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E-mail from CAPAsia Director Nihal Perera

Nihal Perera

March 7, 2005

Dear All,

Thanks to all of you who responded to my message about the tsunami relief; the money you contributed has been sent to Sri Lanka though the Lions Club. We have gone much further: The CapAsia group (the south Asia-based field study that I direct) is now in  Sri Lanka. We are involved in (leading in many ways) the construction of 32 houses for a fishing village that was totally destroyed by the tsunami. The construction began today (Sunday) at an auspicious time. Most probably, this is the first project of this nature in Sri Lanka, and it is amazing.

With our studentswe've met with the community who are in temporary facilities, created a small children's play area, played with children and adults, made very close connections with the community, got the community involved in the building of their new community, staked out a building and are ready for the big construction to begin. My colleague  Wes Janz, co-director of CapAsia, joined us March 26, and a third faculty member, Tim Gray,  joined us last night. We have been very well received by the community and various governmental and non-governmental organizations in the region.

Even without a tsunami, this is a big and innovative project for us at Ball State to undertake. We are making a big difference in the lives of these people  and thought it would be good to take a few minutes off my work time to let you know. Just before we arrived in Sri Lanka, we made some development proposals to a fishing village in northwestern India, Veraval. By getting the community involved, we created a big difference in that city. There is much to be done in Sri Lanka, and we are glad to be here.

Take care,

Nihal Perera
Director CapAsia