Sichuan Earthquake Update

Help the Earthquake Children to Recover
May 22nd, 2008

Incredible journey of the pupils of Liu Han Hope Elementary

Guardian’s Tania Branigan tells the incredible story of the pupils of Liu Han Hope Elementary school (刘汉希望小学) of Beichuan (北川) County, who survived the earthquake thanks to the school building which stood firm, then when realised being cut off and threatened by aftershocks and rockslide, trekked through the mountains to reach the safety, escorted by their teachers and local police.

The Liu Han Hope Elementary school in Beichuan county stands in the heart of the disaster zone yet, while hundreds died across Sichuan province in classrooms that crumbled to dust, every one of its 483 pupils survived last week’s quake.

China yesterday raised its toll of the dead and missing to 70,000, and warned of a “desperate need” for tents to shelter millions of homeless survivors. But the story of the children’s escape is a rare piece of good news. While other schools disintegrated, theirs stood firm. Even the three-storey glass wall remained intact. When the slopes around them began to threaten their safety, staff marched pupils as young as five out of their remote home on an all-day, all-night trek.

“It was nothing outstanding - just a teacher’s responsibility,” Xiao Xiaochuan said. “It was not done by one teacher but by the whole faculty and students, with help from police and officials.”

Read the full story from the Guardian website.

3 Responses to “Incredible journey of the pupils of Liu Han Hope Elementary”

  1. Ken Young Says:
    May 22nd, 2008 at 8:47 am

    My salute to the people of China. Our prayers are with you. Now, please do:

    [1] Find out why the relatively new school buildings collapsed worse than the much older structures?

    Any kickbacks [bribery] involved when they were built?

    Also ask: Why most of government officials’ children who study abroad [full-time] drive most expensive European cars to schools while they themselves are not making any money at all? Where the money came from??

    [2] Demand the government to cut half of the military spending for the next 5 years & use the money saved on China’s much needed infrastructures; &

    [3] Ask: Can PRC become a great nation while the common practice of taking kickbacks & bribery by govt. officials go on as usual?

    I am a friend of China.

  2. I believe there will be investigation into this matter and perhaps trails of those who were responsible. People are asking questions. The Liu Han Hope Elementary school’s story was initially reported by Li Chengpeng, a journalist and sports commentator, on his blog. Yesterday I read the blog of Han Han (an influenrential writer and blogger) who drove to Sichuan himself to help. He suggested the collapsed school building should be kept as a memorial to the children, as well as a warning to those are to build new schools.

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