St John's Center
We have just begun the 3rd month after the Tsunami Disaster. Let me start this report with the quotation of DAVE BIEBEL, which reads "God really promises, Do not fear, for I am with you." But it can be nearly impossible for a hurting person to believe this until someone comes alongside to "make God visible."
I take this opportunity to thank all of you to have come a long way to "make God visible" to the victims through your thoughts, prayers, gifts, valuable time and other generous contributions.
Some of you have spent your precious time with us and with the victims sharing their grief and assisting us in numerous ways to rehabilitate the victims. This was a source of great strength and encouragement to us. We
appreciate your presence and participation in our operations.
Since last report we have distributed 5850 food packets and 1930 milk food packets and continue to supply these according to the needs of the people under rehabilitation programmes.
The Government had stopped the distribution of dry rations and have now commenced distribution of food stamps. Due to the fact that vegetables, Meat and Fish are not given to the victims, it is being reported that there is malnutrition and deficiencies particularly among the children. We are trying to see how best this could be remedied.
We are still in the process of distributing kitchen utensils. Since last report we have distributed 8500 packs. 3280 lanterns and 622 kerosene cookers.
WATER AND SANITATION
This programme is being extended to 15 villages. Despite cleaning, well water is still salty and brackish, and un fit for consumption.
Clean water is still being supplied by us. In the meantime we are continuing with the second phase of cleaning these wells.
CLOTHING AND SHELTER.
We concentrate in encouraging students to go to school by providing uniforms. 5320 girls and boys uniforms have already been distributed among 34 schools. This programme will continue till we fulfill the needs of the
Many families who were displaced and lived in tents are now being shifted by the Government to sheds built out of tin sheets. Conditions inside this tin enclosures are pretty warm and people are unhappy.
We are hoping to expedite the building of permanent houses for these people.
MEDICAL AND HEALTH SITUATION
We thank God for the medical services rendered by the medical personnel sponsored by VeAhavta USA who worked relentlessly in the Trincomalee District. We have had the services of 4 batches of around 10 Doctors in each batch and other associated medical staff who operated mobile clinics in different villages while being based in Grace Care Center Trincomalee. The people of the area apart from being relieved of their maladies were greatly appreciative and to this day, remain very grateful to these doctors.
I must mention here that the entire staff and members of our Churches and institutions in Trincomalee and Batticaloa are immensely grateful to our good friend Mr. Eric J Parkinson Chairman, VeAhavta USA who stayed with us in Trincomalee for a week and coordinated all our relief and rehabilitation programmes in the District. This service rendered by Eric to our community is indelible.
We are very thankful to the 42 Doctors from The Church On The Way, California USA who stayed with us at St John's Center Batticaloa and conducted mobile clinics in 16 villages. These services were greatly appreciated by the villagers. This was a period of time when the medical services in these villages were at the lowest ebb. Additionally we also thank 16 other Doctors who came from various countries and organizations,
who also rendered in valuable service in this field.
Counseling is an important exercise to the victims. We are sad to report, in Batticaloa District alone, 6 suicide cases were reported from the camps alone .
Our 30 counselors are working in camps and villages. With the help of our Home Children we are also providing entertainments and games facilities to ease the trauma and tension of the inmates of these camps.
EDUCATION AND THE CHILD CARE.
Since last report, we have increased the numbers of Nutritional Feeding Centers to 10 and the camp schools to 7. These Centers and camps are being managed by the past students and volunteer workers from St John's and Herman homes.
We are sad to note that the Government of Srilanka does not appear to settle down to a clear and meaningful policy and programme of resettlement. This greatly hinders our progress in this field. We are in constant
communication and discussion with the Government authorities at District and Central levels with the view to commence our construction activities early.
The Kinder Not Hilfe Germany and the Woord And Daad Netherlands have come forward to rehabilitate 900 families in 5 different villages by providing financial support to build a house for each family.
We are also planning to provide infra-structure such as schools, community centers, day care centers and other amenities enclose proximity to the proposed site of building the new houses.
We will help the families by providing boats, nets, agriculture tools and implements for them to restart their livelihood.
We thank all those who have visited our various projects at different times from all over the World and among them we would like to place on record the visit and encouragement given by the following personnel to our Projects.
1. Mr. Eric J. Parkinson Chairman VeAhavta USA.
2. Mr. Norbert Bluems.- Chairman, Board of Trustees Kinder Not Hilfe Germany &X Minister of GDR.
3. Herman van der Weerd - Ceylon Christian Care Netherlands.
I am mindful of the quotation of the great lady of our times Mother Theresa, who said " At this time of crisis we cannot achieve great things but we certainly can do small things with great love". When we are involved
in charitable causes we may not serve and fulfill the entire needs of the people. But we do things with love, affection and care. After all if you do not see God in all, you do not see God at all.
May God Bless You all.
Rev S Jeyanesan
Area Minister/ Manager.
Posted March 4, 2005