Local Volunteers React to Indonesian Earthquake

By: Brad Broders
By: Brad Broders

For a region still mourning and in a state of physical and emotional rebuilding, Sunday's earthquake in Indonesia again shook the spirit of southeastern Asia.

It's a region one local volunteer saw up close and personal. Dr. Helen Laib, president of Rockford's Circle of Love Foundation, spent two and a half weeks in Sri Lanka this February.

December's tsunami caused thousands to suffer from post traumatic stress disorder after the disaster killed nearly 150,000 people.

Laib believes it's important for foreign volunteers to reach out and connect with Indonesians affected by the earthquake who are still in a state of shock three months later.

"People are afraid to rebuild because they fear another tsunami will come and wipe everything out. I know while we were there, there were some false reports of tsunamis coming, which resulted in panic," Laib said.

Dr. Laib and the seven volunteers that traveled to Sri Lanka in February brought nearly 40 water purification systems. Each purification system allows about 500 Sri Lankans to have clean, healthy drinking water. It's a local gift that keeps on giving around the globe.

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