From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
[ENS] Episcopalians offer trauma counseling in Sri Lanka,
"Matthew Davies" <email@example.com>
Fri, 4 Mar 2005 13:49:58 -0500
Daybook, from Episcopal News Service
Thursday, February 10, 2005 -- People of Purpose
New Hampshire couple bound for Sri Lanka through ERD; Manhattan church
leader reflects on observations in India
Episcopal Relief and Development is providing access to counseling
for Sri Lankans recovering after the tsunami. Many survivors lost family
members and remain traumatized by the disaster.
ERD is working with the Diocese of Colombo to coordinate a trauma stress
relief and rehabilitation program for people in need of counseling.
Baughan, a physician, and his wife Jennifer White-Baughan, a clinical
psychologist trained in the field of trauma, will be stationed in Sri
for three months. There, they will train local counselors, educators,
social service workers on post traumatic stress disorder methods and
The Baughans are Episcopalians from the Diocese of New Hampshire.
White-Baughan is a consultant with the Carroll County Attorney's Office
New Hampshire, where she has specialized in domestic violence and child
abuse counseling. David Baughan has designed curricula to train
practice in underserved areas and consulted with the University of Costa
Rica on the development of their family medicine residency program.
As a couple they have presented a culturally appropriate and innovative
intervention program on PTSD in Cambodian refugees to the UN High
Commissioner for Refugees and Border Relief Operations in Bangkok.
"Many people in communities throughout the diocese are in need of
counseling," said the Rt. Rev. Duleep de Chickera. "'The sea that
us took everything from us,'" said Bishop Chickera, quoting a local
fisherman. "This comment from a fisherman applies to people too. Both
the potential for nourishment and destruction."
Current updates on South Asia relief are posted regularly on-line at
To help families rebuild after the devastating earthquake and tsunamis
South Asia, donors are invited to contribute to the South Asia Relief
in the Ways to Give section of http://www.er-d.org/ or call
ext. 5129. Gifts can be mailed to: Episcopal Relief and Development,
Asia Relief Fund, PO Box 12043, Newark, NJ 07101.
Episcopal Relief and Development, an independent 501 C3 organization,
lives and builds hope in communities around the world. We provide
assistance in times of disaster. When the immediate crisis is over, we
rebuild devastated communities and offer long-term solutions in the
food security, health care, and HIV/AIDS.
- - - - -
In the Episcopal Diocese of New York Yvonne O'Neal, chairperson of the
dioceses Congregational Life and Mission Commission and a member of Holy
Trinity Episcopal Church in Manhattan, recently returned from India as
of a diocesan delegation. In "A Witness to the Tsunami" she shared what
saw in the affected regions. This article is reprinted with permission
January/February 2005 issue of The Episcopal New Yorker, Diocese of New
York, Neva Rae Fox, communications director.
A Witness to the Tsunami
By Yvonne O'Neal
When I visited Kilpaukkam on Thursday, January 20, the sea was still
with anger, it seemed. On the shores were the broken fishing boats,
catamarans and ruined nets. The fisher folk were standing by with dazed
looks, wondering when they could go back to earning a living at the only
they know how to do. Perhaps some were mourning a loved one. There was
rubble everywhere. The children played among the rubble, and were eager
have their photographs taken.
A curious and much photographed object on the beach was said to come all
way from Thailand. Nearby, government officials met with the people to
out about their concerns and their needs. Government aid is very
consisting of Rs 4000 (rupees) ($90.90), rice and a few toys per family.
Private foundations and NGOs are much more generous; they give
the family needs. UNICEF water tanks are seen throughout villages,
clean drinking water.
I saw the utter sadness in the eyes of a mother who lost her five-year
daughter. The child was found dead in the ruins of the house. I could
so insensitive as to take a photograph of this grieving mother, but she
etched in my memory forever.
The day before, on Tuesday the 19, we visited the shores of Budhu
Kuppam, a small fishing village of 420 families. Over half the houses of
village were destroyed completely. All the contents of the remaining
were lost. Six people died in this village. We talked to one man who was
able to rescue two of his brother's children, but blames himself for the
other two that perished.
There is sadness and despair everywhere. So many people are homeless.
the men are now unemployed because their boats and nets have been
However, there are three colorful new boats on the beach, donated by
Americans and bearing the names of the donors, including Bergen County,
The Hope Foundation is the name we heard over and over again, and these
boats came via this organization. Another prominent NGO in the relief
efforts is World Vision. The NGOs are busy providing temporary housing,
mainly tents, and will provide permanent housing later on. Of course,
own Episcopal Relief and Development has been quietly helping out the
nations that suffered in this disaster.
Prof. J. Samuel Cornelius, honorary director of the Department of
Relations, Diocese of Madras, was our host and guide. Also in the party
Budhu Pattinam Kuppam was the delegation from the Diocese of Colombo,
Lanka to the Madras Diocesan Council 2005, the Rev. Joseph. S. Charles,
Monica Charles, and the Ven. Dhiloraj Canagasabey, Archdeacon of Nuware
Eliya. The area of the Diocese of Colombo was hit hard by the tsunami.
Archdeacon Canagasabey told of the massive death, destruction and
The ocean raged with such intensity that it brought forth from its
all the dirt and debris, which caused corpses to decay in less than 24
For miles and miles along the beaches of Chengalpattu one sees the
tents that have been set up to provide shelter for the homeless. Life
on. The children play. Some walk miles and miles to get to school.
The Diocese of Madras, headed the Rt. Rev. Dr. V. Devasahayam, is
to the government for adoption of two or three villages for
programs in the building of roads, houses, etc. The diocese sprang to
action immediately after the tragedy and called an emergency meeting on
In his Seaquake Tragedy Appeal letter, Bishop Devasahayam summed up the
situation succinctly. "Death, destruction and destitution in an
large scale was everywhere, and the people who had only a little before
seaquake and the tidal wave, have even less now after the devastation."
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