The Reccommencement - Stella Homes

New start and labours completion: the recovery of 23 houses


All pictures related to the period 2008 -2009 can be found here


In 2008 the civil conflict moves North, and Thirukkovil’s site becomes accessible once again.

In June 2008 the Stella Family met with Surendra Wijerathne (through Jimmy), who, after his first visit to the site, gave a first cost estimate for labour  and reconstruction. This quote was considered too expensive and it was rejected.

Solicited to provide a lower cost estimate Surendra made a new offer in July, and this time the family accepted it.

In August 2008, spurred on by the will of seeing their father’s dream realized, the Stella family returned to the site in Thirukkovil to see first hand the actual condition of the houses.

The sight was not encouraging: 7 houses were completely destroyed, while the remaining 23 houses were seriously damaged.

Remains of debris and rubble replaced the tidy rows of nice houses with red tiled roofs and decorated windows. It is on these remains that construction recommences.

Mid August, in the presence of a notary and some witnesses (thanks Ale, Jimmy and Tilak) a new contract was signed by the Stella family with Surendra Wijerathne for the reconstruction of 23 houses.

The agreement established that the new team would finish the construction of 23 houses out of 30 at a minimum price of 8 million rupees (35,000 Euro), unlike the first cost estimate of 15 million.

In order to reduce costs (the total amount donated in these 5 years to the project adds up to 150,000 Euro) it was agreed to avoid expenses such as the paving of village streets and the completion of the 7 most damaged houses.

In the same days, the family visited the land commissioner to make sure they proceeded with the registration of the houses in the local registers.

Finally in September 2008 the construction began again.



The project, with an end date of December 2008, proceeded slowly and with difficulties.

Materials were transported from Colombo again, however due to many factors they always arrived late at the site.

The team slowly proceeded with the construction while Surendra took care of the administrative and bureaucratic papers so that the registration of the houses, the water, the supply of electricity etc. could be completed.