Chiswick computer expert helps tsunami victims

Dhruw Joshi takes on mercy mission in Sri Lanka

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An IT consultant will leave behind his keyboard and mouse next year to take on a mercy mission in Sri Lanka.

Chiswick-resident Dhruw Joshi, 35, will travel to Galle in the south west of the country to help build a home for a family left homeless by the Asian tsunami.

Mr Joshi will join a team of nine volunteers brought together by international aid charity ActionAid in March for the Habitat for Humanity Nine-Day Community Challenge.

"When I read about the ActionAid Tsunami challenge I thought that it was a great idea," told the Community Newswire Mr Joshi.

"I was drawn to the challenge of working hand-in-hand with families who have lost everything. The tsunami must have been so traumatic for them.

"I want to help them rebuild their properties and rebuild their lives. I want to help them help themselves."

Mr Joshi is keen to do his bit to help poverty stricken regions in Asia. His family come from the north of India and through ActionAid he supports a school near New Delhi.

Eight months after the tsunami struck, more than a million people are still desperately in need of basic services including food, water and shelter.

The people of Sri Lanka were already suffering before the giant waves struck on Boxing Day this year. Many have had their lives devastated by a decade of civil war, and do not have the capital or credit available to buy or rent adequate shelter to protect them against the annual monsoons.

ActionAid fundraising manager, Maria Photiou, said: "Helping to build a home for someone else is a unique experience, opening your eyes to the plight of others and helping break the cycle of poverty.

"It is a physical and emotional experience and volunteers often come away knowing a great more about themselves than they did before. All it takes to participate in a community challenge is enthusiasm and motivation."


May 23, 2008