Wednesday, December 29, 2004

*Urgent appeal for Tidal Wave disaster*

Originally uploaded by Pip Wilson.

This is a letter from a friend who is also the CEO of the YMCA working Internationally ...... can you help?

*Urgent appeal for Tidal Wave disaster*

I am writing to ask you to give immediate help to families whose
lives are in danger following the terrible tidal wave that has struck
so much of Asia.

We have all been shocked by the television pictures of this tragedy.
People had no time to be afraid. The giant wall of water that
overwhelmed so many coastal areas came without warning, swept
thousands to their deaths, and destroyed countless homes and
livelihoods. In Sri Lanka alone, more than a million people have been
left homeless, and for those who have survived there is a desperate
need for food, clean water and shelter.

In India, we have reports from one region of more than two thousand
fishermen's huts being destroyed by the tidal wave that struck during
the night while families were sleeping and while fishermen were
returning home with their night's catch. All that is left is miles of
coastline strewn with the wreckage of boats and homes, and bodies
being washed ashore.

We cannot imagine the shock and bewilderment that so many thousands
of people are experiencing. Hundreds of thousands of people suddenly
have nothing. Many more people could die if they do not receive help
in the coming days and weeks.

Reports are coming in from YMCAs in the region who are responding to
the crisis. In Sri Lanka, local YMCAs are already distributing food to
families who have lost everything. Some YMCA workers and volunteers
have lost family members in the tragedy - funerals are taking place
as I write this - but they are working to reach and bring help to
those who need it.

We need to respond to their strength and courage by giving them as
much support as we can.

We need to send money quickly to help buy food, medicine and shelter
As the weeks and months pass, many thousands of people will need help
to rebuild their homes and their lives We must do all we can to help
in the rebuilding of communities too.

Because Y Care International works through local YMCAs, we are able
to respond immediately to the crisis. Help is being given now. But we
need money to pay for the food and shelter that is so desperately

Y Care International has launched an emergency appeal, and I am
writing to ask if your YMCA will join with us to respond to the
crisis by collecting money and making a donation.

Please display posters where you can and arrange for collections. We
will publish more information on the website - - as
further reports arrive from YMCA colleagues in Asia.

Our page dedicated to the disaster and how to repond can be found by
clicking here.

With good wishes,

Yours sincerely,

Chris Roles

Y Care International
Chief Executive