[WELCOME AID: Children in quake-hit Sichuan province receive school kits provided by World Vision.]
BY KENNY CHEE
ON MAY 12 last year, a 8.0-magnitude quake struck Sichuan in China. At least 70,000 people died in the disaster.
It left nearly 18,000 missing and over five million homeless.
One year on from the tragedy, contributions from Singaporeans have gone a long way towards helping the victims.
Humanitarian organisation World Vision Singapore said yesterday that it managed to raise $243,000 from corporations and the public in Singapore to help with relief work.
The funds helped World Vision to provide timely emergency assistance, like giving out food supplies and setting up temporary clinics.
Long-term rehabilitation and reconstruction projects that will help victims rebuild their lives, such as the construction of schools and homes, also benefited from the money raised.
World Vision's disaster-relief efforts were conducted in Sichuan province and the neighbouring provinces of Shaanxi and Gansu.
Ms Mindy Chee, World Vision Singapore's externalrelations manager, was one of the Singaporeans who went to China last year to help with relief efforts.
She told my paper how World Vision workers had built tents for use as temporary classrooms for children whose schools were damaged by the quake.
"Through games and interaction with the kids, we taught them how they should react in a disaster," said Ms Chee.
"This also allowed the kids to open up and counsellors were then able to help them cope with their traumatic experiences with the disaster."
Other relief organisations from Singapore, like Mercy Relief and the Singapore Red Cross, also provided assistance to the Sichuan quake victims.
A Singapore Red Cross spokesman said it is currently working with its partners to rebuild health, education and housing facilities.
» Sichuan orphans remain homeless in China
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