June/July 2008

31st July 2008

Earthquake Relief

The above picture is DORS staffmember Zhang Guangtao interviewing an earthquake survivor. The hot summer weather has made it impossible for people to stay in the tents during the day, and some people have put mats on the ground outside to cool off.  When we help people affected by the earthquake, we go to their homes—the ruined ones and their current tent homes—and then according to their family situation, determine the degree to which we will support them.  Up to the present time, we have received earthquake relief contributions from all different places amounting to over 200,000 yuan RMB altogether (not including relief materials contributions).   We have already spent 81,654.50 yuan on projects in the county town—of which 50,000 yuan was contributed to the government (see website), and 31,654.50 yuan was directly used on helping earthquake victims. Ya’an church’s 1002.50 yuan worth of medicine was donated to the women and children’s  hospital in Hanyuan.  We have passed on donated materials and funds to families most in need, and at the same time at times acted as informal counselors, chatting with people about their difficulties.  Up to July 15, DORS had helped 68 households materially.  In total 84 quilts were distributed (thin quilts, 45; thick quilts, 7; and army quilts, 32); 10 army tents; 15 camping tents (donated to Sichuan Province 5.12 Independent Relief Center); 15 folding beds, 28 containers of cooking oil, 6 cartons of water, and assorted clothes.  Of these some of the quilts and the oil were bought by DORS, altogether spending 1654.50 yuan.  Different amounts of flexible funds were given to 73 households, totaling 30,000 yuan.  Some of these recipients also received in-kind assistance from DORS.   For more detailed information and pictures please see our website: www.dors.org.uk. Now due to the earthquake assistance, Hanyuan county town residents have come to understand DORS much better.  The fact that we went in person to the houses to see the families’ situations gave people a deep impression, and many people were very grateful for the help we gave them.  When we received the banner-award from Nongzheng Village Hamlet 7, they said that our care made them feel touched and brought everyone warmth.  As a charity organization, this is what we were made to do! Many organizations, including companies and NGOs, have contacted us, wanting to know if we can cooperate to work on rebuilding after the earthquake.  Although our future focus will be on our project villages’ rebuilding,  we will continue to follow the county town families we have helped, in order to be sure whether or not they need additional assistance.


       

Children washing a pan among the ruins           

Beautiful flowers among the wreckage      

Now they can smile for the camera

It has already been over two months since the earthquake, and although there are still sometimes aftershocks, in the busyness of work we have pretty much lost the fear or worry related to them.  Those whose houses have no problems have already moved back to their homes, and the stores which haven’t collapsed are back open for business.  Despite the ruins which suddenly appeared, the buildings full of cracks, and the tents covering all available spaces in the city, people seem to have more or less resumed life as usual, each day working hard, eating well, and sleeping heavily.  But people’s eyes seem to have gained a bit of blankness.  In any case, DORS staff believe everyone hit by the earthquake can afford to take a positive look at life after the earthquake and work hard together at the rebuilding.  DORS has already begun to start other projects’ planning and implementation.

Villages supported by Pr. Xiong Darun


Shiquan Village


Boar  raising

The below picture is the next generation of pigs fathered by the little pig that everyone worried about, when it got sick,  in Shiquan Village.  Everyone’s efforts to save him were not in vain, as his numerous children prove.

Construction of paths to hamlets

The construction work is completed, and at the appropriate time DORS will go inspect and evaluate them.

School playground paving

Formerly, due to funding issues, we continually dithered about whether or not to do this project, because Shiquan doesn’t have sand, and transporting the sand from the Dadu River to the mountainside village would be too costly.  Later, out of the generosity of friends at China’s astronomy observatories, the funding problem was solved.  We made a detailed construction plan, and signed a contract with the Party Secretary.  But the roads to Shiquan are very poor, and its passability depends on the weather, so it will be a while before the materials can be transported there.  Because they wanted to do what was in their power to do to help the victims, three days after the earthquake, caring friends in the field of astronomy began collecting funds, which up to now total 21,600 yuan (of which 10,000 is on its way).  These funds are designated for Shiquan Primary School’s repair and construction of supplementary facilities for it. 

In June Pr. Xiong and some other astronomy friends came to Hanyuan to see the post-earthquake situation.  They went to Shiquan, and Went China Normal University’s Pr. Yang Shuzheng and Pr. Luo Zhiquan bought schoolbags and school supplies for the children.  We hope these tokens of care gave the children some pleasure in a scary time. The below picture is Pr. Xiong and his student Deng Licai preparing to distribute the supplies to the children.

Maping Village


Raising Organic Chickens

In the middle of July, after signing the contract, 480 chicks were delivered to Maping village and given to 5 households.  In one month, the boss of the farm where the chickens were purchased will come to Maping Village to conduct a training on how best to raise them.

