IMPAKTaid was set up minutes after the waves of the tsunami crashed down on Sri Lanka on December 26, 2004. Started by a Canadian couple, Pamela and Jerry Porodo, IMPAKTaid began filling the immediate needs of the injured and traumatized. Friends, volunteers and donations poured through the doors and, within 24 hours of the disaster, an efficient and well-coordinated relief network was up and running.
Working around the clock over 350 volunteers have packed, transported and distributed food,medical supplies and other necessities to hospitals and camps island-wide, at an estimated value in excess of Rs. 100,000,000/- (U.S $1,000,000.).
It was run solely by volunteers of all nationalities and supported directly, or indirectly, over 25,000 displaced persons in the districts of Galle, Weligama, Panadura, Ambalangoda, Balapitiya, Moratuwa and Tissamaharama. These people were either in camps or in satellite settlements and accounted for between 4 and 5% of the total persons displaced in Sri Lanka.
Impakt's efforts were so successful that established relief organisations such as the RedCross (Sweden), Luxembourg Search and Rescue and Germany's ORMS handed over surplus supplies and equipment before departing Sri Lanka in the knowledge that they would be deployed with the greatest efficiency.
Having provided the immediate necessities of water, shelter, food, medical supplies and clothing to affected areas, emerging priorities include medium to long-term projects such as sanitation, hygiene and trauma counselling as well as employment opportunities for widows and families for whom the loss of the sole breadwinner would otherwise mean destitution.
IMPAKTaid has since evolved into a Canadian Registered Charitable Organization, registration number: 842984650RR0001.
Work For Widows has been assisting widowed and abandoned women on the island for over 15 years through the empowerment program Work For Widows.