BEIJING — Two years after the massive earthquake that devastated China’s Sichuan province, families of the thousands of missing people can on Wednesday finally register their loved ones as dead.
Under Chinese law, relatives of the 18,000 missing people can only register their family members as dead two years after they disappeared.
Nearly 70,000 people were killed in the May 2008 quake that devastated parts of the southwestern province and rattled a nation preparing to host the Beijing Olympics.
While the state-controlled press lavished praise on the government quake response and reconstruction effort on Wednesday, critics organised protests in honour of the thousands of children killed when poorly-built schools crumbled.
According to France 24:
Images of the aftermath of the 6.9-magnitude earthquake that hit Yushu county, near the Tibetan border this morning, have begun trickling through on the Web.
According to state media, around 400 people were killed and over 8,000 injured when the earthquake struck at 7:49am local time. The affected area is a remote and mountainous region of the north-western Qinghai province; the capital city of Xining is 12 hours away by road and many of the homes are built of wood and mud. Most of the locals are of Tibetan origin and rely on farming and livestock.
According to the Yushu Meteorological Bureau the majority of homes have collapsed and there are widespread power outages. The Red Cross has reported severe communication problems.
The pictures are from Qinghai local news site qhnews.com.
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
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.
Sichuan Province Architectural Design Institute and WE Design now launched the second stage of the Sichuan project, inviting you to join Sichuan School International Conceptual Design Competition. In this competition, the project in question is a famous high school in Chengdu. The submission deadline is 08 March 2009.
The objectives of the conceptual competition are as follows: to gather design ideas to support the after earthquake recovery development for a high school in Sichuan; to encourage critical review of historic development and present state of school design; and to provoke discussion of ideas and direction regarding design intervention in contemporary school development.
We ask participants to critically review one (or more) of the questions below and present your views in the submission.
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.”
MBL has donated 4000 pounds as the first part of the fund raised in MBL’s project “Help Children in China Quake” to China Children and Teenagers’ Fund (CCTF). The following picture is the invoice from CCTF. CCTF will further report the use of the charity fund and MBL will also keep on reporting about the usage of the fund raised.
Xinhua News Agency reports:
BEIJING, June 26 (Xinhua) — Vice Premier Li Keqiang said here Thursday that China’s quake relief work had already entered into anew phase and future work would focus on resettlement of the affected people and the post-quake reconstruction.
He made the remarks at a reception held by the Chinese Foreign Ministry to express the country’s gratitude for international assistance in the quake relief efforts.
According to the latest statistics, more than 160 countries and 10 international organizations offered funds, materials and personnel assistance to China.
Li, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, said the funds and materials donated by the international community, as well as the rescue and medical teams dispatched by some countries, made great contribution to help the country win the victory.
The Yomiuri Shimbun
(May. 23, 2008)
MIANYANG, China–A Chinese kindergarten teacher has opened a school at a camp in Mianyang, China, for children displaced by the recent earthquake that struck Sichuan Province.
Zhu Xia, 32, visited an area hit by the quake in the Anxian district, about 40 kilometers from the center of Mianyang, on Saturday to donate goods to quake evacuees.
While at a camp for displaced people, she noticed that children looked depressed, and were wandering around with nothing to do. She concluded that they were traumatized by the physical injuries they suffered in the quake, or because they had lost family members.
As Zhu’s kindergarten in Chengdu is currently closed due to the risk of aftershocks, she decided to offer classes to the children at the camp.
On Sunday, she read a picture book to a class of eight. On Monday, 30 children gathered for her class. By Tuesday, the number jumped to about 150.
The school, which is held outside, has been named “Yang Guang” (Sunshine) school. As there are no chairs or desks, the children attending Yang Guang sit on the ground, surrounded by tents set up for the evacuees.
When a group of Yomiuri Shimbun reporters covering the earthquake visited the school, children, who were taking an English class, shouted, “Happy!”
“Though the children were fearful of aftershocks, it now appears they feel safer by being with others of a similar age,” Zhu said.
Zhu returned to Chengdu on Wednesday, and volunteers from Hong Kong have taken over.
At the school, children are taught how to prevent diseases while they are living in the tents and how to react toward children who lost their parents in the disaster.
The school has made children in the district far happier, and adults look relieved when they drop by the school and see their children in class, residents said.
Zhao Lin, 11, who lost his parents in the earthquake, still looked depressed, but said, “Now I know I’m not alone.”