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China: victims of Sichuan earthquake

The victims of the Sichuan 5.12 earthquake are suffering from the chilly winter. A local official says the lowest temperature in the earthquake zone can be 21.1 degrees below zero centigrade. Now how to help the victims pull through the bitter winter remains an urgent and tough task.

Last month, Mr. Zang Lu (臧璐), a well-known environmentalist, and his colleagues took great pains to visit a leprosy village in Mao County, which is 40 kilometers away from seismic center. When asked what they need badly at the moment, the villagers simply replied: “Quilts!”

But when 15 university students of Yibin Vocational and Technical College in Sichuan province collected four large bags of clothes for the earthquake survivors, the local red cross office in Yibin refused to take them.

Just at the same time, some teachers in the mountainous areas in Sichuan province sent out messages that they badly need clothes, quilts, stationery, etc.

Then what is the true situation in the earthquake zone? Mr. Ji Shaokang, a Canadian professor, visited Sichuan last December. He describes what he witnesses in his blogosphere:

冬天来临,缺棉衣、缺棉被。山里的老乡一见到我们一行,就主动向我们反映情况, 说着说着泪水就在眼里转。

In the chilling winter, the villagers we met in the mountains don’t have enough clothes and quilts. On seeing us, they approached us to make complaints, with tears in eyes.

In cities and towns, there hang slogans along the roadsides, saying:

“有手有脚有条命,天大的灾难能战胜”;“不等不靠,自力更生重建家园”;“挖废墟刨旧梁,自己动手砌新房”

If we are still alive, still having hands and legs, we can survive any disaster.” “Build our own home by ourselves; don’t wait for help.” “Dig beams out of the ruins and build our new houses by ourselves.

One of Prof. Ji’s companions felt puzzled: Where is our donation?

On the other hand, more and more people outside the earthquake zone are trying to help the fellows in Sichuan.

A week before the New Year’s Day, Care for Life Campaign(关爱生命万里行)launched a second mission to Sichuan. The NGO enlisted 43 people (29 from Hong Kong) to visit Sichuan. With different kinds of gifts and their warm hearts, they celebrated the New Year’s Day with their old friends there. The website says:

我们知道一个团体能做的很有限,或许不能在根本上给灾区的数百万同胞带来真正的帮助,但我们做了总比不做好,今天做了总比明天做好。

We know as a new NGO, what we can do is so limited. We are unable to help millions of the victims there. But we believe it is better to offer a hand than to stand by, it is better to act today than tomorrow.

In November 2008, Green and Shine Foundation(桂馨基金会)published an open letter to help the rural teachers in the earthquake zone, which urged:

大家来自不同的地方,……,每个人的职业也不尽相同,……。但是,同一个心愿和发自内心爱的力量驱动,使大家有了同样的行动。

We all come from different places…, have different occupations… however, we share love and care and our heart that driven us to act.

As a result, people of all walks of life across China answered the call with great enthusiasm, sending gifts, clothes, books, stationery, etc. to the teachers there.

Ms. Wu Bei(吴蓓), an educator and translator, together with her friend Ms. Liu Zhen(刘真), wife of a grassroots thinker Yin Zhisheng who passed away in 1999, disseminated this information to their friends via SNS, receiving very positive responses.

Unfortunately, when trying to track the sources of information online, I found out they have already been deleted by website administrators, probably because these posts suggest that the government hasn’t taken effective measures to take care of the earthquake survivors.

6 comments

  • I can to China june 15 08, to look for a path thru govt to be able to build homes for the homeless quake victims. On December 24 I was in Fengy in Moaxian, Sichuan ,China.I finally meet a village leader who was wiling to accept a community center 200 sq meter 2 story building.It is in design phase at this time, it fully funded, but still have alot of ground work to do, to get it built. I’m impressed at how many concerned people there are out there trying to help these people stay warm and safe. I’d like to be in touch with more of you.
    My twitter id is rolandinchina, email is roland@disaster-relief-shelters.org
    I’d love to hear from you ,roland

  • Yantao

    Dear Roland,

    I am impressed by your work and feel obliged to you for what you have done for the Sichuan quake victims.I will forward your message to my friends in Sichuan,including some journalists and governmental officials.

    Last night I learned from Mr Xiao Jing (肖敬)with Care for Life Campaign, they are planning the third mission to the quake zone, which is expected to start around March 5.

    I will send you an email soon.

    All my best wishes,

    Yantao

  • jetzang

    dear Roland or yan tao

    I was the earthquake areas in Sichuan NGO leaders, zanglu.
    I hope more people to help the Sichuan people and children, they need assistance. Also hope to have the opportunity, you have to Sichuan to visit.

    jetzang

  • Becky Luo

    Hi,tomorrow morning,we will go to liangshanzhou with missionaries the holylove fundation.Although I don`t know the goals of this trip.I will share it with you all my friends.

  • Yantao

    Dear Becky Luo,

    Many thanks to you and Holylove Foundation for what you have done for the people in the quake zone. My God bless you.

  • Yantao

    May God bless you!

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