Tsunami Rehabilitation Continues: A 2007 Update from Southern India

Tsunami Rehabilitation Continues: A 2007 Update from Southern India

Peace Trust reports that the tsunami rehabilitation projects near Colachel are making progress.

Peace Trust reports that the tsunami rehabilitation projects near Colachel are making progress.  In his most recent report he shares that seven families are gratefully living in their new homes funded by Global Ministries.  Thirty other homes are under construction.  Nineteen of these are nearing completion and the other eleven are well under way.  Forty-one families have received fishing equipment to enable them to resume fishing for their livelihoods.

Three vocational training centers are helping widows and coastal women who lost their husbands in the tsunami to develop job skills.  Free vocational training has been offered to these women and 150 women are taking advantage of the opportunity at the training center at Kanyakumari.  Another 60 are attending training at Colachel and sixty more are attending trainings in tailoring and embroidery at Gnanapuram.  Additional training programs are to start soon at Gnanapuram.  One center was inauturated in early December during a visit from Amy Gopp of Week of Compassion, Susan Sanders of One Great Hour of Sharing and Debra Frantz of Global Ministries.  Women are learning computer skills, typing, sewing skills, fibre industries (using coconut husk fibers), embroidery and tailoring. 

Jamilo came from a poor family (she is in photo with a pink saree).  Her husband is sick and can’t work and she has a 5-year-old boy and a small baby.  She has had no work.  This work at the Community Center will enable her to earn some money.  Her parents have been helping her.  Suseela’s (in green saree) husband was riding his bicycle when he was hit by the tsunami.  He has been sick and can’t work since.  His bicycle was washed away.  He was given a new bicycle.  She has come to help out at the center in gratitude for the new bicycle.  Jayadeesceari (has yellow saree) lost all the goods in her home, but didn’t loose her home.  Her husband is a carpenter.  They asked for and received the carpentry tools to help him return to work.  He received a drill, saw, hammer, etc.  He is now employed again.  Kala is a widow with 3 girl children.  She has received a sewing machine.  She makes blouses from her home.  She also does the coir fibre works and together the two activities enable her to earn enough to support her girls (11,7 and 6).  The older two are now living at an orphanage; the six-year-old is still living at home.  She is educated to the 10th standard.  Her husband died of disease.  She receives 10-12 rupees for each blouse she makes (25 cents).  We saw some palm leaf weavers demonstrate how they weave palm fronds to sell as construction material (see the photos).  They purchase the palm fronds for 1 rupee and sell the woven fronds for 2 rupees.  We asked what the dealer sold them for in the market, but nobody seemed to know.  We also saw some of the women demonstrate the combing procedure they use on the coconut husks to break them up into fibres which were then twisted into a kind of rope which is used in other crafts (photos).

Global Ministries is supporting the education of twenty young children whose families were affected by the tsunami.  All have passed their examinations and have been promoted.  Eleven students are being assisted with education at the Teacher Training Institute and six are completing their second year of study.  Five students have completed their training and are earning their livelihoods as teachers.  A few are in Nurses training and are progressing in their studies.