Wednesday, June 01, 2005

We are Moving.......

Thank you for visiting the Rotary Club of Colombo Regency Tsunami web log.

You can visit the Blog Archives ( please see links on right column) to read about our daily relief activities from the time the devastating tsunami hit Sri Lanka, who our generous donors are and their thoughts, and our long term projects and plans. However given that we have now fully embarked on the Long Term Project Phase of Tsunami relief we will be posting our future project reports, slide shows, finance reports and bi-weekly updates on our official club web site www.rotarycregency.org .

Please visit our club web site www.rotarycregency.org to read about our Tsunami related and other rotary service activities.

Thank you for continuing to visit this site and making it a beacon of hope.

Batticaloa School - an Artists Impression


An artists impression of the School - Onthachchimadam Sri Vinyagar Vidyalaya, Batticaloa.

- Drawn by Rtn. Shanaka of RCCR

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Regency Honoured at Rotary District Assembly


District Governor Lucky Pieris presented a special award at the recently held Rotary District Assembly for creating this Web Log ( Blog site) and helping to create worldwide awareness and support for Tsunami victims

The plaque reads as follows -

"In recognition of outstanding efforts in the establishment of a Website towards worldwide awareness, information and assistance in the aftermath of the Tsunami and its impact and success, this award is presented to the Rotary Club of Colombo Regency for their dedication and commitment." - "Lucky Pieris, District Governor 2004/ 05"

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Finance Report as at 30th April 2005

1. Income & Expense Summary as at 30th April 2005


Total Donations received as at 30th April 2005 Rs. 43,353,763.43

Expenses
1. Dry Rations ------ Rs. 2,139,103.39
2. Medicine ---------Rs. 812,440.40
3. Household Effects ( eg. Pillows, sheets, pots & pans) ----Rs. 2,230,139.50
4. Personal Effects ( eg. Underwear, baby bottles, sarongs etc) ---Rs. 786,967.75
5. Livelihood Projects ( eg. Outboat motors etc) ----Rs. 400,000.00
6. Mobile Toilets ------Rs. 900,000.00
7. Rotary Club of Kandy Metropolitan ----Rs. 48,462.00

Total Expenses on Tsunami Relief-------------Rs. 7,317,113.04

Tsunami Relief Fund Balance ----------------- Rs. 36,036,650.39

Point 5 in the last report was shown as Rs. 900,000. Of this Rs. 500,000 was for Mobile toilets, which has now been shown as a separate expense item. During April a further Rs. 400,000 worth of toilets were ordered.

Point 7 above relates to a donation of US $ 500 made by credit card, that had been accidentally sent to our club, when the donor intended it to be sent to the Rotary Club of Kandy Metropolitan.


2. Administration Income & Expenses

Administration & logistics related expenses have been recovered against interest income earned by placing the available funds in overnight government treasury bills ( securities)

Total Interest Income Earned -----Rs. 561,071.83

Less :Admin, Transport & Logistic Expenses ------- Rs. 108,710.00

Balance Available -------Rs. 452,361.83


**** We promised to give you information regarding how the balance funds for projects would be allocated among our 3 main project areas. At this point we are waiting for estimates of costs on each of the projects. Hopefully we should have this information ( mainly housing and schools) within the next 2 weeks, at which point we can indicate how our existing funds will be allocated and what our funding shortfall is. *****

School Project - Developments...Do Read!

Just to clarify for donor information - the architects that we had been working with thus far were introduced to us through a Rotarian who is a senior member of the Sri Lanka architects association. They were introduced to us on the grounds that their services would be free of charge.

As you would have noted in the letter ( posted below)- the architects quote that their services were free up to the point of the 'preliminary estimates' which were submitted to us on 15th of March.....2 months afterwards they start talking fees.....hmmmm! Why not bring this up in March....one wonders!

Today we just had a meeting with the Rotary District APEX committee for school projects headed by PDG Ravindran ( a real Rotary stalwart) - and told them our predicament. The answer was plain and simple ...... firstly that it was very unprofessional on the part of the architects to hold us to ransom at the last moment, and secondly that Rotary should and will manage this project by getting architects and other professionals who wish to donate their time towards rebuilding this country. Its not a commercial venture for anyone. Of course we will spend on actual costs incurred in consumable items and transport etc but man hours should be a donation.

Luckily for us the Rotarian from the institute of architects was also present at this meeting, and though he argued that architects should charge and no clubs will find free services like the APEX committee expects - it was proven that 23 of the 25 schools have got free services ( funnily enough it was the two clubs that went through the SLIA that got served fees last week......). We understand that to charge is a professional's right, but we are looking for professionals who can afford to donate time and effort.

So the APEX committee came to the rescue - we were immediatley given an architect ( A Rotarian from Millenium City). She has already done one school and is willing to take ours and complete the documents up to tender stage in two weeks ( wow....why didn't we meet her before...!). So as it is we will be meeting with the current architect on Monday and asking the minimum fee to get the site plan released ( we have a copy already - but its only right that we pay basic amounts and sever this relationship properly) and then we get cracking - all this on Monday! So there is a silver lining after all!

