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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.

Need for Emotional Healing
(Jan 14)
By Randip Singh of Toronto, UNITED SIKHS Relief Aid Volunteer in South India

Yesterday we came to Cuddalore from Chennai and visited an orphanage. After assessing the situation we noticed that they lacked clothing and footwear, so we supplied them with those items. I met a child about 11 months of age who had lost his mother and whose father has gone insane. His older brother who was about 4 years old was also there.

The Children are hurting and the emotional wounds are fresh. A girl who had lost her parents was crying in front of me. It was a sad situation at the orphanage but it's all good cause its all in God's will.

Today we also went to the village we decided to take care of (Modasal North) and distributed clothing, fruit and water. After talking to them and determining their basic needs we decided to bring some more food. We went to the market with a local person from the village and purchased potatoes, rice, spices, onions etc.

We also walked around the village to see the extensive damage. There was also another organization there who told us that boats and nets would be provided by the government. They also told us that more NGO's will come tomorrow and provide utensils. They government seems to be taking care of their basic needs right now along with other NGO's that have provided some material relief. The place where support is lacking is in emotional counseling. The government and other NGO's are taking care of material items slowly but not victims' emotional support. I feel that UNITED SIKHS should put their resources towards this cause. I suggest teaming up with local Tamil counselors and see if could help them.

The past couple of days I have felt better because we were doing more front line work that needed to be done. I will keep you updated.

In God's Will,
Randip Singh

Project Coordinator's Note - "I just had an opportunity to speak to Randip Singh and Lakhvinder Kaur. They are in high spirits since they are able to help those children emotionally in a direct way. Lakhvinder Kaur is a Social Scientist and a Counselor who has worked with women in children in Nigeria. Randip Singh is a Community Works major in Canada. According to them the children are terrified and have a lot of emotional issues. They don't understand what happened and they are not allowed to release their fear by crying or sharing.Upon receiving Randip Singh's report we at UNITED SIKHS are looking into providing more counseling and emotional support by providing Tamil Counselors and / or translators. Please look for updates in coming days. Please do whatever you can to help."
- Gurmeet Kaur of Atlanta, GA (USA), Project Coordinator for UNITED SIKHS Relief team in South India

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