ChildFund Work Continues 5 Years after Indian Ocean Tsunami — Part III

by Virginia Sowers
Community Manager

Our three-part series on recovery efforts following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami concludes today with an update from India.

ChildFund India’s tsunami recovery and rehabilitation programs were aimed at protecting children coping with the loss of homes, parents and family members, reports Ilango Balu, child protection specialist in the India National Office.

Working in 35 villages, ChildFund India set up child-centered spaces, where children were given health care, nutrition and other creative activities to provide psychosocial support.

In the past five years, ChildFund India has established support groups for children, adolescent girls and youth, as well as community Child Well-Being Committees. They’ve also provided child-protection training for parents and

Rebuilding fishing boats was critical to helping communities regain their livelihoods.

communities, life-skills training for girls, employment skills training for youth and psychosocial support training for teachers. Resources have also been allocated to economic recovery efforts, such as fishing boat repair, fishing net replacement and small-business startups.

Tsunami recovery efforts by ChildFund and its community partners have focused on sustainability. Ilango estimates that about 75 percent of the people affected by the storm regained normalcy as they received shelter and were able to continue their regular occupations. Yet, 25 percent of the affected population continues to struggle with recovery even five years on.

Many lessons have been learned in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami. ChildFund has recently responded to the typhoons in the Philippines and the earthquake in Sumatra, and we have also begun implementing child-led Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) training in communities where we work.

The goal of DRR training is to further mitigate the vulnerability of children and their families in the face of large-scale or smaller emergencies, by helping children increase their positive coping strategies should a disaster occur.

And, of course, the services ChildFund provides in 31 countries around the world would not be possible without the support of child sponsors, major donors and others who respond to the call with generosity in times of incredible, unforeseen need.

3 Responses to ChildFund Work Continues 5 Years after Indian Ocean Tsunami — Part III

  • To never have to endure such tragedy is a blessing, to be able to help in donations or sponsorship is an honor. Thank you ChildFund for doing so much, with so little….yours is a never ending challenge.

  • I realize that your name has changed,deleting Christian. I oppose charities that try to change a child from their own religion to a heavy dose of Jesus. Don’t you feel it diminishes the religions they may already practice? I am concerned that in your Christian zeal you are stepping on the other religions. It is like some of the urban missions who offer a meal after a big dose of Jesus!

  • We always have — and always will — serve children of all faiths, and welcome people of all faiths as employees, donors, partners and leaders of our organization.

    Although we haven’t made evangelizing a part of our work for more than 30 years, we were founded as a humanitarian organization with a strong faith heritage.

    We selected ChildFund as our name to symbolize that we are part of the ChildFund Alliance — a global force of 12 international development organizations assisting children in 55 countries. Alliance members cooperate to share best practices in child survival, protection and development.

    We believe that the well-being of children leads to the well-being of the world. Thus, we work to empower children to thrive throughout all stages of life so that they may become leaders of enduring change.

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