Psychological counselling and school rebuilding are the two big challenges local educational authorities are facing. Before the earthquake, local government has embarked on a plan of bridging the gap of quality and access between urban and rural areas by building central boarding schools for the children from remote rural areas, who can study in Town Centre Schools with better facilities and teaching resources. Now the focus is on assessing how to rebuild schools quickly. It’s likely as the first step, temporary schools will be built in the central areas.
The earthquake has left more than 4000 children orphaned or without proper parental care. There has been huge waves of sympathy from families around China. Many of them also have expressed the willingness to adopt an earthquake orphan. International adoption is not high on the agenda.
Our local correspondents and volunteers also told me the distribution of aids is not even, largely dependent on accessibility. Towns and villages along the main roads have been well covered. However villages difficult to reach need more aids. Some self-organised volunteers with better transport, knowledge and equipments are doing well in filling the gaps.
CEO, Mother Bridge of Love
27 May 2008
Keeping love alive for a very, very long haul
By Fu Jing
Updated: 2008-05-27 07:39
Like many kids, one-year-and-half old Zhong Minhan loves yo-yo. At 2:28 pm of May 12, she was awakened from her afternoon nap, promptly got up and sat down at bed enjoying the two-minute swing with smiles.
And even now, she does not know that the yo-yo has claimed thousands of lives in many cities, towns and villages of her home province Sichuan. But she does know that she could not see her father Zhong Ying easily during the past two weeks as he has always been at the frontline handing out food, medicines and even worked as a guide for journalists.
Zhong, aged 28, is part of the influx of volunteers extending their helping hands to those parents who lost their kids and students who lost their parents to the quake, the aftershocks, landslides and floods of quake lakes.
With him as a guide, our China Daily reporting team reached several devastated towns in high mountains, sometimes by foot, walking on broken railways and twisted bridges and finally had talks with survivors escaping from their homes in the dense forests.
Zhong is not only a guide for our photographer and me. He was so warm-hearted that every time we came back from Deyang, our car would be filled with water, food, clothes gathered by him from his relatives or friends.
And he told me: “In this hard time, you journalists should not only work for your paper but give help and aid at the same time.”
I could not agree with him more.
In the last a couple days, many media organisations have arrived Beichuan (北川), one of the mountainous counties devastated by the earthquake. Reading and watching news from UK, if appears there are several camera crews from BBC, Sky and some press in Beichuan.
Feedbacks from our local correspondents and volunteers, however, indicate that the media are largely concentrated in the large town centres. While there are many rescue and relief work going on in the most populated area, people in the surrounding small towns and villages also need help. There are some rescue and relief workers there, but because of the lack of access or information, we seldom heard their stories and what they need.
China has mobilised rescue and medical workers from all over the country. Some drove their trucks or ambulances for thousands of miles to reach the disaster area. There are also numbers of volunteer groups, often self-organised through the internet, working on small and specific projects. We hope we can report back to you in the coming days.
18 May 2008