American Red Cross awards Sewa International $500K for Hurricane Harvey relief


The American Red Cross has awarded Sewa International a $500,000 grant to rebuild homes of those that devastated by Hurricane Harvey in Rosharon Village, Brazoria County, Texas.

In the next 18 months, Sewa will help reconstruct 11 completely destroyed homes and 24 partially-damaged homes, benefitting 154 people.

When Hurricane Harvey swept across Southern Texas last year, it damaged a lot property while taking away many lives and Sewa International has been at the forefront of its rescue operations, relief and rehabilitation efforts.

Rosharon Village in Brazoria County suffered the most amount of damage; it is home to approximately 1,400 Cambodian, Laotian and Mexican refugees, who mainly fled Cambodia in the late 1970s to escape the genocidal regime of the Khmer Rouge.

Sewa International Houston has been raising funds from all over the country and they have raised more than $2 million for disaster recovery in less than a year since Hurricane Harvey hit, including the $500,000 they received from the American Red Cross.

In December 2017, Sewa received a grant of $397,000 from the Greater Houston Community Foundation (GHCF) which aided 600 people and they eventually ended up helping 1,600 people.

The total cost for rebuilding and repairing homes at Rosharon for this project is estimated to be about $675,000, out of which Sewa International’s donors are contributing $175,000 or 25%.

“Despite the generous support of funding agencies, the task at hand is enormous. The experience of rebuilding Rosharon has been demanding, sometimes frustrating, but more often rewarding and always an optimistic one. The American Red Cross grant allows us to lay the foundation, literally – one home at a time — to rebuild and revitalize Little Cambodia,” Achalesh Amar, Coordinator of Sewa Houston, is quoted saying in a press release.

“We are honored for the recognition by American Red Cross, a major humanitarian organization. We are grateful to them for reposing their trust and confidence in us through this amazing gift. The grant further strengthens Sewa International’s resolve to fulfill our mission of giving back to the society through selfless service – a cornerstone of our Hindu faith,” Gitesh Desai, President of the Houston Chapter of Sewa International added.



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