was held on the 29th December to which we invited over 300 adults and children from the Tangalle area.  By 10am the grounds were full of parents, grandparents, children, young and old, local government officials, priests from the Buddhist Temple and Christian Ministers from the local churches.  Despite some sad memories there was a great spirit of commemoration and celebration.  It felt good to be there.  The activities began with a beautiful dance evoking the grace and love of God our creator who shares all our joys and sorrows. The dancer was Lakshmi one of our most talented and skilled performers.  She also performed the closing dance of peace and blessing. There was hushed appreciation as the dance enacted the unfailing love of our gracious God.

Pastor Kingsley our Chairman of Trustees welcomed all, and after a brief message led us all in prayer.  Our children presented five dance, drama and song events, including a Michael Jackson tribute dance.  You should have been there to see it!  The children from the nearby nursery school presented three dances and the musical march leading our special guests to their seats.

At the end of the formal activities lunch was provided for all.  (Rice and six delicious curries, with ice cream, curd and honey to top it all.)  The children were given gifts and all the families were given a five-kilo bag each of dry rations.  We also gave gifts of building vouchers to several families to help with the building of toilets or indoor kitchens.  There are more families who need this help and we hope we can find donors to support this programme.   All who attended were much appreciative of the care and sensitivity with which the event was organized. It was a very positive occasion, despite some sad memories of the event in 2004.

We acknowledge the excellent work done by Premalal our Sri Lankan Director and Mahinda our Project Manger.  These two did sterling work to ensure the success of the day.  I was privileged to get to the event, leaving on a 9pm flight from London on Christmas Day.  My thanks to all who made generous gifts to enable me to attend this very important 10th Anniversary event.  On behalf of Still Waters and the Tsunami-affected families, we say a big ‘thank you’ for your gifts which made this event possible.

Frederick George, MBE