During my travels through Sri Lanka, I was made aware of a water problem in a resettlement village in the Mullaitivu District. This region was greatly damaged during the war, and people build temporary shelters and living quarters. Most of the houses are made with a coconut-leaf thatched or tin-sheet roof with plastic tarps for walls. As you can imagine, the living conditions are very poor. Among these resettlers, there are ten families living in the far end of this large village where there are no water facilities. They must walk long distances to obtain water for their daily use.

PWe visited the families, and they explained to us that there was underground water in the area but it required drilling at least 100 feet deep to reach. We took on the challenge and brought machines from miles away and began to drill the well. Thankfully, we reached water at a depth of 85 feet.

The family and friends of one of my students in the state of Michigan held a bake sale and collected the funds necessary for the drilling of the well. Another student’s family and friends in California held a garage sale and raised funds to build the hand pump. Thus, the kindness of two families living in the USA provided access to life giving water for at least ten families in great need on the other side of the world. I think it is simply beautiful that the children in these American families were involved in the fundraising effort. Encouraging participation in these altruistic projects is one of the best ways to teach our children the meaning of love, caring and sharing. My Gurudeva always said, “Think Globally and Act Locally.” Taking action here, today… can impact people in a positive way halfway around the world.

My sincere thanks go to the two families and their friends in the US, as well as Manitha Neyam Trust and everyone who helped us to accomplished this worthy project.

In Peace,
Rishi Thondunathan