Sichuan Earthquake Update

Help the Earthquake Children to Recover
November 18th, 2008

Extend help to quake victims

China Daily’s journalist Fu Jing, who’s part of the Sichuan Earthquake Update team, has recently traveled to Sichuan and started a new programme to help the poor families in Pingwu county and other areas of Sichuan. If you’d like to help, please contact Fu Jing or write to us and we’re happy to pass your message.

Extend help to quake victims
By Fu Jing (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-11-08 08:00

Charitable deeds should be done without publicity.

This my friend James Jao believes is a traditional Chinese virtue, and he has engraved it in his mind as one of life’s philosophies. I agree.

But after an enlightening weekend tour of Sichuan’s earthquake zone, we decided to put aside that belief for a while. Our desire was to share what we were doing in a ruined primary school - bring hope, more help and assistance to kids enveloped in the scarred mountains.

It began half year ago when I was reporting the earthquake. In the ruins of Hongbai Primary School of Shifang, one of the severely hit cities near the epicenter, I found a dozen paintings by kids, which were themed “Green Earth” and “World Full of Love.”

It was the third day after the quake. Homeless people were flocking to the town where the school was located, most of the buildings were flattened and corpses scattered everywhere. The town resembled a battlefield.

I was touched by the themes of the paintings drawn by the six-grade kids in the mountains. I carefully retrieved them from the ruins and decided to auction them, donating the proceeds to the suffering villagers and kids.

Jao recently bought the first painting for 100,000 yuan ($14,490) at a charitable dinner organized in Beijing. And 10 days ago, Jao set up a micro-fund in his name to bring the various cultures together by improving English teaching in the school.

We want to make difference. Just as Jao said: “This program is about humans, about cultural exchanges, and opening a new window for the teachers and kids in the mountains.”

We decided to let the locals have a decisive say on how the fund should be used. We let them frame the regulations on its management and application procedures for the teachers.

And we are encouraging them to organize an “English Cultural Festival” every semester. We are also looking at more ideas on how the fund can be used.

We will do every thing in a transparent way using the Internet. All documents and even minutes of meetings will be posted on a website. Apart from its cultural content, this approach is also about education. It is about transparency, vital during any stage of the post-quake recovery.

I am shy of getting a little publicity in this cause. In reporting on disasters, journalists put themselves at great risk to get exclusive, real-time stories. But we must also put in that extra mile to help the victims.

I still have more paintings in hand. I appeal for more efforts and innovative ideas to show our love and care for the people of Sichuan, especially those in the mountains.

This is my first appeal: Help those in the mountains. The earthquake brought massive losses to some cities but the villagers in the mountains suffered most. Most of the cities have highways making it relatively easy for aid and volunteers to reach them. This however, is not the case with some villages, still locked out.

My second appeal is: Let your love be long lasting. The coming three years will be difficult, especially for those made homeless who will have to find a safe place to rebuild their homes.

And my third appeal concerns innovation and diversity. Please make your contributions innovative and properly targeted. One of my colleagues already has his New Year resolution - to spend the coming Spring Festival in Sichuan together with his family. His reason is simple: we can help locals by being with them,

From the target perspective, my China Daily colleagues have voluntarily set an example: we have identified 30 poor families in Pingwu county of Sichuan and we 30 colleagues have helped them set up personal bank accounts. We directly deposit money into their accounts. It is a life-long commitment and we have promised to help the kids until they are 18. Of course, apart from the money, we are constantly communicating with the kids and their parents.

If you find this works, please write to me. During my recent tour of Dujiangyan, a former tourist destination but now a “ghost city”, a Shanghai volunteer left me with a long list for the needy coupled with the words:

“As winter is coming, they need warmth.”

(China Daily 11/08/2008 page4)

10 Responses to “Extend help to quake victims”

  1. Dear Fu Jing,

    I am very moved by this article and I hope I can find some way to help with your efforts.

    My name is Steve Bindon, I am an English artist and I will come to China next month to make paintings of the nature and wildlife of China.
    I hope to visit Wolong to learn about the pandas and the indigenous people their.

    After reading your article on the paintings by the children I am trying to think if their is anyway i can develop an art project with the children. i think it can help to raise more awareness and funds as well as helping the children overcome trauma through art.

    i would also like to make paintings of some of the children if i can.

    We can then use these paintings of mine and the children in a combined exhibition to raise more money for them.

    Please let me know your thoughts on this please.

    i hope there is something I can do.

    Many thanks

    Steve Bindon

  2. [...] 为了让捐款有最好的用途,母爱桥的CEO Wendy Wu 自费去了四川,除了亲自当一回义工之外,还找到了直接捐助的学校。Sichuan Earthquake Update 的另一位发起人、《中国日报》记者付敬同时在四川灾区学校开始长期项目,帮助当地学校提高英语教育水平、提供心理辅导等等。 [...]

  3. [...] 为了让捐款有最好的用途,母爱桥的CEO Wendy Wu 自费去了四川,除了亲自当一回义工之外,还找到了直接捐助的学校。Sichuan Earthquake Update 的另一位发起人、《中国日报》记者付敬同时在四川灾区学校开始长期项目,帮助当地学校提高英语教育水平、提供心理辅导等等。 [...]

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