Greg Holyfield (Sri Lanka)

Greg Holyfield (Home for Human Rights, Sri Lanka): Greg graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in history. He then worked in the production department of Sony/ATV/Tree Music Publishing and served as a “Big Brother” for an elementary student from Nashville. He later volunteered with the Peace Corps where he served for more than 2 years in Mali, West Africa as an Agriculture Extension Agent. In Mali, Greg oversaw the construction of a garden project for a women’s group in the village of Konna. He later worked as a legislative assistant to U.S. Congressman Bart Gordon (TN-6th) on agriculture, immigration, and international relations. Greg also volunteered with the Everybody Wins mentoring program in the Washington DC public schools system. At the time of his fellowship, Greg was studying for a Masters degree in the inaugural class of the Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas.


28 Jul

I am writing from Batticaloa today. I have been with intermittent email and phone access since I arrived this past Sunday. I took a night train which wasn’t a terrible 9 hour ride. I was able to catch a couple of z’s along the way.

This week I have spent visiting the villages where HHR has been doing tsunami rehabilitation. I have heard incredible stories from the women who have benefited from HHR’s program. One woman told me today that though she is 35, no one will marry her. Her land is now occupied by the army (her house having been destroyed by an LTTE and Sri Lankan battle), her father was abducted and hasn’t been seen in 10 years, and her mother is mentally deranged. She then explained how happy she was that HHR has found those who have been missed by the big NGO’s and that her sewing training is going to help her supplement her meager income. Though I personally had no part in finding her, I was happy to be there, listen to her story, and hopefully be able to pass it on. A year and a half later, people here are still terribly suffering from the tsunami, and this war. I have been proud to work alongside this wonderful organization.

Another interesting thing about Batti is the number of NGO’s here. Virtually every other vehicle is an SUV with a large flag flying which displays the various NGO’s working here. The most ubiquitous are World Vision, Oxfam, CARE, and the Red Cross. Most of the expats are very nice, though I have met several who seem to have spent a little too long in this area and didn’t seem to interested in talking to a bright eyed American who has only been here for 2 months!

I hope everyone is well and I look forward to seeing everybody when I get back. Until next time…

Posted By Greg Holyfield (Sri Lanka)

Posted Jul 28th, 2006

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