Posting at SHINE

After almost 3 years of posting to this blog I've decided I am going to simplify my life and put all posts (for all my children!) on my "photography blog": SHINE!
I hope to see you there!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Earthquake Update

I am posting a letter I received yesterday from a wonderful organization called Half the Sky, concerning the current situation in China. If anyone has wondered how you can help there are a few links at the bottom of the post. My heart is breaking for the victims, Please Please pray for God to bring HOPE to these people whose lives have been devastated.

Dear Friends,

As I delay writing this report a bit longer each day, I realize that, like
so many, I find it harder and harder to read or write those grim
statistics or tell the sad stories. We wish we could be done with this
death and disaster and start to move on. But still the numbers come.

There are 34,073 people confirmed dead, 245,108 injured, still more than
35,000 still missing.

Yesterday, after those three silent minutes in Sichuan, people began to
call out, “Rebuild! Rebuild!” Today, when I was feeling I couldn’t open
another casualty report, I read instead a report about new babies born
during and right after the quake. They have names like ‘Li Zhen’
(Earthquake) and ‘Born in a Tent’ and ‘Long March.’ They, like all the
survivors, will carry these terrible days with them always. But their
lives are just beginning. For them and for all of the children who
survived, Sichuan will begin to rebuild.

As hope of finding more survivors fades, we find hope in each bit of good
news –

During the past week we managed to reach every single orphanage in the
hardest-hit areas but one - Aba Tibetan-Qiang Autonomous Prefecture.
Today we finally made contact. They said, “The institution buildings are
no longer safe to live in. All the children live in tents. The government
provides us with enough food and water and daily necessities. Now we only
worry how and when we can possibly rebuild.”

Of the 24 children (all of whom were from hard-hit Anxian County) who we
reported were brought to Mianyang Zitong SWI because they were newly
orphaned, I am very happy to tell you that 13 of them were reunited with

The children of Suining SWI have now been able to move back into their
orphanage building.

More displaced children are arriving daily at shelters in Chengdu, but no
one is giving up on finding living relatives yet. Yesterday, 70 children
were brought to a large hospital in Chengdu for urgent treatment. Some of
them had joyful reunions with family, but of course, not all. One very
young girl signed her own consent form to have surgery on her broken arm.
Ma Lang wrote, “She was a sweet and tough girl, and the doctors, nurses,
and volunteers loved her very much.”

Ma Lang and two other HTS staff are now in Mianyang and we expect more
news from them soon. Meanwhile, our relief operation is going into full
swing, with tents, tarps, medicines, beds, blankets, rice, diapers, food,
clothing and baby formula moving in and out of the Chengdu CWI for
immediate delivery to distressed areas.

As we get closer to realizing our small part of meeting the basic
challenges of shelter and emergency supplies, it is time to embark on the
most critical project for the long term – helping the children heal and go
on with life. This is, of course, why Half the Sky exists and how our
organization can best help Sichuan’s children rebuild. Now we will begin
the process of training caregivers, foster parents, shelter workers and
volunteers of all backgrounds to work with newly orphaned and displaced

We believe our long experience working with children orphaned by AIDS and
other children who were not infants when they lost their parents has given
us a solid foundation for this work. But this week we are recruiting a
team of pediatric psychologists, trauma specialsts and social workers to
help us adjust our training methods to this special circumstance. (If you
are, or know of, a Mandarin-speaking professional working in this field
who would like to volunteer for this project, please let me know!)

Within two weeks, Half the Sky’s entire staff of field supervisors will be
working with caregivers and new foster parents all around Sichuan. Our
work is just beginning. Thank you so much for making it possible!

More news soon....

If you would like to donate to Half the Sky’s Children’s Earthquake Fund
you can do so through Global Giving:

Or directly to Half the Sky. You can donate by calling Half the Sky
(+1-510-525-3377) or on our website:'s+Earthquake+Fund

Many companies have announced they will match employee gifts for
earthquake relief. Please check to see if your company will double your

Thank you again. It’s truly an honor to be a part of this.

with love,

Jenny Bowen
Executive Director
Half the Sky Foundation

No comments:

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11