Watching the news from Sichuan, a family in Seattle decided to give help to the victims by organising a performance. From Seattlepi.com.
By CLAIRE TRAGESER
When a catastrophic earthquake hit China’s Sichuan Province last month, Min Christ wondered how much she could help halfway around the world.
Because her daughter, Shelby, performs with the Henga Dance Academy, a professional Chinese dance school, Christ decided to hold a dance show to raise money for Sichuan residents.
“Originally we thought just our family wanted to do something, but then we talked to my daughter’s dance teacher, and he said, ‘Yeah, we want to help,’ ” Christ said. “Then more families and more friends wanted to help.”
More and more people became involved until the Christs found themselves with an 18-performance program that includes Zhenglun Li, winner of China’s National Cello Competition in 1988; Claire Yu Qi, a singer who won the famous GuZheng Chinese Department of Culture competition in 1995; the Seattle Chinese Opera; and the Microsoft Chime Band. Other singers, dancers, musicians and martial artists will also perform.
TingTing sent one more drawing and her letter to children in Sichuan:
Translate by candice zhou
Today is May 27th. It’s about half a month since the earthquake.
Many people become “famous” in the earthquake, “Cola boy” Xue Xiao is one of them. This 17 years old boy, who was buried in the ruins for 80 hours, is famous for the first sentence “I want to drink Cola.” when he was rescued. Many people came to hospital to see Xue. But for him, the hurts in the earthquake would once recovered, however, the amputated right arm wound never be recovered. His doctor said,” Xue made the agreement fingerprint of operation by his left hand, at that moment, he didn’t drop a tear. Yesterday Xue told the journalist, “ I want to go to university.”
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I have been on phone with several volunteers in Deyang (德阳). I was told Deyang is the second most damaged area during the earthquake. Several villages and towns have been completely destroyed by the quake and following landslides. By the way, Deyang, which has the population of about 4 millions, is a “prefecture-level city”, under which are three “county-level cities”, one “county-level district”, and two counties. Mianzhu (绵竹), which has appeared in British media reporting quite a few times, is one of the “county-level city” of Deyang that has suffered severe damage.
I was told that the authority’s focus is still on rescue and safety. The rebuilding process hasn’t really started yet, although there are plans of building temporary homes quickly which will only last several years.
More help is now needed in hospital and medical and health care. Sichuan is famous for its high humidity and the summer is coming. Things like tent, mosquito cream, and personal hygiene products are in shortage.
At the moment, the areas need most help are Mianzhu and Shifang (什邡). Students and teachers are the most affected group of people. About 200 students of all ages who have lost their parents or whose parents are unable to take care of them, are still living in the tent inside Mianzhu City Stadium. Many children and adults will need counseling. Local Educational Bureau has set up a team for this purpose, but the task ahead is overwhelming.
CEO, Mother Bridge of Love
22 May 2008
source: Baidu Post
Translated by Karen.
I am a surgeon. I am standing on the land of Beijing now. I resigned from my job in Livepool UK yesterday and hurried all my way back to Beijing. Sichuan is my hometown. My motherland is being devastrated by this disaster. I couldn’t bear to watching all these without doing something. I have to come back and fight in the front line.
It was on 12th of May when the 7.8 grade earthquake attacked my hometown. I couldn’t imagine how it looks like now, but I have to face the cruel fact that my dearest parents, who gave me life and raised me up, have died in this devastation. My uncle told me this terrible news that I would rather never know and hope it would never come true! My son kept asking me about his grandparents, ‘Where are grandpa and grandma? Are they all right?’ I don’t know how to answer.
I cried for a whole day, finished two dozen packs of cigerattes, then I decided to go back to my motherland by all means, either resigning or taking holidays - I just had to go back. I have lost my parents, and I have to save more parents. I still have my son. I hope to see more parents and children reunited with my contribution.
I arrived Beijing eventually. I phoned many hostipals, but all the rescure teams have already set out. All right, I just have to go by myself then. I have booked my flight ticket of 8am tomorrow for Chengdu. I am going to Wenchuan from Dujiangyan. I must go to the most severely-damaged places where more supports are needed.
I do not cry anymore. I have found a way to return gratitude to my parents. They worked hard to give me the chance to be a doctor. I can’t save my parents, but I can save someone else’s parents.
Dear dad and mum, your son is kneeing down to pay you last respect. From now on he will use all he has learned to help others. I wish what I do will make you proud and smile from the heaven.
Heaven Bless China.
By Fu Jing
Updated: 2008-05-19 07:29
Working close to the epicenter of last Monday’s Wenchuan earthquake for nearly a week, I, a Sichuan native, cannot help mulling over how nature has challenged us to overcome the toughest circumstances.
What was the great disaster really like? The locals have their own ways to describe the moment when the quake struck.
