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.
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.
The Chinese Students & Scholars Association (CSSA-QMUL) at Queen Mary and Mother’s Bridge of Love (MBL) organized an On-Campus Fundraiser on the 20th, May, for the Help Children in China Quake project, which aims to help children and orphanages in the disaster area.
The one-day fundraising took place in front of the library of QMUL. Staff, students in Queen Mary and engineer workers working near by show great concern about the Chinese earthquake and donated generously. Chinese students donated elegant traditional Chinese handicraft, silk scarf and fine calligraphy tool kits as gifts, as well as for donation sale. But a lot of the donors kindly refused the expensive gifts. Instead, they happily took a simple handmade Green ribbon or Chinese knot as a memory.
1738.41 in GBP were collected in this event and has been sent to the China Education Development Foundation. Click here to view the receipt for the bank transfer.
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.”
A policy memorandum published today by Ministry of Civil Affairs and Sichuan Provincial Government has highlighted the principles regarding the care of earthquake orphans. The priority is given to children’s relatives and parents who lost their children in the earthquake.
In short term, orphans and children with missing parents must be taken care by the local government, in separation with other victims. While in the process of identifying their parents, the authority must arrange the children to be taken care by social welfare organisation, temporary foster families or boarding schools in other areas of Sichuan with better conditions, or other provinces.
In long term, the momorandum has highlighted several principles in terms of child adoption and fostering. The priority will be given to children’s relatives, with the support of local government. If relatives can not be found, or are not able to support the child, those families who lost their children in the earthquake will be given the priority to adopt an orphan. The orphans can also be fostered by other families in China who are willing to help. The memorandum stresses that consent must be sought from the child if he or she is over 10 years old before being adopted or fostered. Some orphans may be taken by orphanages.
CEO, Mother Bridge of Love
04 June 2008
Children adopted from China are moved by the scenes of Sichuan earthquake and started to raise fund for the quake victims. Several organisations, like Half and Sky Foundation, Our Chinese Daughter Foundation, and Families with Children from China, New York Chapter, are also involved in earthquake relief fundraising.
A small body frozen in a moment, surrounded by rubble. A terrified, bleeding young girl carried on a stretcher. Sobbing mothers clutching photos of children lost to the earthquake in China.
“There for the grace of God go our daughters, and us,” said Sandi Janusch, who adopted 7-year-old Kaili from China as a baby.
Moved by images of the tragedy and pulled by an invisible red thread that — as Chinese legend holds — forever connects her to her daughter’s birth country, Janusch wanted to do something, anything, to help.
So she, Kaili and some friends baked. A lot. Together they raised $2,400 for relief efforts by making and selling gourmet fortune cookies — espresso and jasmine tea were among the specialty flavors sold eight to a decorated box — in Calgary, Canada.
Where there are Chinese girls adopted by parents halfway around the world, there are bake sales, garage sales, dance performances, memorial services and cash campaigns raising money for earthquake victims in the country that united their families.
The amounts raised are tiny in contrast to the nearly 69,000 people dead, estimated 18,000 missing and millions left homeless by the earthquake, but reaching out to their birth country is priceless to the girls and their families.
This set of pictures are dedicated to the brave people in Sichuan Earthquake. Passed to us by Liu Hong.
Please click the text or picture below to open the power point file.
Heros - Dedicated to the brave people in Sichuan Earthquake, 2008
TingTing sent one more drawing and her letter to children in Sichuan:
Our hearts have been sadden and touched by the recent earthquake in China .
. . especiallly sad to have lost so many school children.
Attached is a power-point presenation that was sent to us a few days
following the quake by one of our professor friends at Nanjing University.
It shows the feeling there.
Just want to share it with you. And thanks becky, my dear US teacher when I was in nanjing University, for the sharing.