Keep your fingers crossed guys....leave the rest up to us!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

The Latest BUZZ on the School Project - An expensive BUZZ!!

The architects have thrown us a real whammy!! It looks like the feeling of love and concern for all is on the down ward trend. Our architects have now come back to us with a ..... bill, before they can release any of the docs relating to the school. Its unfortunate that they maintained humm about it this long, and thereby lead us to believe that there were no costs for their services.

Having said that - a little birdy told me that the architects association have apprently advised all architects working for Tsunami related projects to charge a minimum amount ( which is still pretty high since its a % of the total project cost), and therefore we have got the following letter sent to us ( read below). At this stage we are in a bit of a fix, since we cant start from scratch again.....so we are taking a decision on how we will spend on this at the club meeting today. Anyone have any comments? Post them!

This is the letter from our architects......

"CONSULTANCY SERVICES FOR THE PROPOSED SCHOOL BUILDINGS AT BT/ ONTHACHCHIMADAM SRI VINAYAGAR VIDYALAYA

This has reference to the conversation we had with you, and pleased to
forward you the schedule of services and distribution of fees for each
stage.

As decided by the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects Layout and other drawings
related to the schematic design proposal and preliminary cost estimates were
done on a honorary basis for tsunami projects.

Consultancy services beyond schematic design, will be charged as listed
below. SLIA recommended fee scale for consortium consultancy services
is usually between 8.6 – 8.4 % of the total project cost for projects between
40-60 Million. Our proposed fee scale for this project will be 3% of the
of the total cost. As per the preliminary estimate total building cost is
around 50 Million.

Work stage Fees Rs:
*Architectural designs All plans,Elevations,sections
and drawings. Permit drawings, Setting out
Plans, Detail layout drawings,
Schedule of finishes, Detail
schedule of Doors and windows,
Detailed specifications of Materials
And finishes. ------ Rs. 600,000.00

*Structural engineers
designs and drawings. -------- Rs. 400,000.00

*Electrical Engineers
designs and drawings. ---------- Rs. 100,000.00

*Services drawings for
plumbing. ------- Rs. 50,000.00

*Preparing of Bill of quantities,. ------------Rs. 250,000.00

*Checking of Bills.-------------- Rs.100,000.00

TOTAL ------------------------Rs. 1,500,000.00


Periodic Inspection of works at site @ Rs.10,000/- per visit.(Excluding Transport)


Hoping to receive from you favorably at your earliest."

Saturday, April 30, 2005

School Project - Another Update

The architects have experienced a minor set back since their structural plans were not completed, which resulted in the BOQ not being made available to us yesterday as anticipated. We are in constant contact with the team of architects ( who by the way is providing their services free of charge) to get these documents released asap! We are looking at getting the BOQ somehow sometime next week.........we will keep you posted!

Friday, April 29, 2005

More Mobile Toilets from Regency for Tsunami Survivor Camps

The Intermediate relief committee have had a number of requests for more mobile toilets, which are an essential requirement at any camp.

We have already ordered 100 of which 70 have been despatched ( you may have read previous posts on this subject) and 30 are still in production. Due to the demand we have now placed an order for an additional50 toilets which we hope to produce and despatch to camps as soon as possible

Thursday, April 28, 2005

The School Rebuilding Project - Update

Our architects are now finalising the BOQ for the school - once we get this in to our hands tomorrow we will be handing it over to 2 contractors who will give us a bid for the reconstruction. The most reasonable of the two will be selected as our contractor. But this has to be further ratified by the District School Committee. Our target is to be able to start rebuilding by 15th May.

The Latest from the HOUSING Project

In our earlier blog postings for housing reconstruction (available under the Housing Project link), we stated that we were working with a community called Dutch Bar in Batticaloa to build 100 houses. The Market Research Firm AC Nielsen did a needs assessment study of this community and we also registered with the Urban Development Authority (UDA) to obtain Government land to build the houses. Land was identified in the Thiraimadu area and the Dutch Bar community was happy to move there since it was close to Batticaloa town.

Although an assurance was given by the UDA that the land for constructing 100 houses at Thiraimadu was reserved for our Club we were later informed that the identified land had been given to another NGO.

As a result, we have had to fall back to our plan “B”, which is to construct houses on a privately owned land in a place called Kathankudy donated by a businessman of the area. This business man is well known to a member of our club, and he is donating this land for this recontruction project. Therefore there is no cost in acquiring this land.

Kathankudy is also in the Batticaloa district, but around 6km away from the main town. However, the big disappointment to our club is that we will now not be able to build houses for the Dutch Bar community as they do not wish to move such a distance from their original location.

