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Restoring livelihoods after the tsunami

The British Red Cross helped thousands of families restore their lives through cash grants in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

These grants were used to invest in small businesses including growing cash crops such as cashew nuts, chillies and cucumbers. Other investments included setting up shops, fish farming and buying goats and chickens.

We distributed grants to:

  • More than 11,300 people in Indonesia 
  • More than 22,900 people in Sri Lanka
  • More than 3,000 people in the Maldives

Read about the impact your support has helped us make on people's lives.


Norliza lost her sewing machine and therefore her livelihood in the tsunami. With a cash grant she is rebuilding her business.

Robby Darwis, a tsunami survivor, is on his way to building a mini fashion empire in the Indonesian, thanks to help from the British Red Cross.

The tsunami totally transformed the life of teenager Syrif Siddick. Within minutes the powerful force of nature left him an orphan.

Irvandi has used a cash grant from the British Red Cross to start his own computing and printing business.

Mawardi and Jaflinar have slowly rebuilt their lives after the tsunami, moving into a house built by the British Red Cross and starting a petrol business.

Widow Zainabah Ibrahim was dragged through the water when the tsunami struck. She praises the Red Cross for helping her buy livestock.

A group of tsunami survivors in Indonesia has used a cash grant from the British Red Cross to create a large fishpond from a field that was ruined by the tsunami.

No grandmother expects to lose one grandchild, let alone eight, but this is the tragedy that befell 75-year-old Ahlimah when the tsunami struck Indonesia.

Pak Yunus has used a Red Cross cash grant to keep his goats from straying off his farm.

Fourteen-year-old Wulan was reunited with her family by the Red Cross, one month after the tsunami struck.

Hadi Marhento used a British Red Cross cash grant to buy chicks, his business has developed and he now offers a butchery service.

Brother and sister Desi and Randy Yustina were just 15 and 16-years-old when the tsunami killed their parents.

Find out how cash grants helped tsunami survivors like Alimuddin in Indonesia build a business.

The Maldives

Mohamed lost all his fishing equipment in the tsunami, but a cash grant from the Red Cross means he now makes more money than he did before the tsunami.

Community participation is an essential part of the British Red Cross' work in the Maldives. As a committee leader, Mumthaz is getting everyone involved.

Mother-of-five Nahida Mohammed (39) has been helped to farm again thanks to a cash grant from the British Red Cross.

Saudiyya Kuda Manik's family has been farming for generations. When the tsunami hit the wave washed away the crops leaving little behind but salinated land.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's fishing industry was ripped apart by the tsunami which destroyed thousands of boats and with them people's livelihoods.

Sunil's one of a number of people in southern Sri Lanka who were paid to clear land after the tsunami, and he's used his wages to start fishing again.

A Red Cross initiative has strengthened the livelihoods of Sri Lankan elderly and widowed villagers devastated by the tsunami and years of conflict.