Maachah, 13, lives in a small coastal village in Asia, where she also attends a GFA-supported Bridge of Hope center. This particular center was one of the very first and was built in response to a tragedy. On December 26, 2004, a 9.1 magnitude earthquake shook the island of Sumatra. The aftershocks wracked the Indian Ocean, producing the world’s worst tsunami. By the end of it, more than 200,000 had died. Communities all along the coast of the Indian Ocean were left to pick up the pieces. Hit especially hard was Maachah’s village. People’s homes and their livelihoods were gone, and they didn’t know what to do next. Men, women and children filled relief camps.
Parents worried for their children; schools had been shut down. They didn’t know how they would provide for their little ones.
Hope in the Midst of Tragedy
It was here that GFA’s Bridge of Hope Program opened one of its first centers. It offered supplementary education, health care and warm food, while instilling within children hope, peace and a vision for the future—something the children of Maachah’s village desperately needed.
“When this disaster happened, these people had nothing,” said Jakki, the head of the center. “They were rendered homeless.”
“When this disaster happened, these people had nothing… They were rendered homeless.”—Jakki
Born after the tsunami, Maachah doesn’t know the struggles many people, like her parents, faced.
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