The Tsunami left shockwaves of fear, anxiety, stress and confusion in the hearts and minds of survivors . At this moment, they need the help of people who will listen to their plight, share comforting words and console their grief. They also need to be reconnected to the immense spiritual resources from which they can draw energy to heal the pain and suffering and to reawaken their lives with renewed faith and hope. After the initial shock and trauma when people recover and set about rehabilitating themselves, after about two months they revert back to a state of depression again. To prevent this is very essential that we continue with our psychological and spiritual healing in to the future.
To meet this need, Sarvodaya is mobilizing a group of 30 counselors and meditation teachers to implement a psycho-spiritual healing programme for the Tsunami survivors. At the planning workshop on psycho-spiritual healing held on 3rd January 2005 at the Sarvodaya Vishva Niketan International Peace Centre with the participation of religious dignitaries, meditation instructors, trained counselors including the President of the Sri Lanka Association of Counselors, it was decided to implement an immediate plan of action. Subsequently on 4th January 2005 a team consisting of two Buddhist nuns, one Catholic nun and 5 counselors are visiting the camps. Fully conversant with handling human stress situations, this group of volunteers are helping the survivors begin life afresh with renewed vigor, hope and aspirations, re-activating the depleted spiritual energies through religious belief and planting courage, determination and purpose in life. We await their report to decide on the practical steps to be pursued immediately. On 5th January 2005 another similar group of volunteers visited Galle and Matara. Both groups met on 9th January 2005 to review their findings and decide on the plan of action. This group will continue to visit camps and villages until the tsunami wounds are completely healed and eradicated from the minds of victims.
The American Psychotherapist Association will also work closely with Sarvodaya in sending a group of professionals to help build the capacity of the psycho spiritual healing group.