On December 26, 2004, tsunami waves hit the eastern shore of Sri Lanka, curled around the southern tip, ricocheted off India, then crashed back onto the western coast of Sri Lanka. 40,000 people died, 5,000 went missing, and more than 440, 000 were displaced.

Since early 2005 World Renew has worked alongside Sri Lankan communities, helping them rebuild their lives.

In the past three years World Renew established a variety of programs, each offering relief to those who needed it most. After emergency aid responses, temporary shelters were built, educational programs established, and health concerns met. While this happened World Renew worked to find permanent shelters for displaced families.

Through the project life cycle--December 2004 to April 2008--864 homes were built with the help of community owners and government funding. Families were empowered to locate property, purchase land, and build their own houses. As a result, over 4,000 people now have a safe home.

Occurring at the same time were livelihood programs that helped 2,000 people find work, establish small businesses, or renew farming opportunities. By enabling tsunami survivors to become financially independent World Renew helped restore security to their lives.

Though there is still much work to do, families have a renewed sense of hope. Now that health and security have been restored, children are returning to their schools and parents to their jobs. And as fear no longer overshadows their lives, the people of Sri Lanka are smiling again.