by plank amidst the rubble they built new homes
Amidst the unceasing tales of misery and woe, there is one story
that highlights the human spirit that can rise against all odds
to overcome adversity. In the coastal village of Wellawatte in Hikkaduwa,
many houses were destroyed burying many people under the debris
and rendering others homeless.
living in camps and eating handouts was not something that these
once proud people could adjust to. They had lived on a modest income
but never had to beg for food, shelter or clothing.
for them, their life in the camp was brief one largely due to their
own determination and also to the support of others. A joint effort
by the people of the village, the clergy and members of different
political parties irrespective of party politics has resulted in
their once destroyed homes being replaced by temporary wooden homes.
Beddegama Welivitiye Sumana Thera is among those who were engaged
in the project. All the goods needed to put up the wooden, one-room
houses came from the village of Welivita - another village in the
area, which has close links with the residents of Wellawatte.
timber, carpentry tools and manpower were all harnessed from within
these two villages. Asbestos sheets for the roof were provided by
the local government and provincial council authorities in the area.
With these bare essentials the people were set to build 20 houses
within a day.
work started early Thursday morning and by evening, 20 new wooden
houses stood instead of the ones that were devastated on December
26. In a simple ceremony held as the sun set over the southern horizon
Ven. Sumana Thera conducted a simple religious ceremony and handed
out keys to the families. They were also provided with basic kitchen
did not depend on the government or any non-governmental organisation.
The people used their own resources and now they are happy that
they can leave the camp and start living, even in a small way,"
the Thera said.