Lessons From a Tsunami Survivor
ABC's David Muir reports on Petra Nemcova: Healing Five Years After the Tsunami:
Nearly five years ago Petra Nemcova was swept from her hotel room when a tsunami struck Thailand. Now the 30-year-old model is helping to heal others by rebuilding schools for the children who lost everything, not just in the deadly 2004 tsunami but in natural disasters around the world.
"Really, honestly, what I'm doing now, being able to improve, and better lives of children, that's what I always wanted to do," Nemcova said.
Four months after Nemcova clung to a tree for eight hours to save her life she went back to visit the tsunami zone. She said she would never forget the faces of the children.
"They lost their parents or their brothers and sisters. They didn't have anywhere to go. They didn't have any stability. When you looked at those children they didn't actually look at you. ... They looked through you. And it was this look without hope," Nemcova said.
Nemcova founded the Happy Hearts Fund to build schools for children in areas ruined by natural disasters.
Five years later, the foundation has expanded and has provided help to children in eight different countries.
The team renovated and rebuilt the Chao Thai Mai School in Thailand.
They also built a primary school, helping a total of more than 1,500 children in Thailand.
The foundation built one primary school and 33 kindergartens in Indonesia, helping nearly 2,000 children. Indonesia was struck not only by the 2004 tsunami but by a devastating earthquake in 2006.