 

Misereor Social Development Foundation

DORS and Misereor have once again signed a contract.  This time 4 villages have been chosen in Hanyuan county—two integrated project villages and two income-generation project villages.  According to previously done surveys, DORS is tentatively planning on doing the two integrated projects in Wanlin Village in Nimei Township and Gulu Village in Yongli Township; the income-generation project villages have not yet been determined.  Because the risk in doing income-generation projects is rather large, in choosing the villages we must consider many factors.  Therefore we are adopting a different village-choice procedure from before.   We notified 8 villages at the same time, villages in whichDORS previously did integrated projects, so they already have good foundations, and a few of the leaders have also attended DORS’ participatory methods training.  The leaders are in charge of having a meeting with their villages to see which projects would be most suited to their villages.  Next they will write a project proposal, and then we will read the proposals and analyze which projects, with our funding, are most feasible, along with doing budget approximations and market forecasts.  We also try to determine whether the villagers are united in purpose, along with other factors, in order to determine where to implement projects.

Wanlin Village

Hamlets 1-3 Water Project

In June we did a final evaluation of Wanlin’s water project.  The water cistern was repaired, the pipes were completely installed, and the villagers were receiving clean drinking water directly to their homes. 

The above picture is DORS’ Bai Shihai (first from right) and Zhang Guangtao (first from left) inspecting the repair of the cistern to see whether it met the requirements previously agreed.  The words written on the cistern moved us, and not just the “Drinking makes us think of DORS, their help has reached our homes” (left and right top to bottom), but “deep feeling and heavy meaning” next to the Olympic rings and “12 May 2008 Earthquake Memorial” at the bottom.  We too are full of excitement for the Olympic Games in China and full of sorrow at the same time for our compatriots who suffered and died in the earthquake.

Charities Aid Foundation of Australia

Charities Aid Foundation of Australia (CAF) will support DORS building 400 fuel-efficient stoves and 150 biogas containers in various project villages.  We have already constructed some demonstration stoves, and once the villagers see the advantages of the stoves in person, DORS will start the implementation of the stoves project in earnest.

Ranmo Village

This is a new project village, which is a neighbor to Chalin Village.  DORS formerly hadn’t done any projects in this village, but they requested that DORS help them construct fuel-efficient stoves.  After doing a needs assessment we decided to do 5 demonstration stoves in Ranmo Village, and decide whether to proceed after that according to villagers’ interest.  The below  picture is a woman in Ranmo Village using the old stoves to prepare food.  Her house partially toppled in the earthquake. 

Wanjia Village

This round of 53 fuel-efficient stoves continues to be in process, with about 30 already finished.  Some of Wanjia’s houses collapsed or became too damaged to use in the earthquake, so the stoves completion will have to be postponed.

 

Contacts, Visits and Donations News

In June we received a visit from a French sociologist living in Shanghai named Florence Padovani.  She is interested in the earthquake relief work DORS is doing and wants to provide some help from Shanghai along with friends there.  Our engineer Bai Shihai went with her to Chenhe Village.

In July Hong Kong Partners for Community Development (PCD)’s Ms. Fong and Ms. He Dexian came to visit, and vice-director Guo Yumei introduced them to Hanyuan county town’s damage conditions and went with them to Hejiang Village.  PCD would like to collect some funds to help DORS do some reconstruction work.  In the city, they can help handicapped people with recovery training and prostheses/wheelchairs; in the country they would like to help a severely affected village rebuild, hoping to make it at the same time a healthful, environmentally friendly, fuel-efficient, earthquake-resistant and harmonious new village.  As of June 30, the amount donated to DORS for earthquake relief in English pounds amounted to 14,485.92 pounds.  As of July 31, the amount donated to DORS for earthquake relief in Renminbi included 21,600 yuan from astronomy friends, designated for Shiquan primary school; former DORS volunteer Li Caihong’s 1,000 Renminbi, and Mr. Mo Guangwei from Guizhou’s 500 yuan.

Shanghai Qiming book-publishing company, after finding out information about Hanyuan county’s earthquake-affected schools, gave Daling Township Central School and Houyu Township Central School some school and living supplies.
          

DORS News and Information

At the beginning of July, after completing contract and completing work, respectively, DORS staffmembers Wang Zhifang and Yang Fangyuan left Fulin.  They were especially hardworking, and sacrificed a lot for DORS.  In the future they will continue to do some publicizing for DORS.  We gratefully thank Wang Zhifang and Yang Fangyuan for all they did for DORS while in Hanyuan.

In early July DORS vice-director Guo Yumei was invited to Hong Kong by UBS bank, which works together with Charities Aid Foundation Australia, a donor to DORS, to give a talk to clients of the bank’s interested in doing philanthropy work in Asia.  It was good for both parties, we believe, DORS to get more publicity for projects and the clients to learn more about what a charity organization on the ground does to relieve poverty and the earthquake, and DORS was honored to be able to send Guo Yumei.  We hope the talk contributed something to charity work in Asia.

At the end of July, DORS received four new volunteers: Hanyuan’s Ren Li, Luo Xiaojuan, Mu Fan and Ganluo’s Qian Ke.  Luo Xiaojuan and Mu Fan will help primarily with office work for a month before they return to school, and Ren Li and Qian Ke will help DORS longer-term, mostly helping DORS survey and research local information.

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