A year after a devastating earthquake, Sichuan province in China is still rebuilding. Many children remain separated from their parents. To raise awareness of victims still in need, folk musician Abigail Washburn and electronic artist Dave Liang spent two weeks in Sichuan to create Afterquake, an album that mixes actual sounds of the rebuilding with the voices of relocated school children.
Abigail Washburn’s The Making of Afterquake
From Pin Lu’s blog, WaterInk.net
It was about this time last year, when the news kept coming. The casualty number kept increasing, and there were still places not accessible to the rescuers, many of whom were ill-equipped soldiers and volunteers trying to get through the mountainous roads destroyed by landslide. The whole nation of China was in deep shock and mourning. It touched everyone. I remembered that when reading Tania Branigan’s report from Dujiangyan on the street, I struggled to contain my emotion. Then there was the great determination shown by the rescuers coming from all parts of the country and overseas to save as many lives as possible. And for us who were thousand miles away, all we could say was we must do something.
The Sichuan Earthquake Update’s call for donation met with overwhelming response. People from all over the world approached us to give us support, send their donation, give their time, work as volunteers, donate their work for charity auction, and much more. Wendy Wu, CEO of Mother’s Bridge of Love, recently published the figures and plans for the distribution of the donation.
The news agenda have moved on. The earthquake may look remote and distant for most people who have matters closer to home to worry about. But in Sichuan, the reconstruction of the earthquake-hit area has only just begun. New schools are rising up, but the parents are still grieving their lost children. However, Out of ruins, people are rebuilding their life, and love has flourished.
I’ll keep the Sichuan Earthquake Update project going. Hopefully we will see more news about the rebuilding of homes and lives there.
Fu Jing, one of Sichuan Earthquake Update team member, writes on his China Daily blog about the progress of rebuilding the earthquake-hit area, among other things. The blog is mainly in Chinese.
A letter from Wendy Wu, reporting the donation and distribution of funds collected through Sichuan Earthquake Update:
As CEO of MBL, I would like to thank you sincerely of your support of my Sichuan Earthquake appeal during my service. I was absolutely touched by your generosity and swift response to support Sichuan children. I am also very much indebted to my volunteers who gathered together strongly with me. My memories were filled with all the stories how hard my volunteers were working together for Sichuan Children. Today on this remembering day, I would like to reiterate that my promise to the public to deliver 100% of the donations to Sichuan relief still remains.
As an immediate relief to Sichuan, we have transferred the first 4000 pounds to the Chinese Children and Teenage Fund. They have confirmed that the funds were used to purchase school blackboard, tables and chairs. To follow this up, at a personal level, I funded myself the trip from London to Sichuan last year and also volunteered English teaching in the refugee camp at Pingwu. During that period, I had a chance to gather first hand information of what was needed on the ground. Following up my research and the recommendations by a group of young students in senior middle school, we found out Nanba School which is located at the foot of mountains. At the beginning of the earthquake rescue period, it was marooned by the landslide from four sides, the bridge collapsed and there were no communication with outside world.
Again being guided by the students, we found the headmaster of Naba Centre Primary School where gathered students from different villages from the neighbouring areas. The head teacher was still in grief as he lost both his only daughter and his sister. To be a Chinese man, he tried to hide his pains. He listed key donations that the school has received from donors. We sat down together and identified the gaps for schools that would improve the “software” of the local education system. That would include teachers’ training, widening access opportunities for students and relief for poor students. It was agreed that we would call it “Stepping Out the Mountain Go and See Fund.”
Due to the change of my career path last year when I came back from China, I have submitted this proposal to the MBL trustee board who are taking full responsibility to complete the further transfer to Sichuan.
I would like to report the funding situation to you:
Project: Help Children in Sichuan Earthquake
From May 2008 to 12th Feb 2009
1. Just Giving £19,997.13
2. Cheques and Cash: £6034.26
Less: Transferred to China Children Teenagers Fund 07.09.08 £4000
The final balance that should be transferred to Sichuan is £22,031.39.
Donation from a team effort from Miss Jia Cheng and Mr. Bong Choi, Legal and General (they intend to donate money to a designated school in Sichuan).
10 pound Cash Donations+ 31 Cheques (including CAF bank cheque) total = £6005.00
I have outlined the key points of the proposal that was agreed by the MBL turstee board in principle:
Sichuan Earthquake Release
Donor: MBL Solicited Earthquake Fund – Raised by the joint force of Sichuan Earthquake Updates
Beneficiaries: NanBa Primary School (南坝小学), PinWu County (平武县南坝镇中心小学)
Officer: 杜勇Mr. Yong Du ( Du is the family name) President of NanBa Primary School
Receiving Account: C/O NanBa Primary School via PingWu Red Cross Bank Account
Account NO: 51001658636059000035
Bank Name: MianYang Branch, China Construction Bank
Account Holder: PingWu County Red Cross
|Funded Item and Activities||Beneficiaries||Unit Price||Amount in RMB||Total in sterling|
|Winter Clothes 棉衣补助||720||150||108,000||9694|
|Student Hardship Relieve ( to each students for buying study materials) 学生贫困补助||720||100||72,000||6462|
|Go and See Fund (for both students and teachers attending educational activities, for teaches to develop teaching methodologies by attending training and conference) 走出大山教育基金, 供教师和学生参加教育文化活动的费用, 比方说教师参加教学发培训, 会议等)||75,135||6744|
|Ref: Google online currency converter is being used for this calculation. Due to the fluctuation of currency on daily basis, there might be a slight discrepancy against each heading.|
|NB: The bank transfer charge should be beard in the pool of the Go and See Fund.|
PingWu County Red Cross and Physical Education Financial Division of PingWu Educational Bureau.
Due to the delay of official verification and evidence gathering, the item of winter cloths need to be revised and merged into student hardship relieve.
I hope this clarifies the current funding situation. I also believe that the fund will be in the capable hands of MBL trustee board who will deliver along with your love to Sichuan Children on your behalf.
You might be aware that MBL’s earthquake 2008 appeal has now closed. Any further donations towards the earthquake should be sent to Red Cross, Save the Children or Care for Children. The 100% donation policy for Sichuan will only apply to the 2008 call during my service. However, if you feel you wish to donate any further money to MBL in general please feel free to do soon its justgiving website. www.justgiving.com/mbl
Many thanks, Wendy
China Daily’s journalist Fu Jing, who’s part of the Sichuan Earthquake Update team, traveled to Sichuan last year and started a programme to help the poor families in Pingwu county and other areas of Sichuan. In the following letter he expressed his gratitute towards all the people who offered help and support.
Today China Daily has generously left its front-page space for OUR HONGBAI story and CCTV has kindly picked it up. The links follow:
After the quaker, there is love, there is hope
For the recognition, I would like to thank Mr. James Jao and Madame Jao, Mr. Zhang Kailian, Mr. Peng Xiancheng for their all-heart support financially or in any other forms. And I am in deep debt to all the volunteers for your time, knowledge and love left with kids and teachers in the scarred mountains in Sichuan.