For years, Champika and Sarath ran a small grocery store in their village and depended on the income from that shop for their daily survival. In early 2011, however, heavy monsoon rains caused disastrous flooding and landslides throughout the country. The Disanayaka family’s shop and merchandise washed away, leaving the family of five with no source of income and few alternatives for the future.
They were not alone. Sri Lanka, a country of 20 million people, depends on consistent monsoon rains as part of the country’s regular agricultural cycles. In December 2010, however, the monsoon rains were heavier than normal and by March 2011, flooding and landslides had displaced close to 1.3 million people. Crops and businesses were wiped out. Thousands of families – including the Disanayaka family -- became dependent on assistance from the government and aid organizations.
World Renew responded. In April 2011, it partnered with the Sri Lankan office of ZOA International, a Netherlands-based Christian relief agency, to provide assistance to flood-affected people and support their efforts to restart their livelihoods. The project included agricultural supplies, livestock and other forms of assistance for small businesses.
Champika and Sarath were selected to receive some of this support. ZOA staff provided the family with training on how to develop sales and profit calculations, how to carry out a market analysis, and other skills necessary for running a small business. They also provided goods to allow the Disanayaka’s to restock their store shelves and re-open their shop.
“[World Renew and ZOA] not only provided us with this shop but also gave us training in how to run the shop more profitably. Now the profit which comes from the shop is sufficient to manage our daily needs. In fact we are looking forward to improve the shop in future. For this great help we are really grateful,” said Champika.
The disaster response project in Sri Lanka ran from April 2011 to April 2012 and reached 745 families, 475 of which received direct livelihood support, 225 received repairs to their severely damaged homes, and 45 received new homes to replace those destroyed by the flood. In addition, 152 school children were supported with shoes and socks and many more families benefited from the repair of a local well and other infrastructure construction in the community.
World Renew thanks the many donors that contributed to the success of this project and spread God’s mercy to flood-affected families in Sri Lanka.