The land survey done in Kathankudy has revealed that 72 houses could be constructed on that land. We will be able to give more details on this project in our next update.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Regency Tsunami Projects - Finance Report as at 31st March 2005


1. Income & Expense Summary as at 31st March 2005

Total Donations received as at 31st March 2005 - Rs. 41,781,013.93

Total Expenses on Tsunami Relief - Rs. 6,868,651.04

Expenses Summary
1. Dry Rations Rs. 2,139,103.39
2. Medicine Rs. 812,440.40

3. Household Effects ( eg. Pillows, sheets, pots & pans) Rs. 2,230,139.50
4. Personal Effects
( eg. Underwear, baby bottles, sarongs etc) Rs. 786,967.75
5. Livelihood Projects ( eg. Outboat motors etc) Rs. 900,000.00

Tsunami Relief Fund Balance - Rs. 34,912,362.89

Note : The balance fund will be allocated between our 3 long term projects - Housing, School Rebuilding & Livelihoods. We will soon publish a table which will give a clear picture on how we propose to allocate the existing funds, along with our estimated shortfall for projects


2. Administration Income & Expenses


Administration & logistics related expenses have been recovered against interest income earned by placing the available funds in overnight government treasury bills ( securities)


Total Interest Income Earned as at 31st March 2005 - Rs. 364,284.16

Admin, Transport & Logistic Expenses - Rs. 101,751.00

Balance Available for Tsunami Project Admin Costs - Rs.262,533.16


3. Total Pledges Received ( 26th December ’04 to 4th April ‘05)

USD 463,603.-

This estimate value has been calculated by tabulating pledges informed to the club via e mail or phone. This is by no means a conclusive figure, but merely a figurative indication of the support received to our club by concerned individuals, organizations & rotary clubs from around the world. Reasons why this figure does not match the donors list as at 31st March 2005 are;
- some donors are yet to transfer funds or are awaiting instructions from us ( example – matching grant projects)
- some donors may have transferred direct without informing us via e mail
- some donors have given an initial pledge but are currently evaluating our project proposals for specific projects.
- some donors have pledged one value but the received value is less ( mainly due to intermediary bank charges)

Monday, April 04, 2005

100 Mobile Toilets to Relief Camps

Regency has ordered 100 mobile toilets from Lanka Walltiles Ltd. at a cost of Rs.10,000/- each to be sent to relief camps in the East and South. Of these 70 have already been dispatched to the following areas:
Matara 15
Galle 05
Kathankudy 20
Batticaloa 30

Monday, March 21, 2005

School Rebuilding Project - Update

SCHOOL RE-AWAKEN
The school committee visited Batticaloa on 13th March along with the architects and civil engineer.


The Onthanchimadam Sri Vinayagar Vidyalayam is to be re-located since the original location is at risk for any future tsunamis. We visited the site of the old school, and saw the devastation that the tsunami had caused. It was a blessing in disguise that the tsunami hit on a Sunday, if not most if not all the children in this school would have been victims, since this school was located on an arm of land that extended into the sea. A beautiful location when you see it now with the calm waters around it, the school was basically on a beach.

After meeting up with the Principal Mr. Peranantham, we visited the new land that has been allocated by the government. This 4 acre land is yet to be formally handed over to the school, but since it is state land this is not foreseen to be a problem. Currently on this land, UNICEF has set up temporary classroom structures, and provided furniture, and children attend school as usual. They will continue to do so whilst the new structures are being made. At the far end of the land IOM (International Organization for Migration) has set up a refugee camp for approx 350 families. These families will receive housing around the school (there is sufficient free land for this purpose) and their children will continue to school at Sri Vinayagar Vidyalayam.

The architects have drawn up the lay out plans and provided estimates (approx Rs. 64 Million - USD 640,000 - before provision for contingencies and VAT) , which have been submitted to the District School Committee on schedule. In the interim the architects drawing will be completed by Monday (21st) and we hope to have a meeting with the principal this week since he is visiting Colombo.

OUR SECOND SCHOOL - Mankerny RCTM Vidyalaya, Batticaloa
The District School committee has requested our club to be involved with Mankerny RCTM Vidyalaya, Batticaloa. The lead club for this project is the Rotary Club of Pamunugama, our role would be to assist in sourcing donors to assist building this school.

Mankerni Roman Catholic Tamil Missionary School is a Primary and Secondary grade school with classes from Grades 1-10(O Level). It is a Type 2 school. The school has a total of 490 students, 213 male and 277 female. The majority of the students (359) are in the Primary School, which is from Grades 1-5. The school has 12 teachers.

This is one of the schools that was almost totally destroyed by the tsunami and has to be relocated owing to its close proximity to the sea. Negotiations are presently underway with relevant Government officials and the Ministry of Education to identify a suitable block of land on which to relocate the school.

However we estimate that the school building will cost approx Rs. 64 Million ( USD 640k) as Sri Vinaygar, since the student population is the same.

