On October 3rd, Sarvodaya Shramadana Sangamaya was awarded the Habitat Scroll of Honor award, the UN’s highest prize in the field of human settlement and shelter. The award is granted annually by the United Nations Human Settlement Program and Sarvodaya was among eight recipients for the year 2005.Sarvodaya was recognized for its development work in villages with particular regard to its massive post-Tsunami reconstruction work.
In a ceremony held in Jakarta, Indonesia to mark World Habitat Day, Mrs. Udani Mendis, the Acting Executive Director, and Mr. Saman Algoda, the Finance Director, received the award on behalf of the organization. In a speech at the ceremony, Mrs. Mendis described Sarvodaya’s work with special emphasis on the movement’s focus on eradicating poverty through social, economic, and technological empowerment of people. She described how the organization had been working for almost fifty years in this endeavor of “sarvodaya” or “awakening of all” and had thus far reached almost 15,000 villages throughout the island.
October 3rd marks two important events for the Sarvodaya Shramadana Sangamaya. The society will be honored by the United Nations with an award for its outstanding humanitarian work following the Tsunami of last December. The day will also see the launch of “Waves of Compassion: Sarvodaya’s Tsunami to Deshodaya Plan After Six Months of Action,” a comprehensive report on the recovery work that was completed by the organization in the first six months after the tidal wave.
In a ceremony to be held in Jakarta, Indonesia to mark World Habitat Day, Sarvodaya will be presented with the Habitat Scroll of Honor award, a prize that is granted annually by the United Nations Human Settlement Program for outstanding work in the field of settlement and shelter.
It was exactly 180 days ago that the most devastating natural disaster hit the shores of our land. The Tsunami tragedy of December 26th 2004 did not discriminate against any religious, ethnic, class or caste differences. It took away the 40,000 lives and left nearly a million people homeless. Riding on the “waves of compassion” coming from all corners of the world, from people belonging to all walks of life, people with a big heart, Sarvodaya was able to get into action within 2 hours of disaster hitting Sri Lanka and continue to work towards reawakening Sri Lanka. On this day, when we look back on what we have been doing the past 6 months, we would like to again pay our gratitude to all these wonderful people and organizations who made it possible for Sarvodaya to do all what it did up to now to help recover from this tragedy and more importantly, as we reiterated in our Tsunami to Deshodaya Plan 6 months ago, all these contributing to CREATING A NEW SRI LANKA.
One of the first companies that came forward to support Sarvodaya in the post tsunami housing scheme was Holcim. On 12th July 2005, 154 houses were handed over to the respective beneficiaries. Seventy-seven of these houses are in the villages of Balapitya, Brahmanawatte, and Mohottiwatte in Galle district while thirty-seven are in Randombe village in Ambalangoda. Forty houses were handed over in the villages of Kottegoda, Suduwella, and Batigama in Matara district.
A group of students from Singapore who came to Sri Lanka to attend a workshop conducted by the United World Colleges Student Exchange Program participated in a shramadana camp to help a Tsunami-affected school in Payagala.
Vaddawan a small village, in the Batticaloa District in the east, one of the worsted Tsunami affected areas, composed of fishermen and their families who were affected by the tsunami in December 2004…
We were making our first trip to Sri Lanka in 3 and 6 years, respectively, to see our friends at Sarvodaya and to find a tsunami impacted village that needed a preschool– the heart of the Sarvodaya village development process…
This trip to Sri Lanka, my first since the devastating tsunami in December of last year, was a phenomenal experience. Having lived and worked with Sarvodaya almost 20 years ago, it was a curious mix of nostalgia, excitement and sadness to see this country after such a long absence and under such dire circumstances.
The New York-based Asia Society invited Professor Patrick Mendis, who set up The Tsunami Leaders Caring “TLC” Foundation, to participate at the Tsunami Summit on post-tsunami rehabilitation and reconstruction at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC.
In partnership with USAID and the American Jewish Distribution Committee, Sarvodaya will develop 100 playgrounds in all 13 tsunami-affected districts in Sri Lanka…