Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Earthquake in China

I've had several family members call to ask us if the earthquake hit anywhere near Fuzhou, the city of Mailia's birth and home to her foster parents. Fortunately the quake was centered well west of Fuzhou so everyone there is safe. Sadly, there are thousands of others who have been lost, and many, many more who are grieving and no place left to call home. Some of you may have already donated to help in the relief efforts, but there may be others who would like to donate but don't know where to go. If this is the case for you, I have to ask that you read the following email from Jenny Bowen, the Executive Director for the "Half the Sky" foundation. The children and the families of the children in Fuzhou are safe tonight, but thousands more are hurting and homeless and orphaned. If you feel led to help, please consider Half the Sky.

I have added a widget to this page that will take you directly to this donation site. Please just click on Global Giving to the right and top of this page. Thank You!

<<<"During the past several hours Half the Sky has been working hard to get
more information about the children impacted by the Sichuan and Chongqing
earthquake. We know that it is not only children in welfare institutions
who are in trouble. We know that hundreds of children have been separated
from their families, have lost their parents, are hurt, traumatized and in
pain. We know we must help; we have been working to figure how best to do
We have just a little bit of news. There have been hundreds of
aftershocks, one reported to be as strong as 6.0. Children have again
been evacuated from the Chengdu institution. Relief workers have arrived
in the epicenter, Wenchuan. The Ministry of Civil Affairs (this is the
ministry that HTS works with and also the agency responsible for disaster
relief) has been unable to reach orphanages in the most affected areas:
Mianyang, Zitong, Deyang and Aba. There are other welfare institutions in
the affected areas but no others that house children. Each of the four
institutions above houses about 100 children. We believe they will need
help. We will continue to watch and wait.
Many of you have asked us to set up an emergency relief fund, like we did
during the winter storms. Given the nature of this disaster and the fact
that help for children may well be needed outside welfare institutions
(where we have a direct line) we have waited to set up such a fund until
we had absolute assurance that we could put a system in place to deliver
the aid where it is most desperately needed.
Half the Sky takes the designation of a donor-restricted gift seriously –
that’s our promise to you. We understand that when you make an emergency
donation, you put your trust in us. We have spoken very carefully about
this with our colleagues at the Ministry of Civil Affairs. We now have
their promise as well.
In cooperation with the ministry, we have now set up the Half the Sky
Children’s Earthquake Fund. Your donations to the fund will be used to
provide emergency and long-term relief to children affected by the
disaster. Relief will include emergency shelter, food, and medical care
for children orphaned or separated from their families. It will include
temporary or long-term foster care or, when necessary, temporary
institutional care.
We have a commitment from the ministry that we will receive regular
updates on the use of funds and, most important, the well-being of the
Thank you for caring so much about the children.

with love,
Jenny Bowen
Executive Director
Half the Sky Foundation
Half the Sky was created in order to enrich the lives and enhance the prospects for orphaned children in China. We establish and operate infant nurture and preschool programs, provide personalized learning for older children and establish loving permanent family care and guidance for children with disabilities. It is our goal to ensure that every orphaned child has a caring adult in her life and a chance at a bright future.

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