Tsunami Survivors Lend South Mississippi A Hand

It's been a little more than a year since the tsunami devastated parts of Southeast Asia, claiming the lives of more than 130,000 people, and leaving 500,000 people homeless. And although recovery efforts in that part of the world are still ongoing, some tsunami survivors are in South Mississippi, lending a helping hand.

Tsunami survivor Dr. Sari Mutia Timur is a doctor who works in Indonesia, but on Monday, she traded her stethoscope for a paint brush.

"We have similar occasion in life... tsunami, this is hurricane, but some people still need help... like they still don't have house," she said.

Stroke by stroke she's helping rehabilitate a home that belongs to a blind man in D'Iberville. She's joined by volunteers from other parts of America, as well as seven other tsunami survivors who can relate to South Mississippi's struggles.

The volunteers spent the day sanding ceilings, painting baseboards, and priming dry wall. And this is just one of many projects they'll be working on during the next few weeks.

"Next week, we're going to Pearlington, Mississippi, and there we'll be doing, actually going around and talking to people. We'll have doctors with us, who would like to hear about what medical treatments the people have been having," said volunteer Rebecca Young.

"We want to know exactly how the people here respond to disaster, to the disaster here, so we can use it in our country, maybe," said Dr. Sari Mutia Timur.

But for now, these tsunami survivors are helping South Mississippi rebuild while building new friendships a hemisphere away from home.

Monday's project was coordinated by the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Group and the D'Iberville Volunteer Foundation.