We seek the assistance of any kind donors who would like to help us fund the rebuilding of this school. Please contact Chamila on chamila_w@yahoo.com if you would like any further details of the school or would like to make a pledge/donation towards the school.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Contribution from Wausau Earlybird Rotary Club, WI, USA

Rotarian Russ Erickson, Treasurer Wausau Earlybird RC has been in touch with us since January 2005. They have shown a keenness to contribute towards our school rebuilding project, and have now made a contribution of US$5,225.

Thank you Rtn. Russ and Wausau Earlybird RC for your generosity.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Housing Project Update

The ground work on the Housing Project is being completed, and so far we have:
1. Registered with the relevant authorities as a donor for providing housing for tsunami victims
2. Identified a community that needs their lives and livelihoods rebuilt
3. Conducted a needs assessment on the identified community group, to formulate effective programmes to benefit them in the long term
4. Formed liaisons with project partners (so far with the Rotary Club of Batticaloa, and the local governing bodies such as the Provincial Urban Development Authority)
5. Got land allocated to construct houses for the community identified


At present, we are liaising with the relevant authorities to enter into a formal agreement to obtain the land for construction.

Need Assessment Research Results are in

The results of the Need Assessment study conducted to identify the real needs of the people displaced by the tsunami in the Dutchbar area in Batticaloa reveals that, among other needs, shelter is a prime need. The research findings are instrumental in fine tuning our long term project plans, and to deliver an effective rebuilding programme. The study was conducted by ACNeilsen, a premier international research company in Sri Lanka, and was done free of charge as a part of their contribution towards the Regency relief efforts, and as a part of their Corporate Social Responsibility Programme.

The research team lead by Crystal and Niranjan Boniface worked tirelessly to conduct this comprehensive research, and Regency thanks them for their invaluable inputs.

The research findings revealed that:


  1. of the three areas of needs tested - Housing, Livelihoods and Education, Housing was the most urgently felt need. Majority of the community had brick houses with two bedrooms, living room, kitchen, toilet (detached from the house) and their own well for water.
  2. The group prefer to be relocated from their current location into a safe area, and wish that the entire community will be relocated together.
  3. Prior to tsunami, the people had a relaxed lifestyle, and took pride in being independent. They do not like to be dependent on others now, and want to start livelihoods soon.
  4. Occupations varied from carpentry, tailoring, mechanics, blacksmith and fishing. Some considered to be retrained in a new livelihood as well.
  5. Education is considered a necessity, but they are confident that the facilities would be provided by the state.
  6. Two months after tsunami, and after several shifts from and to temporary shelters, they are beginning to lose hope for a better tomorrow.

Regency intends to bring back the element of hope into their lives, and plan to expedite the relief programmes.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Regency Reconstruction and Rebuilding Projects

With the assistance of our generous contributors, Regency has committed to being a part of the country's major reconstruction and rebuilding plan. We will be reconstructing a village, redevelop livelihoods, reconstruct two schools, and help re-equip 10 more schools.

The objective of Regency in delivering these projects is to upgrade the lives of people affected by the tsunami, for we believe that we can make a positive difference in their lives.

Housing Project

Construction of houses will be the major project undertaken by Regency. We have selected one of the hardest hit villages for this. With the help of the Rotary Club of Batticaloa - the Club closest to the affected area, we have selected a village located in the eastern coast near the city of Batticaloa. This village known as Dutchbar, consists of 263 families, and is of a mixed ethnicity. We have committed to build 100 houses in this village, and plan to start reconstruction using a part of the funds received.

The cost of constructing a house which is at least 500 square feet in size with basic facilities such as electricity and water, and community facilities for the village is estimated to cost SLR 500,000 (USD 5,000).

The community in this village is closely knit, and have requested that they be housed together as far as possible when they are relocated. We have started dialogues with local and foreign Rotary Clubs and other donors, and are hopeful that we will be able to raise funds to finance houses for all these families.

Livelihood Development Project

We will also be redeveloping livelihoods of the villagers in a bid to help them restart their lives as soon as possible. Primarily we will focus on the village of Dutchbar, where our housing project will be. We will be providing them the financial means to restart their livelihoods, and provide them guidance to manage and their businesses at a later stage.

Up to date, we have sponsored:

  • Three outboard motors and other requirements of fishermen co-ordinated by Pottuvil and Arugam Bay Fisherman’s Association - a registered organization for providing relief in the East. The sponsorship was Rs. 500,000
  • Two outboard motors for fishermen in Komari, in the East Coast. The purchase is co-ordinated by Re Build Sri Lanka. Total cost of this is Rs.252,000 at Rs.126,000 per motor.
  • Six Diyakawa Fishing Oru (Boats), fishing gear and 1 Motor Mechanic's Tool Set for fishermen in Payagala, in South-West Coast. The purchase is co-ordinated by the Vanguard Foundation, at a total cost of Rs.271,780. (Cost of each Oruwa is Rs.26,250, and the cost for a set of fishing nets with ropes and floats required for each Oruwa isRs.18,290. The cost of a Tool Kit for a Motor Mechanic is Rs.4,540)

