News / Asia

Victims of China's 2008 Wenchuan Quake Still Need Help

Victims of China's Huge 2008 Wenchuan Quake Still Need Helpi
X
May 11, 2013 2:56 PM
The loss of life from China’s 2008 Wenchuan earthquake was tremendous, and many young students were among those killed when schools toppled. Some victims are still trying to recover, with the assistance of volunteers who have taken up residence in the newly rebuilt schools. VOA’s Bill Ide reports. Camera and editing by Rebecca Valli.
William Ide
The loss of life from China’s 2008 Wenchuan earthquake was tremendous, and many young students were among those killed when schools toppled. Some victims are still trying to recover, with the assistance of volunteers who have taken up residence in the newly rebuilt schools.
 
Wei Ling recalls she was in chemistry class when the Wenchuan earthquake struck.
 
“At first I thought my teacher was calling me and then the entire room began to shake. Even the television was shaking. The wall behind us ripped open and we all stared at it, terrified. But before I could react, the ground split open and I fell down and couldn’t feel anything.”
 
Collapsed schools killed more than 6,500 teachers and students during the quake five years ago. Now, charity groups like “Unilove” have taken up residence in rebuilt schools like Hanwang Elementary to help victims of the quake recover.
 
Ning Tianyuan, a former bank employee and teacher says volunteering was not easy at first - but the more she works, the more meaningful it becomes, she says.
 
“To communicate with these people you have to open up your heart, and then they can tell you how they feel. After seeing them a few times I became familiar with them, and they would also love to talk to us.”
 
At Hanwang, Unilove not only helps quake victims with counseling and physical therapy, but provides a much needed space for those who are physically or mentally challenged as well.
 
Some of the children are still recovering from the loss of their parents, or from injuries. The group is a support network for those who have been orphaned and being cared for by their grandparents.
 
But Ning Tianyuan says there are signs of progress.
“Such a huge disaster left a mark on everyone, no matter whether they were old people or kids, but now because there are many people who care for them. There are many charities. They have slowly come out of the pain of the experience.”
 
The quake cost Wei Ling both her legs, but it has not dampened her contagious enthusiasm for life. Late last year, she married. She is now beginning to learn how to walk.
 
“Sometimes now when I get sick or am facing some difficulties, I think back about how I got to where I am today, and it is difficult to know how I’ve made it through it all,” says Wei.
 
Following the 2008 earthquake, more than 600 non-governmental organizations stepped up to help out with recovery in the quake zone. NGO organizers say that number now has shrunk to about 120, with about a third focusing on work in schools.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid