Steve and Sue, along with their children, Shani and Samuel, were in the village of Hikkaduwa on the south coast of Sri Lanka, making arrangements to build an orphanage when the tsunami hit on Boxing Day 2004. In witnessing the devastation caused they realised that the need for an orphanage was even greater as the tsunami had left thousands of children orphaned in Sri Lanka and across Asia.
“We first travelled to Sri Lanka and other parts of Asia because of the great surf.. In Sri Lanka we fell in love with not only the surf and great food but also the warm generosity of the people. It wasn’t until we travelled back to Sri Lanka a number of times, that we looked past our own holiday needs, and realised how much the local people needed help. We wondered what we could do!”
Initially Steve & Sue Lewis started Aussies for Orphans by simply sending money to a local aid worker, who worked with the people in the poorer villages. The worker would purchase basic items such as food, medical/educational supplies, clothes ect and distribute these to the villagers. They then moved on to assisting in some larger projects. It was at that point that they visited their first orphanage in Sri Lanka, and realised that this was the area they most wanted to focus on.
The Lewis’ have intensified their efforts by forming the non-profit organization Aussies for Orphans. They completed their first home for orphaned children, in Kandy, Sri Lanka in 2005 . Now with the assistance of a committee in Northern NSW and many supporters they will continue to assist where needed.
Salim works as Head Of Sydney Operations. Besides working for Aussies For Orphans, he runs a financial planning company in Sydney. He enjoys helping people achieve their goals. Having migrated from a third world country and lived a dream in Australia, he have always wanted to help the less fortunate.
Currently, he is working on a Free School Project in Karachi, Pakistan.