The Housing Project
They lost their houses all their belongings and some of them lost their loved ones. They lived in temporary provided tents for over 8 months. During monsoon rainy season these tents got muddy and hard to live. They also had many difficulties from snakes and other animals. Finding a house, a permanent place to live has become their major concern.
Many of the dead were adults and the elderly. The south and east coasts were worst hit. One and a half million people were displaced from their homes. MnSLFF immediately went into action by collecting funds to launch a project to rebuild the lives of the tsunami survivors. The project comprises of three phases. The first phase concentrated on providing shelter for the survivors. MnSLFF selected a small village in Hikkaduwa township on Sri Lanka’s south coast.
During the first meeting with the community, MnSLFF representatives realize the dire need for houses and the plight of the survivors especially the women and children. After meeting with many government agencies and intense negotiations MnSLFF managed to get a land to build Fifty houses, and the Community Learning Center.
MnSLFF signed a contract with the Urban Development Authority of Sri Lanka a quasi-agency of the government to build the houses. This arrangement eliminated the difficulty of getting building material during this high demand period for construction material and also it gave the MnSLFF proper accountability and integrity in all their activities.
MnSLFF had two dedicated volunteers to inspect the activities on a weekly basis and report to Minnesota. During the construction period all the communication, conflict resolution, and billing reviews, approval and payments took place over the internet.
MnSLFF volunteers visited Sri Lanka during the construction period to assure the progress of work and develop a fair and equitable method to distribute the houses
The tsunami survivors were happy for getting a shelter for their families and often we saw the families included their extended family members, especially grandma and grandpa. They express their gratitude for the people of Minnesota with a banner.
With the greatest participation and generosity from the people of Minnesota and from many other places, Minnesota Sri Lanka Friendship Foundation constructed fifty houses and donated to the tsunami survivors on the 16th of January 2006.
House recipient were mostly fishermen. They lived by the sea. After the disaster, MnSLFF built the houses about three miles away from the sea. With the house they got a piece of land to grow vegetables and maintain a garden. Some build additional rooms to accommodate their extended family members.