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From the Field
Relief Workers' Report

GLOBAL SIKHS is an international relief effort to help the victims of the Tsunami in South East Asia. The mission is open to people from all races, religions and nationalities. The mission is a partnership between Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia, a 41-year old Malaysian-based youth organization, UNITED SIKHS, an international non-profit human development NGO, and Waves of Mercy, a group of Langkawi-based sailors. Our mission is to assist the humanitarian relief operations in Aceh, Indonesia, in the most effective manner possible.

GLOBAL SIKHS Aceh Mission Updates
(January 13)
By Darshan Kaur

Doctors Take Over Local Hospital
-- Global Sikhs have set up base in Sabang, Aceh

SABANG, ACEH (Wed): After four days of adventure, negotiations and countless surveys of coastal town on Banda Aceh, the GLOBAL SIKHS relief team has finally set-up Base Camp on Pulau Weh, an island off Banda Aceh.

The group - comprising 10 doctors and 13 other volunteers - have unloaded the food, medical supplies and cooking utensils in Sabang, north of the island.

According to mission spokesperson, Rajsonia Singh, the Mayor of Pulau Weh has graciously offered his office to the relief team to use as a shelter and warehouse to store essential supplies.

"The four doctors (out of nine) from Sabang Hospital have perished in the recent Tsunami disaster," said Rajsonia, adding that several volunteer doctors from the United Nations (UN) will be assisting the Global Sikhs medical personnel to treat the injured and sick victims.

It is learnt that three refugee camps have already been set up to feed some 400 displaced and distraught Acehnese. This figure is expected to rise.

On the supply at hand, the team estimates that the food brought thus far - initially by two yatchs, then beefed up by two cargo vessels - will only last approximately four days, after which they will need to replenish their supply. The mission controllers in Kuala Lumpur are already planning for more vessels to go to Aceh.

Meanwhile, Global Sikhs Director of Operations, Harvinder Singh says that another cargo vessel has departed from Langkawi Island at Wed noon (Jan 12).

Broken Mast, But No Broken Hearts
-- Aceh mission

PULAU WEH, ACEH: The GLOBAL SIKHS humanitarian mission is certainly having its fair share of drama. After 28 hours at sea, from the Straits of Malacca (Jan 7th) to the Indian Ocean, one of the vessels of the Waves of Mercy fleet - Silolona - broke its mast on Tuesday at about 12oon, rendering its sails useless.

"The boat can still move, but on engine only," reported one of the relief team members via satellite phone on Tues (Jan 11) in one of their regular communications with Command Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

"But thank God," he added, "the Indonesian Navy has agreed to help repair it for us." It is understood that it would take approximately two to three days to fix the mast of Sililona.

At present, there was no confirmation as to what caused the damage, but it was probably due to the rough weather. The sea had been very choppy following a cyclone hitting the area.

The 23-member relief volunteer team, on the other hand, are in high spirits and not too worried about the mast as they are busy unloading supplies from the various vessels to commence relief work on the island.

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