Tush and Gary were in Sri Lanka from 9th to 19th September on their second working visit to the country.
Their main objective was to finalize the plans for the hospital. After many meetings and negotiations they made several modifications to the existing plans making the hospital complex more child friendly. One of their ideas was to have a play area and a school room on each floor so that patients can be taught literary skills to develop their minds while healing their bodies, another pioneering service they wish to introduce.
Tush and Gary found these negotiations rather challenging on this trip. They felt that the main reason was that the larger well established aid agencies have not delivered what they pledged making it more difficult for CHTAF to convince the authorities and the local community that they were honestly trying to do some good. However, they have successfully modified the plans and have made tentative arrangements for construction to commence as scheduled in December 2005.
They also distributed 100 toys to the children of the existing hospital and donated 250 new t-shirts to the adults of a camp. The children accepted the toys with delight. The staff of the existing hospital was relieved to hear that Tush and Gary are steadfast in their mission to build the new hospital.
As the smallest charity that has undertaken the largest project in Sri Lanka CHTAF has achieved a great deal in a brief period. There may not be a building to show off yet but they have secured the land, laid the foundation stones, completed the negotiations, designed a hospital and are in the final planning stages. Normally, this process would have taken years but they have completed their preliminary mission in a record time of six months. They are eager to commence construction but your support is vital. Please keep your donations rolling in.
CHTAF has raised £81,419.85 and their target is £100, 000.00 by December 2005.
Tush and Gary also held a press conference to inform the public of their progress.
“It was sad and shocking to see that people are still living in sheltered accommodation in sweltering heat and monsoon rains nearly one year after the disaster. It is truly tragic that the international aid that was pledged has not reached the needy,” explained Tush. “It was so disheartening that we couldn’t bring our selves to visit the heart of the affected areas this time. It is not enough to be tsunami tourists and come away saying how sad. Sri Lanka needs the aid delivered now not in another ten years. If not Sri Lanka and all other countries affected by the tsunami may well end up as the second Africa” Tush expressed passionately.
Detailed interview can be viewed on the following web sites:
The Sunday Island, Saturday September 17th, 2005 – Front page Headline www.island.lk
The Daily Mirror, Tuesday September 20, 2005 – W@W Magazine Feature
The Daily News, Thursday September 29th, 2005 – Front page www.dailynews.lk
Yes, we are a small organization but we have overcome several hurdles and are determined to make this truly historic and mammoth task a reality!