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Half a Million for Reconstruction -- Thank You!
Alex Steffen, 5 May 05

The tsunami hit South-East Asia a little over four months ago, devastating the lives of hundreds of thousands in more than ten countries.

Less than 24 hours after that disaster, Worldchanging and Architecture for Humanity launched a reconstruction appeal focusing in the long term rebuilding effort that would be desperately needed. Optimistically, we aimed first for $10,000, and then set a target of $100,000 -- enough to rebuild a dozen homes and a small community building.

We thought the time has come to tell you how that relief fund is doing.

Four months later, we have raised over $500,000 from over 3500 individuals, small businesses and a couple of larger organizations (including a recent pro-bono flight from Aeroplan). Fundraisers were held across the world from bake sales, lemonade stands, DJ sets and photography auctions all aimed at one goal: creating a “small good thing in a very large tragedy." Not one dollar of the reconstruction fund is being spent on organizational overhead or fundraising. It's all going into the projects.

The fund's largest project to date is taking place in the village of Kirinda and is being overseen by AfH Sri Lanka Representative Samir Shah. Five independent Sri Lankan architects are designing and building the community and civic buildings. These buildings are set to include the rebabilitation of the Temple Square including shops and pilgrims resting areas (Ambalamas), the towns Civic Building, a library/communication center and a public health center. In the longer term we maybe supporting the rebuilding of the schools’ playing fields. The Prime Ministers office has committed to undertake the rebuilding of the town's government structures.

In Pottuvil, Sri Lanka, we are partnering with Relief International on the rebuilding of a small school. In addition the Architecture for Humanity team and architectural designers from Montana State University have been working on an adaptable and scalable housing prototype for the Ampara region, this design was recently awarded by the IDSA-LA chapter in their recent Scientistic International and will be on display in Pasadena and Los Angeles next weekend.

In Tamil Nadu we are looking to partner with LEAD in the Cuddalore and Villupuram Districts. In addition to reconstruction projects the funding may stretch to livelihood and infrastructural rehabilitation.

Finally we are still looking to extend our reach to Indonesia and are talking with two potential partners on school rebuilding in Aceh.

This is serious and real help, going beyond relief and providing a basis for transformative reconstruction. And your help has made it all possible, Worldchangers. Thank you, and well done!

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Naomi Klein makes it sound like most tsunami reconstruction is a scam. Good to hear there's some positive.

Posted by: masticulation on 5 May 05



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