A devastating 30-foot wave hit the coast of several Sothern Asian countries, killing nearly 300,000 people. On the tiny island of Sri Lanka alone, 46,000 were killed, a third of which were children.
Asiana Education Development (AED), the name of Child Empowerment International's Asian projects, had been working in Sri Lanka for nearly 10 years when the tsunami hit. Our field staff immediately mobilized into a rapid response team, channeling millions of dollars in international aid and supplies into some of the hardest hit regions of the island.
AED's grueling work in the months following the tsunami included coordinating military relief efforts, bringing in medical teams, gathering and burying the dead, trauma counseling, water purification, setting up refugee camps, and trucking food along impassible roads to stranded survivors.
Twelve thousand orphans were created over night by the wave. AED began to take children without families into Samudra Sri, our first children's home. We now have two children's homes for orphans - providing food, clothes and shelter for over 400 children.