There is a province in China that features green mountains similar to the Lord of the Rings setting. This province in China is also stellar at producing spicy food and dramatic opera. It is one of the largest provinces of China, claiming 187,260 square miles as its own. The province is Sichuan province, directly in the center of China. Three months ago, Sichuan province was hit with an earthquake. This earthquake measured 7.0 on the magnitude scale, and caused 196 people to die and 11,826 to incur severe injuries. 2 million people have been displaced from their homes. This same province also faced a massive earthquake in 2008, an 8.0 magnitude disaster stealing the lives of 69,195 people and causing 18,392 people to go missing.
Friends, you have shown China that each one of these earthquake-affected people is important through your financial gifts to the fund. That’s amazing compassion. When you and your friends and family and dentist and principal and coworkers move money into this fund, GlobalGiving sends it to five highly-vetted organizations on the ground in China, doing disaster relief work. Check out the first updates from three of those organizations to see what they've been doing to rebuild the area.
Mercy Corps and their local partner China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA) are reaching even the most remote communities up in the mountains and down in the valleys to assess and respond to their needs, with an initial focus on water and hygiene provisions. People are still living in tents, their homes destroyed. Within disaster relief, there are two distinct stages—response and development. A mere three months since the earthquake have passed and Mercy Corps is preparing already to morph response efforts into development efforts. They have already distributed more than 28,000 hygiene kits that include soap, toothbrushes, diapers, and health care essentials for families. In addition, they have set up day care spots where children can play, freeing up their parents to work on rebuilding homes, businesses, and communities. Finally, child psychosocial programs are helping children and families cope with the stress caused by the earthquake. Since Sichuan province is increasingly earthquake-prone, Mercy Corps is also fueling efforts to help the communities develop early warning systems and have disaster preparedness plans in place.
Dr. Fei Long made a field trip to Ya'an in Sichuan province two months ago and built up a relationship with a local NGO. This is an important step to planning, implement, and evaluation of the Xintu project in Ya'an. Partnering for capacity building of local NGOs on community mobilization and rebuilding, courses and trainings are being developed and funds are being raised. Dr. Fei Long also met a number of local government leaders and NGO volunteers in field. Long term community development is in the future!
Save the Children got right to work in Sichuan province after the earthquake, with rescue workers trying to pull as many people out of the rubble within the first 72 hours as possible. Staff immediately arranged to go into the field to assess the damage and impact on the most vulnerable children and their families in the worst-affected areas of Ya’an and Lushan in Sichuan. Beyond distributing numerous relief kits, food, medical supplies, and lanterns, Save the Children also was working in a place where roads were blocked, mobile communications poor, mudslides and flash floods emerging from the heavy rain, and chilly nighttime temperatures. All of these elements have combined to greatly increase the need for help. 6 year-old Li Z, along with many other children, benefitted from the Friendly Spaces that Save the Children was opening up where the children could recover, learn, and play.
Thank you so much for your deep support and compassion. Since it has only been a few months since the earthquake, we have much to do and we want you to be included in it! GlobalGivers, you always change the world.
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