I set up this private aid project to support four families who lost their home, all their possessions, and most importantly their work in the hotel, which was destroyed in the Tsunami of 16 December 2004.

The private donations I collect are transferred directly to the families. The money helps to keep the families going until the hotel is rebuilt and they can get back to work. There is still no sign of the aid promised by the state, such as money, homes, etc.

Berti – Tourist guide who accompanied me and a group of friends on a boat trip on a lake on the day of the Tsunami. Even though the chances were that his wife and children had fallen victim to the disaster at their house on the beach, he only started looking for them after he had taken us to safety with a Sri Lankan family. His house was washed away by the Tsunami, and although his wife and son were safe, his little girl was missing for three days. After looking for three days and nights, he found her alive and well with a local family who had fished her out of the water.

Radja – Beach boy who pulled me onto a bus going inland as we fled from the expected after-wave, reaching safety at the monastery.

Vinetha – Monk at the Buddhist monastery that took me and other escapees in and looked after us.

Nalaka Ranashinge – Former cook in the hotel, who gave me food, drink, blankets and candles until I could get to the airport in the capital.

We owe a debt of gratitude to these special people. We were very lucky to survive the Tsunami in Ahungalla, Sri Lanka, on 26 December 2004, and these people looked after us even though they themselves had lost everything.