Vol­un­teers help evac­uees re­cover

NGOs pro­vide sup­port at set­tle­ment for peo­ple dis­placed by quake, who give but­ter tea in re­turn

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

but­ter tea from the evac­uees.”

Wang, 38, was sent to the city by the Dishui Public Wel­fare NGO. He was born in Sichuan province, and his home­town was hit by a dev­as­tat­ing earth­quake in 2008. This is the third time he has vol­un­teered for earth­quake re­lief.

Wang said many Ti­betan peo­ple like to drink tea early in the morn­ing, so his team gets up at 6 am to boil wa­ter for them.

The team is based in a tent vil­lage at a set­tle­ment, and its 12 mem­bers come from four vol­un­teer or­ga­ni­za­tions across the coun­try.

Though small, the team pro­vides a range of ser­vices. The vol­un­teers have set up an area that can be used as a bas­ket­ball court, a soc­cer field or an ac­tiv­ity space dur­ing the day, and as a dance floor and movie theater in the evening.

Wang, a welder, has made a see­saw and a swing for chil­dren.

“Thanks to those kind-hearted vol­un­teers, we have hot wa­ter all the time and our kids have a nice place to play sports and watch movies,” said evac­uee Basang Tser­ing.

The team pro­vides lessons for in­jured stu­dents and for chil­dren from 2 to 4 years old. Zhao Ning of the China Foun­da­tion for Poverty Alle­vi­a­tion said that draw­ing and sto­ry­telling classes and game ses­sions are run by four teach­ers in a kinder­garten tent.

“At first I worked as a steve­dore, and later I be­gan to work as a kinder­garten teacher,” said Zhao. “The hap­pi­est thing for me is to be with kids all the time.”

Vol­un­teer Ji Ji­a­jia from An­hui province has been work­ing as a psy­cho­log­i­cal coun­selor for sev­eral weeks.

In ad­di­tion, he helps an in­jured 14-year-old girl make up for lessons she has missed. Her leg was bro­ken by rocks that rolled down a moun­tain­side dur­ing the quake.

“We had com­mu­ni­ca­tion prob­lems at first and she used body lan­guage some­times, but as time goes on we are do­ing bet­ter,” the 24-year-old said.

Sev­eral vol­un­teers at the set­tle­ment said they were im­pressed by Sun Meng, a vol­un­teer from Shan­dong province.

Sun has been teach­ing at Xigaze Pri­mary School for a year as part of an aid pro­gram, and ev­ery day af­ter class he cy­cles to the set­tle­ment to give a hand to stu­dents who need help.

The jour­ney there and back takes an hour, but the vol­un­teers say he never com­plains.

“It is my dream to work in Ti­bet and help the Ti­betan peo­ple, and I do not want to waste a minute here,” said Sun, 35. “Ev­ery time I see smiles on the evac­uees’ faces I feel happy.”


Wang Jian­guo, a welder, helps chil­dren use the swing he made at a set­tle­ment in Xigaze city in the Ti­bet au­ton­o­mous re­gion last week. More than 1,000 earth­quake sur­vivors, in­clud­ing about 100 peo­ple from Nepal, were evac­u­ated to the city fol­low­ing a mag­ni­tude-7.9 earth­quake that struck their coun­try and parts of China on April 25.

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