There are several more requests similar to the above that we will consider depending on the funding available.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Danish Rotarians Fund 3 School Re-Building Projects

Rotary District 3220 - Sri Lanka has undertaken the reconstruction of 25 tsunami struck schools. Regency has been given the responsibility of co-ordinating the construction of two schools.
We are pleased to announce that rebuilding of one of these schools - Sri Vinayagar Vidyalaya in Batticaloa, will be funded by Rotary Denmark. A four-member delegation from Denmark visited Sri Lanka, and visited Jaffna, Trincomalee, and Batticaloa. They took part in some of the relief work, and gained first hand experience of the situation in these areas. The team signed a Memorandum of Understanding to sponsor the construction of three schools.
The three schools sponsored by Rotary Denmark are: Kudaththanai Karaiyoor in Jaffna, Thamaraivil Al-Rawla in Trincomalee and Sri Vinayagar Vidyalaya in Batticaloa. These schools were selected jointly by the Apex Committee and the visiting team.
Please refer to
Rotary Sri Lanka for more information on the visiting Rotarians from Denmark.
Thank you Rotary Denmark – your generosity will long be remembered by a grateful nation.

School Rebuilding Project

Regency will assist the Sri Lanka Rotary District in rebuilding two schools. We have been appointed as the Lead Club for rebuilding Onthachchimadam Sri Vinayagar Vidyalayam, Kaluwanchikudday, Batticaloa. The school was visited by President Mario and was found to be in ruins, with only one building standing. All other facilities of the school had been washed away.
Subsequent to this visit, it was found that the Government has identified this school for relocation since it was within the 200 metre coastal line. Land has already been identified and handed over to the Principal of the school. We are awaiting an official letter from the Provincial Council confirming the hand over of the land. Reconstruction of this school will be funded by Rotary Denmark. [Read more on Rotary Denmark involvement]


The school has approximately 500 children from grades 1 to 10. Currently the Principal has set up temporary sheds in this land and is conducting classes.

Rtn Chamila and Rtn Gehan, who are members of the school project committee, are scheduled to visit Batticaloa next week to meet with the Principal and Zonal Education Director to get specific feedback on their requirements, since we also understand that the school is now to be expanded to house Advanced Level students. ( i.e. up to grade 12). Once this is done, we will work with the Rotary District Co-ordinator to obtain architectural designs and estimates.

The estimates will be forwarded to the Rotary District by the 15th of March. They in turn will evaluate costs and advise us if we are to go ahead. Construction will commence in April.

In addition to this school, the Rotary School Re-Awaken committee is in the process of allocating a second school - also in Batticaloa, for us to work on as an Associate Club with the Rotary Club of Pamunugama. We will get details of the second school over the course of the next few days.

The estimated cost of rebuilding 2 schools is approximately LKR 75 Million ( USD 750,000). This includes building and equipment such as computers, library, water and sanitation etc.

Project Chair - Rtn. Chamila Wickramasinghe
e-mail:
chamila_w@yahoo.com
Phone: +94 777 364618

Monday, February 28, 2005

Rotary Club of Venice-Nokomis Strengthens Regency Relief Fund

We have surprises everyday. The note below was received on February 24th accompanying a generous contribution:

Dear Rotarian Mario Perumal:
Our Rotary Club is very impressed with the work you and your fellow Rotarians are doing to assist your tsunami victims. We trust this $29,350 will provide a boost to assist your Rotary Club in their efforts.

Yours in Rotary,
George Carpenter International Service Chairman
Rotary Club of Venice-Nokomis, Florida
Venice, Florida.

This contribution will more than boost our relief fund position, and will finance the construction of 6 houses in our planned village of 263 families. Regency is immensely grateful to Venice-Nokomis for the effort taken in raising the funds, and the confidence placed in us.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Experience of Volunteers from Napa Valley, California

Joe Dacanay and Caroline Upton from Napa Valley contacted Regency after reading this weblog. They showed up in Colombo with printouts from the web site, medicines for the tsunami victims, cash from three Napa Rotary clubs, the Calistoga Rotary Club, Queen of the Valley Hospital, the Napa Valley Register, the Napa County Sheriff's Search and Rescue and many private donors to buy more items required. They were fully prepared to camp out in the affected areas, and brought along their camping gear completed with canned food, water purifiers etc., to face any difficult situation. Please read their story on napanews.com and St Helena Star.

Regency thanks Joe and Caroline again for their true Rotary spirit of "Service above Self", and awaits their return.

