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From one moment to the other, nothing was the way it used to be
In December 2004 when South East Asia was devastated by the Tsunami, it was clear how quickly things that you took for granted may belong to the past. The total death toll was reported to have risen to 230,000 victims. Sri Lanka alone counted at least 40,000. More than 70,000 houses were demolished and completely washed away by the floods, another 35,000 badly damaged making it the second worst affected country in Asia.
We, Malkanthi und Rajah Wirasekara, came to know through the media what had happened in our first homeland. Telephone connections were dead, we could only guess what our family and relatives living over there, were going through. Live media coverage illustrated how fellow-countrymen were suffering. It was not only we, who were concerned. Together with German friends we founded SAHANA (the Sinhala word for "compassionate help") in January 2005 with the objective of giving targeted help to rehabilitate the displaced victims and to support the process of reconstruction in Sri Lanka.
Our relief efforts encompass non-profitable and charitable objectives ranging from helping the
victims of the natural catastrophe as well as supporting the process of reconstruction. In the beginning the priority was housing the victims. In the meantime we are also focusing on other areas of community development such as promoting medical care, education, vocational training and also providing a spiritual haven (Link zum Tempelbau).