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Home for the Holidays

One special Sri Lankan family is going to start 2011 with a dream come true: a home of their own. Thanks to its Reeder Global Emergency Fund, Children’s Emergency Relief International (CERI) is going to build a safe and sturdy home for one needy foster family.

Today, many of the families served by CERI in Sri Lanka live in homes damaged by natural disasters or other crumbling concrete structures. Out of 93 families, only 2 have running water. And except for a few simple houses, most families live in shacks exposed to inclement weather, all types of reptiles, insects and mosquitoes. These environments are not only dangerous for children’s health, but can also infringe on their ability to heal after suffering the tragic loss of their parents. For more than six years, CERI has provided trauma and loss counseling to orphaned children in Sri Lanka, encouraging them to attend and succeed in school. The organization’s new home initiative is another effort to promote self-respect, resilience, and independence in the children’s lives.

“Every child needs the safety of having a home of their own,” said Dr. Dearing Garner, CERI Executive Director. “Through meeting the basic needs of the children and families we serve, I know that growth in love and faith will come too.”

The Reeder Global Emergency Fund was established in 2008 by CERI to help children and youth around the world during crises resulting from war, mass displacement, threat of trafficking, and hunger. The first house CERI builds in Sri Lanka will be a prototype for at least seven other homes for foster families. After the first house is constructed, the CERI Sri Lanka team will seek to find funding in Sri Lanka for the other homes.

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