Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation

Aug 07th
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Home Global Activities Asia Sichuan Earthquake - Helping neighbors

Sichuan Earthquake - Helping neighbors

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Sichuan Earthquake
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Helping neighbors
Though piping hot noodle soup, seasoned porridge, and steamed rice are the most ordinary staple of a Chinese diet, downing a few helpings at this time and under these circumstances gave the tent residents a much appreciated sense of comfort and warmth.

There were 13,900 buildings in Jinshan Township in Loujiang, Deyang, and the quake destroyed 90 percent of them. Survivors moved in with relatives or into one of the seven public shelters which the local government had set up. Tzu Chi volunteers put up a service center at the largest of those shelters, which accommodated more than 600 people. Volunteers also worked with medical personnel to establish first-aid stations, led and played group games with children, and mobilized residents to work in improvised kitchens.

Each morning, participants brought cleavers, pots and pans, cutting boards, or whatever kitchen utensils they still had to the kitchen sites and got busy preparing the next meals. Some farmers even donated their own vegetables to the shelter. One of them said, "You folks came all the way from Taiwan to help us. We locals must at least do what we can to help ourselves."

The quake survivors were unable to cook for several days after the temblor. They had to eat food supplied by the government or charity organizations. Though life sustaining, emergency food tended to be dry and cold--not particularly palatable after a few repeats. At a time like this, hot, freshly cooked meals became almost like gourmet food. Tzu Chi volunteers even gave out reusable eating utensils to residents to help cut down on the consumption of disposable utensils.

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