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Tsunami Rehabilitation Proposals -- Letter to Partners
The Rt. Rev. Duleep de Chickera
CEYLON 050207-1
February 7, 2005

[The Church of Ceylon (E-P) - Ceylon] 

To All Our Partners,

Dear friends,

Tsunami Rehabilitation Proposals


Our sincere gratitude goes out to you all for your spontaneous support and solidarity for the Sri Lankan people at this time of unprecedented tragedy and immense human loss and suffering. I do hope that a more fitting event to express our gratitude, will be possible in the future.


Since the Tsunami of 26th Dec. 2004 the Diocese has, through our Clergy and congregations been engaged in the work of relief throughout the Island. The location of our Churches in the North, East, South and West and prevailing social trust has made this possible in all districts as well as amongst all communities. The National Christian Council (NCC) of which the Diocese is a member has provided prompt supplies and co-ordination. The nature of this work has largely been a collaboration between local presence and external support. Supplies of food, clothing, drinking water and medicine have been carried to the districts continuously from 27th Dec. Churches, Vicarages and Halls were opened for camps for IDPs wherever required.

The immediate second stage of relief saw the movement of clean up and medical teams, trauma therapy of various types and the supply of tents and more long term requirements such as family packs, school uniforms and stationery, mats, utensils, toiletries, lamps etc.

Through these two stages our Clergy and Congregations stayed in touch with the people, comforted the grieved, cared for the sick, buried the dead, negotiated services and relief, collaborated with the State and other agencies and participated at numerous meetings and consultations; in addition to exercising their other Liturgical and Pastoral responsibilities! We have been able to provide some additional ad-hoc Clergy support to the affected areas but this requires streamlining. A cycle of vacation leave for over worked Clergy and their families is also being addressed.

Interim Shelter

We are now entering the stage of interim settlement. Schools which housed IDPs have had to be cleared for the new year and persons are being settled in semi-permanent shelter, prior to the final stage of permanent housing. We hope that the prevailing uncertainty in State policy on the distance of the coastal buffer zone and the need for negotiation with the people regarding alternate space for permanent housing, will not unnecessarily prolong this stage for too long.


Very soon we shall reach the stage of Rehabilitation. After a process of careful consultation with a cross section of Government Authorities, affected people, Professional Groups and Churches, as well as prayer and struggle with several options, we have now selected some sectors, which we hope to address in our work of rehabilitation.

In making these choices we have been mindful of our spirituality and frailty. We have asked what all this sudden involvement in rehabilitation will do to our witness and image in the context of other living religions, poverty and our cherished pursuit of sustainable peace with justice. We are conscious that we will have to continue to bear witness to the death and resurrection of Christ through this stage of rehabilitation as well as after it passes; and that we will be called to give an account of the values we built on to God and our people.

We have also been mindful of the pros and cons of our financial resources. We are very much aware that we are a modest Church, which has suddenly received an unprecedented amount of spontaneous and generous giving under very, very sad circumstances. Consequently we realise that these resources should not be used as a demonstration of power or as a means to expand our structures or interests. To do so would be to build on the misery of our people.

Finally, in making these choices we have also looked at sectors that would enable as much people’s participation as possible from our faith communities.

Many of our friends have been asking for proposals they could support. Given below are the selected sectors with some financial indicators. This is not a budget. These are projections based on present costs.

Selected Sectors-Financial Indicators
(as per funds received to date)

1.Trauma Counselling Courses/Training/visits of Professionals Rs 2 Million
2.Grants-Rebuilding of State Schools-twinning with Church Schools Rs 4 Million
3.Work camps (Shramadana) for clearing/building etc. Rs.2 Million
4.Community Care/Centres/ Occupational therapy Rs 3 Million
5.Interim shelter-600 semi permanent structures Rs.15 Million
6.Fishing;repairs and supply of new F/Glass Boats/Canoes/nets/engines Rs 10 Million
7.Livelihood support other than fishing Rs 4 Million
8.Bicycles Rs 4 Million
9.Ad-Hoc requests Rs 3 Million
10.Administration; Co-ordinators, R and R Desk, Clergy relief support Rs 3 Million
11.Grants affected Anglicans Rs 3 Million
12.Child Care Rs.4 Million
TOTAL Rs 57 Million
Received as of 7th Feb Rs 57 Million

Notes On The Sectors

1. A two month residential T/C course costs Rs 6 lakhs; and a week-end befrienders course costs approx. Rs 25,000/-. One of the former and several of the latter have already been provided for. Four teams of visiting Professionals and their local travel, accommodation, workshop costs etc. need to be covered.
2. These are initial grants. The respective Church Schools will be required to raise the balance from their wider constituencies. Two Schools have already begun work. It is expected that Students and Teachers will engage in interaction.
3. A work camp costs approx. Rs. 20-25,000/- A bonus is the trust these build.
4. This will include welcoming centres at camps/street drama etc. An allowance of about Rs 5,000/- will be paid to the co-ordinators of the Centres who will be supported by volunteers from local Churches and communities. Youth are being trained for Street Drama and will interact with affected communities.
5. We already have a proposal for this amount and for which we have received Rs.14 Million.
6. Two proposals that we have funded are a Boat building work-shop (Rs 61/2 Lakhs) and the repair of Boats/Canoes and Trawlers (Rs 41/2 Lakhs). But much more assistance is required. New boats and canoes will have to be provided. A fully equipped flat bottom Fibre Glass Boat, with 15 Hp engine and nets cost approx Rs 3 to 31/2 Lakhs. An equipped Canoe costs Rs 45,000/- to 60,000/-. We are also considering building Canoes. A proposal has been received.
7. This will provide for those outside the Fishing Community and will cover cottage industry, masons, carpenters and small business concerns. Grants would vary between Rs.10,000/- to 25,000/-
8. Bicycles are still a very easy and pragmatic means of commuting. Whole families travel on one Bicycle. It also enhances income-generating employment such as mobility for builders and vendors. A bicycle costs Rs.5,000/- to Rs.6,000/-.
9. This does not require clarification.
10. We have received about Rs 8 1/2 Lakhs to provide for four Co-ordinators equipped with Motor Cycles and phones. Two have already been appointed and are proving a tremendous asset to the Archdeacons in their Regions. In addition we wish to appoint two administrative Co-ordinators. These appointments are for six months. Clergy in the affected areas are to be provided an extra allowance for additional travel and entertainment. Well meaning visitors suddenly descend and gallons of tea etc are required at short notice!
11. While all the above will provide for all ethnic and religious communities on a needs basis, we felt that some support is necessary for the immediate family. This support takes note of Government/NGO provision for housing as well as on going aid that reaches all. Statistics are being collected.
12. No reference has been made to work with children since to date all our offers to provide and care for children have not received response. We understand The Governments concern to safeguard children and their rights. However we are projecting for this important sector as well in anticipation of a change of policy.

Selected Sectors-Financial Indicators
(where additional funding may be considered)

a) Trauma Counselling Rs 2 Million
b) Interim shelter Rs15 Million
c) Fishing Rs40 Million
d) Bicycles Rs 10 Million
e) Livelihood-other than fishing Rs 10 Million
f) Child Care Rs.10 Million
TOTAL Rs 87 Million


Current exchange rates are as follows:

US Dollars Rs.99.50
Euro Rs.128.00
Pounds Rs.187.00

Please feel free to seek any further clarification.

With peace and Blessings to you and yours

Yours sincerely,

The Rt. Rev. Duleep de Chickera
Bishop of Colombo