Contribution from Rotary Club of Newtown, Pennsylvania, USA

We have got the following inspiring note from Pennsylvania:
"Within the next couple days we will have transferred to the account that you indicated a sum of USD 5,000. These monies will have been wired by our club treasurer Mr. Robert Carter. Please acknowledge the receipt of same and how you are intending to use these funds.
Our primary and secondary schools are also having fund raising projects. We give these funds freely and know you will use them in the best ways possible.
Please keep in touch.
Yours in Rotary,
Howard A. Leister, M.D.
President elect, The Rotary Club of Newtown, Pa., U.S.A.
"
Thank you R C - Newtown.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Acknowledgment of Contributors

When this weblog was created the day after tsunami tore coastal Sri Lanka, we did not expect such generous and considerate offers of assistance as we got to pour in our way from all over the world. Assistance came in the form of cash, skilled volunteers, medicines, food, water purification systems and temporary shelter.
Up to now we have got pledges amounting to UDS 424,500, and a listing of funds realized at the bank is published at
www.rotarycregency.org/donors.htm

Regency is gratful to each and everyone who helped us in various forms, and sent encouraging messages. Without their help, we could not have reached out to so many people as we did with immediate relief supplies, and now with our plans to participate in Sri Lanka's major reconstruction projects.

Friday, February 25, 2005

"Waves of Hope" - two months after tsunami

The fundraiser-"Waves of Hope", organized by the Rotary and the Rotaract Clubs of Toronto - Don Valley is scheduled for February 26th. Funds will be raised through a silent auction to benefit the tsunami affected children in Sri Lanka.

The event is scheduled for Saturday, February 26 starting at 6:00 PM at - Ramada Hotel and Conference Centre, Yorkland Ballroom, 185 Yorkland Blvd, Toronto.

For event details, please contact Rtr Chanel Choi, President, Rotaract Club of Toronto - Don Valley at e-mail -
chanel_choi@yahoo.com

Regency thanks the Rotaractors and Rotarians of Toronto - Don Valley for their support.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Contribution from Eastern Connecticut State University, USA

Eastern Connecticut State University, USA was home to several Regency members during their undergraduate studies. We left the campus over 12 years ago, but kept in touch with the faculty. When the tsunami hit Sri Lanka, they were one of the earliest to write to us. Subsequently they contributed a sum of USD 1,384 towards our relief activities with the accompanying note-
"Please know that our thoughts are with you, other Eastern alumni and your fellow Sri Lankans who have been impacted directly or otherwise by this disaster. We hope that this contribution will assist in the relief efforts.... "
Regency thanks the faculty, students and the staff of Eastern for their thoughtful contribution.
- Tharanga Gunaratne.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Dental Health Camp in Trincomalee

A special dental health camp was held at Kuchchaveli Rural Hospital in Trincomalee on February 13th. Nearly 150 tsunami affected people including children who are in temporary camps were treated by the team of 27 Doctors lead by the Head of the Pediatric Dentistry of the Paradeniya Unniversity, Past District Governor Dr. V. Vijayakumaran. The camp was sponsored by Regency.

The dental camp was appreciated by the people, as dental care is not available in this area, and they have to travel approximately 40km for treatment.

Zagreb Open Tennis Tournament in support of Regency's Schools Project

The tournament was held on February 12th successfully, and Rotarian Tomislav Maravic sent us the following message:

Dear friends,
We had our first International Tennis Fellowship of Rotarians (ITFR) Tournament on Saturday and it was a great success.

(Text removed) ...... we'll transfer a total of $10,000 to Sri Lanka. That money will be used to rebuild one kindergarten. That will be our second donation to Sri Lanka (we have already sent $5,000 in December), and I hope we'll continue to help (at the moment we have 10 members from Sri Lanka)

(Text removed. Please visit the web site -
http://itfr.mit-software.hr for infomation of the tournament, and photos) We can all be proud of that and I want to thank to all of you for the support and help which made it possible.

Yours in Rotary
Tomislav Maravic, ITFR Chairman

Regency thanks Rtn Tomislav, ITFR, members of Rotary Clubs - Zagreb Centar, Zagreb and Hvar, the players and guests who participated in the tournament to raise funds for our schools project.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Housing and School Reconstruction Projects

A group of Regency members consisting of President Mario, Altaf and Thilal visited Batticaloa to inspect the site for the housing project and to meet with the project partners, authorities and the people to be resettled. The magnitude of the distraction is evident from the photographs.



The group also inspected the destroyed school to be reconstructed. The photographs portray the intensity of the damage to buildings and facilities of the school.



The research team from ACNeilsen resumed the need analysis study to assess and understand the actual needs of the people we will be serving. The team engaged in focused group discussions tirelessly. Their report will be available by end February, and we will consider these findings when finalizing the project proposals.

Revisiting Batticaloa

A group of Regency members consisting of President Mario, Altaf and Thilal visited Batticaloa on February 12th to inspect the site for the housing and the school reconstruction projects.

During the visit, the group distributed stoves, cooking utensils, biscuits, chocolates and toys to those in temporary shelters along the main road in Kalawanchikudy. The toys were sent from donors in Australia. Biscuits and chocolates were distributed at two camps (Dutch Bar camp and the Rotary camp run by RC Batticaloa.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Restarting Livelihood of Fisherman in Pottuvil

A sum Rs. 500,000 was channelled through Regency to purchase outboard motors to revive the livelihood of fisherman in Pottuvil. The relief activities for these fishermen are overseen by the Pottuvil and Arugam Bay Fisherman’s Association, a registered organization for providing relief. The Association was initiated by Charlie Anderson, a British national who was holidaying in Sri Lanka at the time of the disaster. He decided to stay on to help with relief efforts.

