Tsunami Rehabilitation Update

Tsunami Rehabilitation Update

Global Ministries’ partners are engaged in a wide variety of tsunami rehabilitation projects. A Nine-Month Update on Tsunami Relief and Rehabilitation in Southern Asia.

Global Ministries’ partners are engaged in a wide variety of tsunami rehabilitation projects. A Nine-Month Update on Tsunami Relief and Rehabilitation in Southern Asia.


Global Ministries has supported the tsunami relief and rehabilitation work of our partners in Aceh which was the region hardest hit by the December, 2004 tsunami and in Nias which suffered from the tsunami and then was severely affected by several earthquakes which were aftershocks of the December 26th quake which caused the tsunami.  Our partners in these regions include the Communion of Churches of Indonesia, the Yakkum Emergency Unit, Yayasan Tanggul Bencana, Habitat for Humanity, Church World Service and Action by Churches Together.  These partners formulated the immediate emergency response to the disaster providing emergency temporary housing, food, sanitation, safe water, medical care, counseling, etc.  While these efforts are on-going where they are essential, much of the focus is now on creating long-term solutions for those who were displaced by the tsunami.  The photo above is a new home in the village of Lamreh and the photo at left is a medical clinic being constructed by Yakkum Emergency Unit.  These photos are provided courtesy of ACT International (Stephen H. Padre, photographer).

When the tsunami happened Global Ministries missionaries, Tim and Diane Fonderlin, were working with Habitat for Humanity in Malaysia.  Within weeks Tim was relocated to Aceh to help establish building centers for supporting the local population in the replacement of permanent housing.  Early plans for homes had to be redesigned to meet the needs and requirements of the local population.  Local workers were trained to help with the construction.  Week of Compassion and One Great Hour of Sharing committed to helping rebuild one village in Aceh.  We have recently learned that the community that is receiving our support is the village of Emperom.  The building center in Emperom has recently been opened and is receiving teams of workers to assist with construction of homes.  Tim Fonderlin has been relocated to Sri Lanka where he is supervising the construction of 112 homes there.

Sri Lanka

Global Ministries primary partners in the tsunami relief and rehabilitation work in Sri Lanka are the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India and its Christian Theological Seminary.  The projects of these partners included emergency relief as well as trauma counseling.  In the last few months we have supported their efforts in livelihood recovery where possible and vocational training and retraining where necessary.  Many fisher families now have the boats, nets and gear that they need and have resumed fishing for their livelihoods.  Others have chosen not to return to fishing.  Some new widows and orphaned youth now must find livelihoods as their family income is gone.  For these individuals, our support is helping our partners provide education and vocational training. We have helped purchase sewing machines for a group of women who want to resume their income generating activities that were disrupted by the tsunami and are providing scholarships for children and youth.  Global Ministries also replaced bicycles for many in one community, enabling children to reach schools and youths to look for employment or go to school.

The focus this fall is on the purchasing of land, where necessary, and the building of homes, wells and toilets.  The government provided some communities which have to be relocated with land that had no access to safe water or electricity.  With our help more usable land is being identified and purchased.  The first fourteen homes at Thumpalai are under construction.  More land is being purchased and 52 houses are planned.  A temporary school is still being held in a shed at Punithanagar.  The permanent school building cannot be constructed until the deed for the property is obtained from the government.  Land is also being acquired for starting the livelihood project and vocational training center.  Some families will be trained for goat-rearing, poultry-keeping and/or cultivation of coconut groves.


In India, the Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA) and the Church of North India (CNI) are our major partners.  We are also supporting the relief and rehabilitation work of Peace Trust in Kanyakumari, India.

CASA has been instrumental in providing emergency relief to 50,000 affected families and is working to help restore livelihoods, education systems, and support those who are most vulnerable members of society – Dalits, widows, elderly etc.  They have engaged professionals and community leaders in providing trauma counseling.  Their efforts have included providing boats, nets and motors to fishermen and providing fish vending materials for fisherwomen.  They provided temporary shelters in many villages and are now planning to construct 2824 houses in 34 villages in the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.  They have made an effort to involve local churches and youth groups in their efforts.  Youth have been instrumental in helping small children recover from the trauma by involving them in sports and cultural programs and by holding picnics.

CASA is also reporting that their staff has been suffering stress from the long separations from family  and their exposure to trauma and emergency situations over a long period of time.  CASA has held of stress management workshops to support their field staff.

The Church of North India is working with CASA to implement rehabilitation programs in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.  CNI has begun rebuilding twenty whole villages including homes, schools, community centers and churches.  Twelve schools and eight churches will be inaugurated in the first week of December.  Some of the construction work is delayed while CNI waits for the government to build the necessary roads for delivery of construction materials.  These materials are ready for delivery and the roads are promised within two weeks.

Global Ministries’ partner, Peace Trust, is helping children, youth and widowed women to get the education that they need.  Poor families who lost all to the tsunami were no longer able to meet the educational expenses for their children.  Twenty students are being supported in matriculation school, 5 in teacher training school and 1 in nursing school.  Fishing equipment has been supplied to several families and some land has been purchased for the construction of 6 houses.  More land is being sought.  In addition Vocational Training has begun and classes have begun in computer training.  Seventy-six families have been enrolled for home-based and institution-based medical care.


The Church of Christ in Thailand is reporting that non-governmental agencies have been working with the Thai Government to rebuild houses and that a significant amount of the construction of permanent housing has been completed.  The Mokken community in Tung Wa village is nearing the completion of their house rebuilding program and now the members of the community who have been focused on constructing houses must find other work for the first time since the tsunami struck.  Work continues with Mokken communities on the islands.  These communities have also been assisted with health care (particularly for women and children), toilet facilities, and literacy training.

For more information on Global Ministries’ Partner Tsunami relief and rehabilitation efforts please contact:

The Southern Asia Office

Debra Frantz, Program Associate
frantzd@ucc.org 216-736-3231

James Vijayakumar, Area Executive
vijayj@ucc.org 216-736-3228