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flowerproject_20130319(1).jpgThis year marks the 4th anniversary of the end of Civil War that lasted for almost 30 years in Sri Lanka. In the past 2 years, Habitat Japan has built houses, wells and latrines in Mannar prefecture to help the displaced people return and get their lives started in their home communities. The current infrastructure reconstruction includes laying the railroad and roads are symbolic of the country's recovery. However, for the returnees who were forced to be long-term refugees, putting their lives back together is still a challenging task. Habitat Japan has started "the Flower Project" aiming to help wounded returnees find hope for recovery by blooming flowers around their home villages.
flowerproject_20130319(2).jpgThe first project was launched by SHANTI SHANTI AGU ("SHANTI"), one of Habitat Japan's student groups, Campus Chapters from Aoyama Gakuin University. Members of SHANTI visited flower shops in Tokyo to ask for flower donation and started street fundraising. They sent the heartwarming messages to support the residents of Sannar village in Mannar, and finally their wish has come true: The students distributed more than 1,000 flowers to 154 families; 8 per family by the end of this February. All residents lined up with buckets and large plastic bags to receive flowers at Sannar community center.
flowerproject_20130319(3).jpgJayanthi (left) is one of the youth leaders and she said with tears and a big smile, "We have received food and water during the war, but haven't had flower seedlings. I think it is time to overcome the scars of the painful war and bring back peace to our village. I am encouraged to know that there are people who are thinking of us from a country far away."
In addition to flowers, the students are planning to distribute vegetable seeds so that people in Sannar can grow vegetables and their nutrition and living conditions can be improved.
flowerproject_20130319(4).jpgIkuo Hirakawa, a member of SHANTI said, "Our members enjoyed volunteering to join the Global Village program, but we also wanted to continue something for home partners even after we went back to Japan. "Flower Project" gave us the opportunity to continue to support many families from a distance. I am pleased to support people in Sri Lanka with flowers that may encourage them. Please join us to support the families in Sri Lanka at Habitat Japan Youth Program!"
◆Related articles/reports
2013.01.06 Children Learned How To Wash Their Hands
2012.12.18 New Wells, New Lives in Sannar
2012.11.16 Building Latrines in Progress
2012.10.24 Hygiene Management Training at Sannar
2012.10.02 Doors of Hope: 100 Houses Completed (2)
2012.09.20 Latrines and Wells at Refugee Communities
2012.07.17 Doors of Hope : 100 Houses Completed
2012.06.27 Houses of Hopes for Vulnerble Groups
2012.06.11 Tamarind Trees Watch Over Rebuilding of Sri Lanka
2012.05.16 Homeowner Story (2)
2012.05.01 15 New Houses for the Vulnerable Group
2012.04.19 Homeowner Story (1)
2012.03.23 Dedication Ceremony for 70 New Homeowners
2011.10.12 DOORS OF HOPE: 100 Houses in Sri Lanka
2011.07.21 Stepping forward for the Future
2011.07.16 Shelter Kits Supported 1,000 People
2011.06.26 The Reality of Returning Refugees(2)
2011.06.25 The Reality of Returning Refugees
2011.06.18 Building Hope Myself: Sweat Equity in Sri Lanka
2011.05.27 [Staff Letter-1]Is An Elephant Scary !? The Wild life in Sri Lanka
2011.05.20 Reassessment for Upgraded Shelter Kits
2011.05.16 Home Owner Selection to House the Refugees
2011.05.10 Shelter Kits Distribution to Save the Flood Victims
2011.04.18 Habitat Japan to Start Two Humanitarian Reliefs