The tsunami that struck on Dec. 26, 2004 destroyed entire families, communities and regions in Sri Lanka. Affecting almost 70 per cent of Sri Lanka’s coastline, the tsunami killed more than 40,000 Sri Lankans, left about 200 schools and 100 health facilities in ruins and forced more than 250,000 into poverty due to loss of jobs and loss of lives. The effects of the tsunami will be felt for generations, but even before the tsunami struck, Sri Lankans were coping with poverty and trauma caused by a civil conflict between the Tamil and Sinhalese people that has been ongoing for more than two decades. The ongoing conflict continues to threaten lives and livelihoods on a daily basis, perpetuating the cycle of poverty.
Free The Children’s - www.freethechildren.com - education initiatives in Sri Lanka build schools in communities affected by civil war and the tsunami. In Sri Lanka, school building is a form of peace building, empowering people with the skills they need to create peace in their communities. Clean water and sanitation projects as well as healthcare initiatives are critical components of Free The Children’s initiatives as they help to reduce the prevalence of poverty-related illness, the rates of which increased significantly post-tsunami.
NIKA is pleased to be associated with Free The Children’s efforts in Sri Lanka and is funding $20,000 for several water wells and latrines that will provide clean drinking water to many impoverished Sri Lankans.