The tsunami exacted a heavy emotional toll on thousands of children who were traumatized by the disaster. Many of them don’t want to go anywhere near the sea again, others have recurring nightmares, and most live in a state of fear. Psychiatrists around the world are unanimous in their opinion that one of the best ways to help the tsunami-affected children is to play with them, conduct activities with them, let them return to school, and just have fun with them!
In response, the Family India conducted a series of emotional healing programmes for the children in Cuddalore and Villupuram districts in Tamil Nadu. These programmes involved sports activities, group games, music, clowning, and having fun with the kids. We are happy to say that the children responded beautifully to these programmes! (Incidentally, the well-known Dr. Patch Adams has also been employing a similar methodology in helping tsunami-traumatized children in Sri Lanka and Indonesia.)
Seeing the dramatic impact the initial programmes made in the lives of the kids, the Collector of Cuddalore District officially requested the Family India to conduct as many Emotional Healing Programmes as possible in the villages where there had been a loss of life.
In response, we did 17 Emotional Healing Programmes for over 6,000 children in 17 villages. At each of these programmes we gave useful gift items and prizes to each child. These included toys, books, stationery items, and hygiene kits, which the children were very thankful to receive.
We thank God that He gave us the opportunity to help these children in their hour of need, and we will continue doing follow-up programmes throughout the year.
Originally Published in 2008.