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South India

{Tsunami "Help Reconstruct South India"

Following the devastating Tsunami in December 2004, the Gerdi Gutperle Foundation brought a very special project into being, using donations and in cooperation with the Bergstraße branch of the German Red Cross. “Help Reconstruct South India”.

 

In December 2004 people living near the area of Kanyakumari, right at the southern tip of India, owned nothing other than their lives. The devastating Tsunami had robbed them of their possessions. The Gerdi Gutperle Foundation, already working the area, immediately sprung into action and began to build a village with 40 houses. The aim was to create a social and economic basis for 40 families, who could then practice a profession dependent on the local fishery, such as craftsman and fishmonger.

On 19 March 2006 40 houses were handed over to the overjoyed fishermen and their families. Together with local people and dignitaries each house was officially opened. The new village is called “Agasthiyar Tottham” (Agasthiyar Garden), in support of the “Gerdie Gutperle Agasthiyar Muni Child Care Centre”, the Gerdi Gutperle Foundation’s main project. Grateful for a second chance, the families have undertaken to contribute a small percentage of the fishery’s profit towards the children’s education.

The President of the German Red Cross, Bergstraße, Matthias Wilkes, as well as the Managing Director, Thomas Schweitzer and the Treasurer, Hartmut Koch were all convinced that the donations had been put to excellent use, when they visited India.


image-wilkesTown Councillor Matthias Wilkes, President of the German Red Cross, Bergstraße, recalled the helpfulness of the German population to mind immediately following the catastrophe and looked to the future ”Today we’re immensely proud and thankful to be able to officially open these homes. I would like to thank everyone for working with us during this very difficult time since December 2004 and I am overjoyed that everyone is now able to look forward positively to the future. You can be absolutely certain that it will give us the utmost pleasure to continue working with you in the future.

 


Managing Director of the German Red Cross, Thomas Schweitzer, appeared confident, „The work already undertaken together with the Gerdi Gutperle Foundation has been very positive. We have been able to fully use the donations made to help so many needy people, without incurring any administrative costs. The donations made could not have been put to a better and more efficient use.”


image-gerdi-gutperleGerdi Gutperle in her opening speech, Gerdi Gutperle wished all the families a happy and settled future and sent the new property owners on their way with the following words, “It’s a material gift that we’re making today. My greatest wish is that you not only see the materialistic side but also the spiritual. May peace and a blessing from above as well as a greater energy accompany all of you here today. Our planet is now so small that we all need to feel more love for one another, as whatever we give today will be returned tomorrow. Enthusiasm is the flame that ignites and lights up our life – our earthly existence, as well as our spiritual.

”With a one-off contribution of € 3,500 (the cost of a house inclusive of the plot of land) we were able to give an entire family a new perspective for the future. But people will continue to need help and reconstruction is not yet complete, with a large number of families still waiting for support.

Thanks to our donators who, on behalf of the Gerdi Gutperle Foundation I would like to thank once again, we have been able to build further 20 houses close to the town of Kanyakumari.

 

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