November 2008 | By Jane Leung Larson
The May Sichuan earthquake was only six months ago, but rebuilding will take years and cost hundreds of billions of dollars. With 88,000 dead or missing, the earthquake left behind shattered families as well as flattened villages in a remote and impoverished region. The Committee of 100 Earthquake Relief Fund raised (USD) $840,415 for immediate relief and long-term reconstruction for both physical structures and lives.
Give2Asia, a funding organization established by the Asia Foundation, has worked with the Committee to select projects and partners for grants from its Fund, and this November, the final distributions were made. C-100 Development Director Michael Lee reports that the Committee supported seven projects:
2. $135,000 for scholarships for 60 students whose families were affected by the earthquake for the Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine during their entire five-year course of study. This scholarship program was established by Committee member Carter Tseng.
3. $90,000 for four-year scholarships for 50 earthquake-affected students at Sichuan University.
4. $50,000 to the China Youth Development Foundation for 16 mini-libraries for mobile schools that will serve children and youth until permanent schools can be built in two or three years.
5. $82,000 to the Sustainable Development Promotion Organization of Maoxian Community for assistance to farmers in devastated Maoxian County whose livelihood has been greatly damaged by the earthquake. This project includes funds for the formation of cooperative production groups, rebuilding roads so that farmers can get to the marketplace, laying a drinking water pipe, and helping farmers buy livestock and seeds.
6. $118,742 to NGO Disaster Preparedness Center to help 50 families in the hard-hit township of Hanwang to become self-supporting by providing start-up funds and training for handicraft production and marketing (embroidery) and for managing and breeding cattle and pigs.
7. $179,770 to the Asia Foundation-China to assist women in two villages in Maoxian County with re-establishing their long-term economic well-being. This two-year project seeks to rebuild the confidence and capacity for self-support of the many women who now head single-parent families, or families with disabled members, or whose husbands and sons are migrant laborers living elsewhere. Many of those in Maoxian are of the Qiang minority, of whom perhaps 30,000 perished in the earthquake. Among the specific activities will be the rebuilding of houses and the provision of micro-grants to women to start or re-start businesses.
The Committee of 100 thanks Ray Klinke, Dien S. Yuen, Birger Stamperdahl, Xiao Rong, Gillian Yeoh, and Seema Khan of Give2Asia for their invaluable expertise and guidance in managing the C-100 Earthquake Relief Fund.