Peng Shuihe, 38-year-old miner, started to stride through the 1,000-meter-long tunnel in the high-altitude mountains of Shifang shortly after the devastating earthquake. Describing his ordeal, he said: “The landslides and falling stones lasted for a day and night in the valleys and the noises they made were like bursting fireworks during Spring Festival.”
Luckily, the mud did not close the entrance of the tunnel. Peng survived and stayed with mounting fears at the foot of the mountains for two days before the rescuers reached him and his fellow-workers.
Wei Yin, aged 14, said her classroom in a three-storied building at Hongbei town of Shifang “fell in a grey smoke” within seconds, burying the majority of her schoolmates.
On the plains, experienced driver Yu Dengyun put the quake like this: “The ground became like chopping water in the sea and I was scared that the water might swallow my car.”
When the earthquake took place at 2:28 pm last Monday, I was in a taxi in Beijing and did not feel it. On the second day I was sent to my home province to cover the disaster. Driving and walking along the death zones and bumpy roads, I found that the bridges had broken down, railways twisted and towns and villages had turned to rubble.
The scenes, which filled me with tears of sorrow, engraved the details in my mind.
Graduating from a young reporter to a career journalist, I have from time to time been covering disasters such as floods, environmental pollution in coalmines and mine blasts. In the winter of 2005, I rushed to cover a coalmine blast, which claimed the lives of up to 200 miners in the tunnels in Heilongjiang province, Northeast China. Watching rescuers digging out the dead and their families reduced to desperation and misery, I was praying: there should be no more such stories, though I knew that disaster scenes are battlefields for journalists.
But I have long been wrong. Both in China and abroad, disasters come one after another. And here in my home Sichuan, the loss is immense. The death toll in a single building, workshop, community or village can surpass the number of the dead and injured I witnessed in the coal mine blast in Northeast China.
Miracles of life come one after another. I felt a little relieved on Saturday as I met two survivors along the valleys in mountainous regions of Shifang who had been buried in the ruins for five days.
But Saturday was also a sad day for me. Three of our China Daily reporters braved the danger of landsides to drive across a 100-meter-long bridge to the isolated Jinhua town of Mianzhu. We found that rescuers with life detectors reached the one-kilometer-long town five days after the deadly earthquake.
The rescuers told me in the late afternoon that there were no signs of life in the five sites mentioned by locals, although in the morning, a man cried out in a weak voice from the black debris, saying “I can hold on”.
The town is in the high mountains and linked by twisted railway and road bridges, which might put rescuers in danger if they happened to be caught by strong aftershocks. And several local officials in the town died in the earthquake and so the organization of disaster relief was in disorder.
The 51-year-old He Zhangju of the town guided me to a big hole in the field just 50 meters away from his ruined home. The hole was caused by a stone falling from the 2,000 meter-high mountains. The stone was nowhere to be seen when I arrived there.
“Before the quake and its aftermaths such as landslides, we are powerless,” she said. But she further complained: “But we can have the rescue efforts started earlier.”
I fully understood her.
But the quake was extremely strong and devastating and covered massive lands in Sichuan and even neighboring provinces. It takes time to mobilize resources. For those who have not been at the scenes, especially in the high maintain ranges, it is not easy to understand how tough the rescue efforts are.
Also, there were continuous aftershocks during the post-quake days.
At about two in the early morning of Sunday, when I was just about to go to bed at the home of my parents-in-law in Deyang, the strongest ever aftershock forced me to rush out in the open. Half an hour later, I calmed down and picked up courage to return to the building.
With the wind blowing through the windows, I could not fall asleep. Was the sound the wind made, I feared, from an aftershock?
(China Daily 05/19/2008 page9)
The death toll caused by the Sichuan earthquake is reported to be 15,000 already. The number is still rising. A lot of school children were amongst those tragically killed when their school buildings collapsed.
We have spoken to the local authorities and understand that water, clothes, medicine, and food are URGENTLY needed.
To help children and orphanages in the disaster area, Mother Bridge of Love (MBL) is making an urgent appeal to all our friends and colleagues to make a donation to support the disaster relief efforts. Your generous help would be much appreciated.
Last year, we donated money to the flood-hit area of Sichuan. The money we raised through Edinburgh Marathon was used to Tongjiang to build up a collapsed school kitchen in helping children back to school earlier.
100 % of donations received will once again be sent to Sichuan to provide much needed assistance to children. Our focus will be helping children and women to recover from physical (food, water, and medical care immediately) and physiological damage (Counseling in a later stage).
The donation will be sent to the local schools and mothers and carers directly through our local advisory volunteers. The money will be used to buy the most urgently needed goods and rescue the children still underneath the debris. We will report back the progress from the front line.
Please make a donation . This can be done quickly and easily online by supporting our Edinburgh Marathon Runners to raise funds for the disaster relief. Please go to the website: http://www.justgiving.com/rbsjames
For any other form of support you could provide, please contact WENDY WU (CEO) at firstname.lastname@example.org 020 70340686