Area Tsunami Volunteers Reflect on the Devastation - A Year Later

By: Brad Broders
By: Brad Broders

As the horrific tsunami images flashed on the screen one year ago, Rockford Pastor Dill de Alwis was both concerned and called to action.

"The first thing I remember was seeing those awful pictures on the TV, and then the excitement to do something," de Alwis said.

De Alwis did more than something. Teaming up with the area-based Hope Project, he spearheaded a tsunami relief drive. The dollars rehabbed schools, and rehabbed the hurt of a devastated nation.

"You can rebuild homes, you can rebuild businesses, you can do a lot of rebuilding but you also need to rebuild the psyche of the people," de Alwis said.
Despite the area efforts, de Alwis admits that Sri Lanka is still far from a full recovery.

"The sad part of it is that the people that have got affected by the tsumani are getting very little relief," de Alwis said.
And though most of South Asia was ravaged by Mother Nature, it was also energized by the human spirit, thanks to de Alwis and other volunteers.

"Once you get there and see the resilience of the people, and the tencacity that they have to go on with their lives, all you have to do is give them a little hope," de Alwis said.

A lot of hope sent from the Stateline to Sri Lanka, a small piece of a massive physical and psychological rebuilding project.

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