Outboard motors had been an urgent need to revive the disrupted livelihoods of fisherman. Hence, Charlie made a request through Joe Dacanay and Caroline Upton of Rotary Club of Napa Valley in California, who were volunteering in Pottuvil for these items. Napa Valley Club contributed US$5,000 (approx Rs.500,000) to our relief efforts, and this was in turn channelled towards the purchase of the outboard motors. Rotary contribution towards fulfilling the total requirement of 5 outboard motors at a cost of Rs. 135,000 each was 75%. Considering that each boat that goes out to sea will carry 4 to 5 persons, it is hoped that at least 20-25 families have been given the opportunity to start earning an income once again.

Regency thanks Joe and Caroline and the Rotary Club of Napa Valley for their contribution.
Further information on Joe and Caroline's visit is at
http://www.napasar.org/tsunami.htm

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Have a Heart for Sri Lanka – an online fundraiser

An on-line fundraiser to benefit the affected people of Sri Lanka in the post tsunami times was launched by the voluntary oranization - Feast2Feed, an affiliate of TeleFood, an anti-hunger campaign of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The funds raised will be channelled through TeleFood’s programes in Sri Lanka to fund self-help small-scale projects. For more information on this fundraiser, visit - www.haveaheartonline.org

Programmes of Telefood has changed the lives of many hunger-struck regions, having implemented 1,750 projects in 124 countries. More information on Telefood is available at -
www.fao.org/Food/english/index.html.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Waves of Hope - Fundraiser in Toronto

The Rotaract Club and the Rotary Club of Toronto - Don Valley will be presenting "Waves of Hope" a fundraiser to benefit the affected children in Sri Lanka. The event scheduled for Saturday, February 26 starting at 6:00 PM will be held at - Ramada Hotel and Conference Centre, Yorkland Ballroom, 185 Yorkland Blvd, Toronto.

Programme consists of Cocktails, Dinner, and a Silent Auction. For event details, please contact
tdv_rotaract@yahoo.ca
Rtr Chanel Choi, President, Rotaract Club of Toronto - Don Valley. e-mail -
chanel_choi@yahoo.com

Regency thanks the Rotaractors and Rotarians of Toronto - Don Valley for their support.

Changes in blog responsibility

This is Harsha; the person who was responsible for updating the blog up to now. I will be away for a few weeks on work and thought it would be a good time to handover the responsibility to someone else. So, Tharanga will take over from me.

I think our blog made a significant impact in our efforts to raise funds and at the same time in being transparent in what we were doing with the funds collected. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who contributed to making the blog a success; that includes those who sent me stories and pictures and the tens of thousands who visited our site. Special thanks to Indrajit Samarajiva who introduced us to blogging in November!

I apologise for being a nuisance to some by asking for photos and acknowledgements to be posted on the site. I hope we will be able to update the remaining gaps soon.

Cheers,
Harsha de Silva

Thank you, City of Pittsburg, Kansas

ananda
Ananda Jayawardhana, associate prof of mathematics at Pittsburg 
State
University
in Kansas, spearheaded the fund raising campaign.
He extends his heartfelt appreciation to
Pittsburg State University
faculty, staff, students, retired faculty and staff, and the
Pittsburg
community and their friends and relatives for their kind donations
to this project.
He also extends his deepest appreciation to the
members of
Pittsburg Sunrise Rotary Club for their contributions,
fund raising efforts, and
encouragement. Special thanks to President
Anissa Lomshek, Treasurer
Vicki Dennett, and executive committee
members.
Pittsburg Sunrise Rotary Club has already raised more than USD 5000
for the Sri Vinayagar Vidyalaya project. It wishes all the best to the

Colombo
Regency Rotary Club.

Rebecca wants to help Read Write Sri Lanka

Rebecca Borjs, the 11 year old girl who made the headlines in Sri Lankan news papers with her generous donation of USD 5.00 is all excited to help raise funds and backpacks for Read Write Sri Lanka [RWSL], to help our children continue with their education. Imalka Senadhira of RWSL wrote a thank you letter to Rebecca, as soon as she saw the article in the newspaper. [see the RW SL link for the Daily Mirror stories]

Her letter said, "I was delighted to see your letter and to hear about your wonderful contribution, in the Sri Lanka newspapers. You made the headlines! What a special girl ...I think large hearted girls like you, will enjoy reading about the work I am doing to help the children of Sri Lanka. I have a 13 year old daughter, and she helps me with most of the work... Thank you once again for your generous contribution, it will help our people so much, and has already made every Sri Lankan very happy today."

