In the past year the world has become accustomed to disasters of one sort or another. Quite obviously the worst ones are those produced by nature but in the last year we have witnessed man made tragedies that were unfortunately very close to home.
When reading the journalistic accounts of these events one could be forgiven for believing that the situation is quite hopeless and individuals and communities are either slow or incapable of responding. My own experience in the last 10 years ranging from Bosnia through Lebanon to the Northwest Frontier of Pakistan and now in Sri Lanka has lead me to believe that there is often another – rarely told – story of generosity and courage that does not satisfy the voyeuristic needs of the daily news and therefore it is downplayed. The donors to IDEALS have contributed to the story of hope and reconstruction that occurred after one of these overwhelming catastrophes.