of Tsunami: Rebuilding the Future
project covers four countries that fall into two sub-regions,
-South Asia: India and Sri Lanka
- Southeast Asia: Indonesia and Thailand
A regional communications initiative tracking
how ordinary people rebuild lives and livelihoods after
the Asian Tsunami Disaster
Children of Tsunami media project tracks
how families affected by the Asian Tsunami are returning
to normalcy. From February to December 2005, we will make
monthly visits to two chosen families each in India, Indonesia,
Sri Lanka and Thailand -- countries hardest hit. Based
on our filming and interactions, we will produce television,
video and web stories. Our main focus will be on eight
children, but we will also cover their extended families
recovery: Going beyond headlines
Asian tsunami disaster dominated every media organisation’s
news coverage at the turn of the year. With over 300,000
people killed or missing and millions displaced in a dozen
countries on the Indian Ocean rim, the event was one of
the worst disasters of all time.
of the media coverage was at news and current affairs
level, focusing on the extent of loss and damage and the
massive emergency needs. After a while, the story did
not attract as much coverage or attention.
the story is far from over for millions of affected people
and their families. Long after journalists and television
cameras have departed, children, women and men will be
struggling to recover from the disaster. In hundreds of
localities that were hit by the tsunami, local people
are slowly coming to terms with the impact, and rebuilding
their disrupted lives, livelihoods and futures.
shall be led by children...
Children of Tsunami regional communications
initiative aims to capture how affected families
are rebuilding and returning to normalcy. To personalise
the mass of statistics, aid pledges and recovery
plans, we will look at how all this affects eight
children, their immediate families and communities.
February to December 2005, we will make monthly
visits to two chosen families each in India, Indonesia,
Sri Lanka and Thailand -- countries hardest hit.
Based on our filming and interactions, we will produce
television programmes and web-based updates.
will find out what progress - if any - has been
made, and record impressions of the children and
family members. By following the stories of our
eight children we will be able to find out answers
to these and other questions:
* How are individuals
coping with the losses and grief?
What are the unmet needs and unresolved issues in recovery?
Are the pledges of aid and debt relief really working?
What happens to the human rights of affected persons?
How and where can individuals and aid donor countries
influence a more systematic and equitable approach to
Our approach: child-centred story telling
our stories will be centred around eight children,
our media products will also cover the experiences of their families and communities. The stories will be told
against the backdrop of relief and rebuilding
efforts and processes being carried out by governments,
aid workers and NGOs.
challenge to our journalists and film-makers is
to stay focused on the children while taking note
of what’s going on in the background.
Local film-makers capturing
of Tsunami is a project of TVE Asia Pacific
(TVEAP), a non-profit regional media organisation
that uses television, video and web to promote sustainable
development and social justice. More information
Children of Tsunami, TVE Asia Pacific has
commissioned teams of accomplished TV journalists
and film-makers, all locally based, and all sharing
a deep interest in amplifying local voices to the
Global Village. We are also working with local,
national, regional and global organisations whose
information and views are linked to the website.
team members are participating in this non-profit venture
with minimal billing for their services.
Meet the Children of Tsunami...
have never met each other. Some have never travelled beyond
all belong to statistically average families in their
Five girls and three boys:
ages ranging from 8 to 16 years. All are living
in coastal areas of India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
Each family was hit by the Asian tsunami in one way or
Now, as they cope with personal tragedy and the many challenges
of rebuilding, the Children of Tsunami let us into their
lives and tell us their stories.
Tamil Nadu state, India
Youngest in his family, Selvam,
13, lost his mother who used to sell fish at the village
market in Muzhukkuthurai, in Cuddalore District. She was
the sole bread-winner in a family where the father is
addicted to alcohol and disinterested in the children.
The tsunami destroyed their house and ruined the family’s
fishing boat and nets. They now live in a temporary shelter,
with the elder brother turning brea
d-winner and head of family.
He makes sure Selvam continues his schooling -- no other
sibling studied beyond fifth grade. Selvam occasionally
thinks of his mother and talks about what happens to people
who reach heaven after death.
Mala, 11, is the eldest
in her family of four children and dropped out of school
last year after completing the sixth grade. The tsunami
spared her house in Kottaikkadu village in Kancheepuram
District, but her fisherman fath
er was nearly drowned: he survived with injuries.
His fishing boat and gear were lost. Hesitantly, they
returned to their house and started raising their heads.
Being classed as lower castes or ‘dalits’,
the village has been left out of relief support. Mala’s
family has received nothing - for now, her father has
to return to the sea and mother work as a labourer to
keep the home fires burning. She has a younger sister
and two younger brothers.
Aceh Province, Indonesia
the tsunami disrupted her young life, Putri,
8, was in grade two of elementary school in the Lampaya
village in Lhok Nga district in Indonesia’s
Aceh Province. She is the youngest in her family.
Her father worked in a cement factory - one of the
biggest industries in Aceh. The tsunami killed an
elder sister, destroyed their home and village and
flattened the father’s workplace. Now living
in a temporary shelter, she attends an emergency school
in the morning and studies the Al-Quran in the afternoon.
