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Hemyock Castle
Ancient Heart of the Blackdowns

Asian Tsunami 2004

Aid to Asia, Collection 5th and 6th January 2005

The Export Shipping agents: KLC International of Exeter UK, has shipped consignments of aid to Asia; including items collected at St. Mary's Church Hemyock on Wednesday 5th and Thursday 6th January 2005. Hemyock people gave very generously. Items were sorted, packed and dispatched. These shipment went via Sri Lanka, for distribution around Asia to the affected areas. KLC International plans to arrange further shipments.

Photo of St. Mary's Church, Hemyock
St. Mary's Church Hemyock

St Mary's Church Collections

St. Mary's Church Hemyock also had a retiring collection at all services during January 2005, in aid of the Tsunami Appeal.

Photo: Prem presenting donations in Hambantota
Prem Presenting Donations in Hambantota

Special Tsunami Projects

Money raised by St. Mary's Church and other generous donations have supported a number of special projects in Godawaya, near Hambantota, Sri Lanka; making immediate improvements to people's lives. This direct aid has bypassed the frustrating delays being experienced by some larger organizations and filled gaps left by other projects. So far, these special projects have included:

Emergency Alert Network

The Tsunami destroyed natural and man-made sea defences. There have also been unseasonable storms. Official alerts and rumours have sparked several evacuations. Responsible people have now been equipped with donated mobile phones; allowing them to report and verify any genuine emergencies.

Fishing Nets

The Godawaya small fishermen are well organized. These new nets will allow them to restart fishing in the few precious weeks left before the monsoon season arrives. Stormy weather will then make fishing more intermittent.

The nets are bought as pieces. These are dyed and several pieces are brought together to make each complete net. The different pieces of net are owned by different people: Ownership of a piece brings entitlement to a share in the fish catch.

The types of nets are changed at different times of the year to suit the different fish.

Note. Fishing and many other activities in this area are organized in a co-operative basis. For example, each catch of fish is shared between the group of people who own the boat, own sections of the nets, help on shore or help beach the boat. Agencies providing aid need to be careful not to destroy the cultural organization.

Sewing Machines for Sewing Businesses

There is a continual demand for new clothes, especially in time for the Sri Lankan New Year (14th April). The businesses which received sewing machines were ready and able to supply these clothes.

Restarting Local Small Businesses

Several small businesses lost all their stock, as well as family members, when the Hambantota Market was hit by the Tsunami. Small amounts of money have enabled some of these traders to buy new stock and restart their businesses.

Piped Water

Some families, especially those that had lost family members, were spending precious hours simply fetching water. Obtaining piped water was a trying bureaucratic exercise, but it has greatly helped the families. It will also allow these families to expand their vegetable gardens and sell the surplus produce: A great help when income from other sources has failed.

Update 13th March 2005

Most items are now available locally in Sri Lanka so donations of money are now more useful than donation of objects: Even small amounts of money can produce dramatic benefits. Local organizers and local people have the clearest idea of local needs: Buying items locally helps rebuild the Sri Lankan economy

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