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Many people know about the tsunami that hit Sri Lanka in 2004. But few people know that today, while still recovering from the aftermath of the tsunami, it is also saddled with the atrocities of civil war. The refugees in Trincomalee and the people in Batticaloa are still waiting for the promised help and support. The place that was once called home had been totally deformed. Some of them live in huts made from coconut leaves, while others stay in a common service hall shared by many families. I visited a family of five who lives in a little corner of the hall. In that 80 square feet space, they cook, eat and sleep.

Our rice came just in time for the people who live in Trincomalee and Batticaloa.
One day, while we were distributing the rice, the rain started to pour suddenly.
As we scurried to keep the rice out of the rain, one pack of rice fell onto the ground and spread across the muddy street. The locals quickly went down on their knees
to scoop the rice—including the muddy sand—into their cooking pot. That’s how precious rice was to them! My heart felt for them. I saw one of my team members helping to scoop up the rice. Later that day, I asked her how she felt. Her reply was,
“I felt like crying. I will not waste food anymore.”

In The Rice Project, we worked in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka (www.hfhsl.org) to distribute rice to the people in Trincomalee and Batticaloa.
Their core mission is to provide simple and decent housing to those in need.

Beside The Rice Project, the team also visited some of the most picturesque sites in Sri Lanka. We traversed the beaches of Trincomalee to the mountains in Kandy,
and passed by the hilly tea plantations to the wildlife safari park of Yala where we captured the beauty of wild leopard. We also witnessed the annual Perahera Festival.  What more could one ask for!

If you would like to make your holiday more meaningful, you could make a trip to enjoy the beauty of Sri Lanka and at the same time offer your help and donation directly to Habitat of Humanity.

Look out for the photo exhibition of The Rice Project! It will be held in January 2009 at VivoCity, Singapore. www.thericeproject.com