Putri’s family is planning to return to their
village once the barrack being built by the government
||When the big wave came, Yenni,
15, tried to hold on to her sister’s hand. But
they were separated, and the sister was never to be
seen again. The family, based in Meulaboh in Indonesia’s
Aceh Province, lost two girls, as well as their home
and all their belongings. Yenni’s father ran
a motorcar repair shop where men and boys of the extended
family worked. With everything lost to the waves,
they have to start all over again. Yenni attends emergency
school, but progress is slow as most teachers were
also killed. Amidst incredible hardships, Yenni remains
Southern and Eastern Provinces, Sri
13, excels in creative writing in which she'd won
certificates and awards -- all of which were washed
away, with all her school books and everything else
her family owned. Their house, in Suduwella in Sri
Lanka’s southern district of Matara, was badly
damaged. Now living in the house of a friend, they
are grateful that no family member was lost to the
tsunami. Her father cannot immediately get back to
fishing without his boat and gear.
For now, the family relies on the mother's income
from spinning coir ropes. Heshani made her first return
to the beach - hesitantly - with our film crew in
late February. It will take a long while for her to
come to terms with the sea.
Theeban, 14, used to like mathematics, cricket
and movies and enjoyed school, but the tsunami changed
all that overnight. It killed his mother and a younger
brother, destroyed their house and wrecked their father's
fishing boat. They now live in a temporary shelter
in Karaithivu, in Ampara district in eastern
Sri Lanka. With his father yet to pick up his shattered
livelihood, Theeban decided to stop schooling - now
works as an apprentice at a tractor repair garage
owned by a family friend. Their grandmother is struggling
to take care of Theeban and two surviving younger
brothers, but life at the camp is hard. The father
and grandmother are both concerned that this is no
place for children to grow up.
Phang Nga district, Thailand
||Jantakarn Thep-Chuay (better
known by nickname Beam) is only 8 years and does not fully understand why her father
is not coming home after the tsunami. Last seen, he
was at a construction site close to the beach in Khao
Lak in the southern district of Phang Nga. His body
has still not been identified. Their house, a safe
distance inland, was not affected, but Beam's mother
Sumontha now has to keep hostile in-laws at bay even
as she looks after Beam and a younger brother, not
yet two. As her school was destroyed, Beam now attends
a temporary school which will soon be replaced by
a massive "tsunami school". Beam misses
her father enormously, and remarks at every dinner
that "food is not at all delicious without Daddy."
Although Sanan, Kla-Thalae (nicknamed
Bao), now 16, has been fishing since he was
12, he can no longer trust the sea. He lost both his
parents to the tsunami, and is now in the care of
his grandparents. Known locally as "sea gypsies",
their extended family was based at Koh Pratong Island
in Phang Nga district, where they used to catch fish, crabs and squid. With houses, school and fishing
craft destroyed, they have taken temporary shelter
on the mainland, but hope to return to their island
as soon as possible. For now, younger brother Dum
attends a nearby school, while Bao and grandparents
are adjusting to their new roles.
their stories unfold in the coming months.
the sorrows and joys of their families as they take the
long road to recovery.
part of Children of Tsunami communications initiative.
Children of Tsunami
Children of Tsunami will have a
series of products intended for broadcast television.
A main TV output is Children of Tsunami
- Monthly Video Reports. From February to December 2005, a 5-minute video report
will be produced about each child/family every month,
offering highlights of their road to recovery after the
Monthly Video Reports are branded by the
first name of each child. There are 8 video reports per
month, for 11 months. Each month’s reports will
be released by the middle of the following month. They
come ready-made for broadcast in stand alone format, but
may also be strung together with minimal editing.
Monthly Video Reports are in English, produced
and post-produced to international broadcast standards.
They are available in:
Broadcast masters (PAL) in Betacam
SP, DV Cam or MiniDV
With texted visuals and fully
mixed sound tracks for broadcasting in English
* With textless (or "clean
picture") visuals and separate sound tracks (one
for music and effects and the other carrying narration)
that easily supports versioning into other languages
Children of Tsunami Monthly Video
Reports are being released with no copyright restrictions,
and available without a license fee. They are available
to cable, terrestrial and satellite broadcasters in any
part of the world on a non-exclusive basis for any number
of broadcasts. Broadcasters are also allowed to version
these programmes into local languages at their cost.
TV broadcasters in middle and high income
countries will be asked to cover the cost of duplicating
master tapes and courier dispatch. These will be invoices
information please contact:
Regional Director - TVE Asia Pacific
212/12, Nawala Road, Nawala, Sri Lanka.
Asia Pacific (TVEAP) is registered in Sri Lanka as a guarantee
(non-profit-making) organisation and works across the
entire Asia Pacific region. It uses television, video
and online media to promote sustainable development and social
justice. By producing editorially independent media products,
and distributing them to broadcast and narrowcast users,
the organisation promotes informed discussion and debate
on key issues and concerns. TVEAP is governed by an international
Board of Directors, and supported by donor and corporate
Previews on www.childrenoftsunami.info