New Shelter Allows Family to Earn Income Again

Samad and his family

Samad and his family

Samad has lived his whole life in Annal Nagar, a small village in Kinnia on the southern shore of the Trincomalee Harbor.  Despite a two-decades-long civil war, Samad, his wife, and five children had managed to make a living with a small shop near their home.  He served tea and a local bread called ‘rotti’. 

On the morning December 23, 2004, Samad’s work was interrupted by a rush of villagers screaming that a wave was coming.  Soon he and his family were fleeing on foot to high ground eleven miles away.  Although they managed to survive the flooding, the tsunami completely washed away their home and business. 

“We could not take anything when we were running.  We could save our lives but none of our things.  They were all destroyed,” Samad recalls.

Thankful to be alive, Samad and his family waited five days, without so much as a pillow, until the water had receded enough to return to his village.  There he found only ruble and mud.

Samad and his family soon took refuge at a nearby school.  There they shared a tent with three other families.  While they had meager shelter, they had very little else, for five months.



“When we were in the school, we thought that there was nobody to help us. Now I have a transitional shelter from SFL and am able to use this as my shop and residence.”

From his shelter, Samad has started his business again.  To his friends and neighbours, the shop is a welcome relief from the afternoon heat; to him and his family it is a home and a chance to start their lives again.

This is what SFL is all about - rebuilding and restoring the lives of people uprooted by war and natural disaster.  Although there is much rebuilding and healing left to be done in war torn Sri Lanka, SFL has made a big difference already for people like Samad.

PMSJes Alexander-Rowe