Imalka had a call from Rebecca's mother soon after she received the letter and said how excited they all were to receive it! She received the letter in school and was able to read in front of her whole class! She now, wants to get her school involved in RWSL and who knows? She might be in Sri Lanka to distribute supplies personally!

Well done Rebecca.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

RCCR is a good example...

This month's LT [Leisure Times] has an intersting story that referes to us as a "fully local example" of how a ordinary people made a difference in helping the tsunami victims using simple technology. Read the story in the LT in the "united we stand" piece.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Zagreb Open Tennis in support of our school project

Rotarian Tomislav Maravic, a good friend of our incoming President Shantha has been one of our continuous supporters. He has been raising and transferring funds for the relief efforts almost from day one.

Tomislav, who is the President of ITFR [International Tennis Fellowship of Rotarians] had over the last few weeks been busy organizing the ITFR Tournament: Zagreb Open 2005. It is scheduled for the 12 February. Sign in starts at 9:00 AM on at Tenis Dvorana Podsused in Zagreb, Croatia. For more details please go to the ITFR site.

The tournament has already attracted more then 40 players and more then 50 Rotarians on site. It is expected to raise more then USD 3,000 for the tsunami victims in
Sri Lanka and three Rotary clubs [Zagreb Centar, Zagreb and Hvar] have already collected around USD 7,000 and they plan to add the same to the tournament proceeds for our school project in Sri Lanka.

Thank you to Tomislav and all your colleagues for your immense support. It is appreciated.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

We finally get a school to rebuild

Chamila, who is our lead on the school project has sent this note:


"Re-building What Cannot be Destroyed: Rotary School AID
The Rotary District (RID 3220) has been given the task of rebuilding

22 schools in
Sri Lanka. These schools have in turn been allocated to
clubs in the district. The Rotary Club of Colombo Regency has been
chosen as a lead club and given the duty of reconstructing
Sri Vinayagar Vidyalaya in the Batticaloa
Kaluwanchikudy
District
. It has 468 students.

The time line set by the district requires bill of quantities to

be furnished by the 15th of February and contract award by 1st March.
Foundation laying ceremonies are to be held by at least 15th March,
and completion of schools by at least 1st Dec ( so that it can be
formally handed over to the Ministry of Education).

The final objective is not only to build the school, but to
equip it at
a standard far better than it was prior to the
Tsunami
."

Cuddles for our children all the way from Alaska!

This is a letter Imalka from our Read Write Sri Lanka project got the other day with a whole lot of cuddles for our displaced kids. The gifts will arrive in the first consignment of the current phase of the project.

"I am writing to you from Badger Road Elementary, North Pole, Alaska. In response to the recent tsunami disaster our entire school established a gift fund raiser for orphan children in Sri Lanka. Students came up with the idea to bring in a new stuffed animal and write a brief note to attach to each animal to send to affected children. The out-pouring of generosity and concern expressed by our students has been amazing. The tsunami disaster has had a very emotional impact on our students and they were excited about doing their part to help other children."

Mrs Billie Murdoch
Badger Road Elementary School, North Pole, Alaska

Thank you Mrs Murdoch and all the kids for keeping our world a small place.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Intermediate relief programme

President Mario will soon announce the intermediate programme.

In the meantime I have updated the expenditure of USD 13,868 on the programme thus far. Responsibility for decisions on what to purchase [based on requests] lie with the intermediate relief committee consisting of Rotarians Bary, Altaf and President Mario. Distribution is being undertaken by Rotarians or trusted friends, who's names have been provided in the updates.

See posts below for the items purchased and distributed by area.

Update of intermediate item distributions: Moratuwa

Items
Granted
Cost, LKR Cost, USD
Lad underwear
750 pcs
18,000 182
Mats
100 pcs
13,000 131
Towels
200 pcs


Milk food
250 packs
28,750 290




59,750 604
Responsibility for distribution: Rotarian Rasin
Responsibility at RCCR: Bary Jaleel [Towels donated from HongKong]

Update of intermediate item distributions: Galle

Items
Granted
Cost, LKR Cost, USD
Mats
300
39,000 394
Aluminium kettles
300
69,000 697
Pillows
300
45,000 455
Kerosine stoves
300
262,500 2,652
Bed sheets
300
37,500 379
Aluminium jug
300
22,500 227
School bag
300
90,000 909
Underwear
300
11,550 117
Underwear men
300
15,000 152
Underskirts
150
7,500 76




599,550 6,056

Responsible for distribution: Mrs Junaid
Responsible at RCCR: Bary Jaleel. Kerosene stoves and school bags not yet provided.

Update of intermediate item distributions: Akkaraipattu

Items
Granted
Cost, LKR Cost, USD
Kerosene cookers
72 pcs
63,000 636
Hurricane lanterns
50 pcs
16,750 169
Mosquito nets
50 pcs
20,000 202
Toilets
20
130,000 1,313




229,750 2,321

Responsibility for Distribution: Mr Rajindra
Responsibility at RCCR: Bary Jaleel [Toilets -portable- not yet provided].