June 26 is six months after the tsunami destroyed coastal communities in India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Indonesia. In the past six months, PWS&D partners have been busy providing immediate relief and starting the rebuilding efforts.
In those six months, PWS&D has raised over $2 million dollars for tsunami relief and rehabilitation. Congregations and individuals have contributed more than $1.3 million to PWS&D's tsunami appeal. PWS&D also received an additional $747,956 in matching funds from the Canadian government for donations from individuals made on or before January 11, 2005.
Helping rebuilding three villages with CIDA funds
Working with the United Church of Canada, the Mennonite Central Committee and the Anglican Church of Canada, PWS&D submitted a $6 million proposal to the Canadian government to use the matching funds (including PWS&D's $747,956) to help rebuild three villages near Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu, India, through Action by Churches Together (ACT). The Canadian International Development Agency praised this ecumenical project for its expected tangible results, which include rebuilding disaster resistant houses, restoring village infrastructures, and helping people restore their livelihoods. Assessment missions are underway, and coordination is taking place with government and other international NGOs. Reputable engineers - known for their quality and lack of corruption - have been selected to head up the construction. According to the CIDA website this is the fourth largest project approved by CIDA to date in its tsunami matching funds program, after the Red Cross, World Vision and UNICEF.
Clinics, clean water, counselling, food security and livelihoods Collectively, the churches (Presbyterian, United, Mennonite and Anglican) also contributed $3 million dollars to Action by Churches Together (ACT) for efforts in Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia and Thailand. Focus has now moved from immediate relief into longer-term rehabilitation projects such as establishing mobile clinics, clean water and sanitation programs, and trauma counselling and strengthening food security and livelihood recovery by providing seeds, tools and fishing equipment.
Helping remote fishing villages
PWS&D long-term development partner, the Institute for Development Education (IFDE) is working in four remote fishing villages just outside Chennai, India. After providing essential goods for the more than 1,250 families in these villages IFDE is replacing fishing boats, motors and nets, starting literacy classes and organizing women's associations.
Historic Presbyterian partner, The Church of North India (CNI) is working to rebuild the Andaman and Nicobar Islands off the coast of India. In addition to meeting immediate physical needs and helping rebuild shelters CNI is running temporary schools and conducting various programs for children. PWS&D has provided funds to help rebuild 13 schools on these islands.
There is still more work to do. Go to www.presbyterian.ca/pwsd for photos and more stories on the impact Presbyterians are having after the tsunami.
For more information contact PWS&D at:
Presbyterian World Service & Development
50 Wynford Drive, Toronto, ON