Tamil Nadu, a province along the East Coast of India suffered more than any other part of the country as result of the 2004 tsunami. Official figures indicate that nearly 8,000 people died, over 3,000 were injured and 123,000 were made homeless in the region but unofficially the number has been estimated much higher.
After hearing of the aid & relief work that we had been doing in Sri Lanka, Epiphany was contacted by Juliet Simson of ‘Helping Hands Trust’ – a Christian charity based in India. Helping Hands was in need of urgent assistance to finance a series of new projects aimed at combating some of the mountainous problems that had been created. A home was to be established for children who had been orphaned by the tsunami, boats and nets were sought to allow people to rebuild their livelihoods, and a child sponsorship programme was underway to provide for some of the world’s poorest children and their families.
Bill Hampson’s visit to the area confirmed that supporting Helping Hands was a very worthy application of our funds. During his trip Bill met families living off a wage of 50p per day, tribal people living in caves and whole communities living without even the most basic water and sanitary systems. Medicines are in very short supply and leprosy is still commonplace. However, despite all this destitution, he found the Helping Hands Trust to be a shining light. The organisation, as with all of our partners, is genuine, hardworking and accountable.
This addition to our projects has brought to our attention some of the most abject poverty that we at Epiphany Trust have ever witnessed. We are now committed to supporting the regeneration of small businesses, re-housing the homeless, childrens education and healthcare for the elderly.
We have actively campaigned for the freedom of children currently in bonded labour through the work of the Peniel Foundation in Chennai.