Owing to the tsunami of 26 December 2004, thousands of people died in a matter of seconds because of the strength of the sea: 30000 people died in Sri Lanka and 6000 more people died in other islands that belong to India
Two years later, I have been to Sri Lanka thanks to an NGO that I was cooperating with. I have done three amazing trips with this NGO that produced on me a deep feeling of involvement. During this period I visited District of Galle, a fishing and very touristic area with colonial buildings and maritime landscapes of an extraordinary beauty, placed on the South Coast of Sri Lanka
Paradoxically, I found a strong situation of poverty in such a beautiful place. Families were living in shanty towns with only one room for doing housework. Places without substandard housing and in very bad hygienic conditions. Rooms all crowd together where families cook, eat and sleep without differentiating between adults and children.
During these three trips, I felt curious about everything around me. I put special attention to most disadvantaged neighborhoods and I observed its population; welcoming and supporting people ready to share few things they had in return for a smile. I was captivated by children’s smile.
These children live in a situation without resources, without toys, with only few means for growing and creating a future but, at the same time, capable of transmitting a tenderness that produced an unconditional love on me.
During all these trips, I could feel the sadness and the needs very deeply of such a pleasant population. Thanks to the assimilation of these hard sensations and to have lived all the intense experiences in Sri Lanka, new feelings that I never felt and that I couldn’t understand grew inside of me. Every time that I returned from the trips, I felt deeply sad and I had to take some time for returning to my normal way of life. I tried to understand myself, but it wasn´t that easy; it was a constant fight with myself. This situation provoked an internal crisis inside of me that forced me to stop volunteering for a period of time that I use to think and meditate. This meditation ended with a final resolution: I decided to devote my own time and efforts to help the children in Sri Lanka. This is how the AUOP was created.