Tsunami charity's Star still rises, 10 years after tragedy

A Fleet charity formed in response to the devastating tsunami that claimed more than 30,000 lives in Sri Lanka, is all set to celebrate its tenth anniversary.

OceanStars :: Saturday 4th April 2015 :: This Story

Fleet Charity Ocean Stars

The Ocean Stars Trust (OST) will mark the special milestone in its short but momentous history with a fundraising party on Saturday March 21.

Sponsors, supporters and friends of OST will look back on the decade since the charity was founded in the wake of the tragic Indian Ocean tsunami of Boxing Day 2004.

Devastation of 2005 Tsumami Working with children in Sri Lanka for 10-years

Dilanee Bunter, who was born in Sri Lanka and now lives in Fleet, was determined to 'give something back' after the disaster, which killed around 35,000 people and displaced around 500,000.

She collected money, along with 50 pairs of children's shoes, from friends and family to take to her homeland in Easter 2005.

Some of the devastation that greeted Dilanee Bunter on her visit to Sri Lanka in 2005 following the Boxing Day tsunami

By the spring of that year, with the help of people in the Fleet area, the Ocean Stars Trust was born with a board of around seven trustees who had the continuing mandate to 'rebuild shattered lives'.

With a special focus on education and children in eastern Sri Lanka, the trust set up a child sponsorship scheme and a programme of supporting and building new pre-schools where previously none existed.

In 2013, OST also began a cultural exchange for pupils from Fleet's Calthorpe Park School, while several links have also been formed between infant, junior and secondary schools.

Mrs Bunter said: "From very small and innocent beginnings, Ocean Stars Trust is now a leading Sri Lanka-based charity. This has only been achieved with the hard work of trustees and enormous goodwill of friends and supporters."

Full Artical by By Stephen Lloyd 07:52, 17 March 2015