How it all started
STAR ACTION was born in March 2005 after Stuart and Jenny were inspired to visit tsunami-stricken Sri Lanka. Stuart already had contacts with the island from past relief work linked with the civil war. From previous experience he knew that the civil war torn east coast would probably receive the least ‘hands on’ aid from non-government organisations and charities (NGOs)
Whilst there in February 2005, in the fishing town of Kalmunai, distributing what aid they could – mattresses, tables and chairs, medical supplies and food donated by family and friends in the UK, they met Upali Perrera. By a Jenny, Upali, Selasrena & Rohanmiracle he, his 8 months pregnant wife Selasrena, andUpali (right) and his son Rohan – our Sri Lankan representatives – who give hands-on advice and oversee projects two small children, escaped the 100ft high tsunami wave as it wiped out the local fishing community. Upali saved a number of elderly people fleeing the wave, before escaping himself. In the process he lost his home and livelihood (a very successful diving for tropical fish business).
On their return to England, Stuart and Jenny started Star Action to co-ordinate future post-tsunami aid, using Upali as their ‘agent on the ground’.
Joan joined them in their endeavours, visiting the area herself as soon as possible afterwards. In May 2006 the work of Star Action was extended to take in the little children’s home in Tamil Nadu, South India, founded 10 years earlier by Kate, Stuart’s daughter.