Although it’s been two years since a devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Wenchuan County in Sichuan, much hard work and funding is still necessary to restore the worst affected areas and improve the lives of those who lost almost everything. The earthquake killed over 67,000 people, with about 18,000 more missing. Five million people lost their homes. No amount of money or time can bring back the lives that were lost, but a little effort can help the survivors re-build their lives one step at a time. This article provides some tips on how you can do your part in improving the lives of your fellow Sichuan neighbours from Chengdu.
Become a Volunteer
Chengdu Sports Aid (CSA) is a group of volunteers, Chinese and foreign, who organise community sports days and other fun events to raise money for earthquake victims. The group has touched the lives of thousands since its founding. Fundraisers such as marathons, visits to affected communities and the donation of toys and sports equipment have reminded people in the affected areas that they have not been forgotten. CSA are looking for volunteers to coach/organise sports and games. For more information visit (http://sichuan-quake-relief.org/projects/chengdu-sports-aid/) or contact them via email (email@example.com).
Another organisation looking for volunteers is Hands On Chengdu. Founded in 2008, Hands On Chengdu seeks to connect those wishing to contribute to the community with NGO’s and professionals which need their help. They also organise short term projects which benefit earthquake victims and the overall community, such as visiting the elderly at care centres and re-painting schools. Previous projects have included creating new spaces for education, entertainment and healthcare from shipping containers, and special youth enrichment programmes. To learn more about the organisation and volunteering visit their website (http://handsonchengdu.org/) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Take Part in Local Fundraisers and Charity Events
CSA organise sports events, as mentioned above, which are open to everyone, but there are also other fun events for the less athletic type. Check out the website of Rock Aid Sichuan for news on live music fundraisers and events in the city. The group organised a one-day rock festival fundraiser last year, and have since staged several concerts and gigs in various venues across Chengdu. (http://rockaidsichuan.blogbus.com/)
As more recent earthquakes devastated Yushu in Qinghai Province and droughts and severe rainfall ravish the south, there’s never been a greater need for a charitable and compassionate consciousness in recent years as now – whether in Sichuan, China or anywhere in the world. Every little effort is one small step towards improving the lives of millions.
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