The earthquake and aftershocks have caused in a few basic changes in life for people in Anshun. Because the initial earthquake caused so much devastation, people in all areas are worried about aftershocks. Many of my students have never had training about what to do in the case of an earthquake. The fear is compounded when we turn on the television to see station after station broadcasting footage of crews searching through rubble and displaced families somberly walking to their next temporary home.
Last night the students evacuated the dorms at several schools in the area because there were reports that an aftershock would occur during the night. I heard that the time of aftershocks cannot be predicted, so this is curious. The students did not seem very happy to leave their beds in the middle of the night, and several arrived late to class because they were sleeping through the morning bell. 'Yawn' was the word of the day.
I feel safe here; there seems to be no indication that anyone is worried about our region because it is so far from the earthquake. I am interested in helping the communities just outside of Chengdu most affected by the disaster. I am trying to design a long-term project related to reconstruction. This project would involve working with the local community to provide some kind of long-distance support. Currently there has been an amazing response on the part of communities around China: money is being raised and sent to communities affected by the earthquake. There is some concern that it will be more difficult to get people to help as time passes. Many volunteers here are willing to also participate in long-term projects, and we are looking to our schools for ideas.
If you have ideas or suggestions about long-term projects, or you are curious how you can help, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Although I cannot be involved directly with raising funds (if that's something we decide to do), I can give such a process oversight to ensure the money goes to the communities in need (schools can contact me via email). Individuals can look into organizations like Mercy Corps and Red Cross.