Nate Berkus

Our Oprah Winfrey Show interior designer Nate Berkus miraculously survived the tsunami in Sri Lanka. As Nate's dramatic account revealed , the small village of Arugam Bay, where he and his partner, Fernando Bengoechea, were vacationing, was utterly destroyed.

Millions of you wanted to help. So we teamed up with three worldwide relief organizations—and, most importantly, with you, our viewers! Thanks to your outpouring of generosity, Oprah's Angel Network responded immediately with a million dollar donation.
Women sewing surfer shorts

Mercy Corps is helping people rebuild their lives by rebuilding their livelihoods. These women who lost everything in the disaster are learning to earn a living by sewing trendy surfer shorts.

Waves of water reduced most local businesses to rubble. Now, more than 50 restaurants and tea shops are operational thanks to essential supplies nicknamed "restaurant kits," while temporary tourist cabanas give visitors a place to stay until hotels can be rebuilt. And, Mercy Corps is helping impoverished fishermen stay afloat by providing materials to repair nets and boats. All are important steps to heal the decimated economy and restore hope.
Habitat for Humanity is building new homes in Sri Lanka.

After the tsunami, thousands of people were left homeless. One man lost his wife, his 1-year-old son, his business and his home. But miraculously, his daughter was found alive. Now, Habitat for Humanity is rebuilding homes for many people who, like this man, lost everything they had.

Habitat's Roshan Peries explains, "By using the Internet [to collect] funds, Habitat will be building permanent homes which will give them hope for a better future."
Oprah's Angel Network Center for Learning

The tsunami even washed away the vocational training center. So Oprah's Angel Network joined forces with Free the Children to break ground on a new one! At Oprah's Angel Network Center For Learning, adults will get the job training they need to rebuild their shattered communities. And the children will receive an education and desperately needed school supplies.

As the new buildings go up, hope for the community grows. "Kids smile," says Free the Children's founder, Craig Kielburger. "They laugh. They sing. Most importantly, they're hopeful. They're talking about their dreams again."
Help the Afghan Children

We first met Suraya Sadeed when she courageously defied the Taliban to save thousands of Afghan people. Since 2003, The Oprah Winfrey Foundation has granted Suraya's organization, Help the Afghan Children, more than $1 million to build seven large schools to educate 15,000 boys and girls and employ more than 400 teachers. Suraya says these new schools are transforming entire communities.  To learn more about Help the Afghan Children, visit
FROM: Oprah Goes to Ethiopia
Published on December 01, 2005


Next Story