Thursday, May 15, 2008

Half the sky update on China

This letter comes from the director of Half the Sky about the situation in China.

Dear Friends, As word comes of the hundreds, maybe thousands of children lost in the
earthquake, I am finding these emails almost too painful to write. When I think of so many parents who have lost their only child - so many children newly orphaned - so many families destroyed - there are no words..
Still, I will continue to write daily with any new information that has been given to us and confirmed. Again, please do not contact us to inquire about individual institutions. We will give you all of the information we have. If you do not hear from us about a particular place,it likely is not affected. At any rate, we don't have any information beyond what I am passing along to you. As of now, Thursday afternoon in China, there are 14,866 people confirmed dead, 14,463 in Sichuan Province. There are 22,438 people reported missing - 21,020 of them in Deyang alone. There have been 3,300 aftershocks and they continue. Here is the confirmed information we have regarding children in welfare

Chengdu: The city continues to experience aftershocks and the institution
director is afraid the water supply will be cut off again, so has
requested disposable diapers. They are having trouble finding sufficient
supplies of milk and formula. All children in foster care have been
located and are fine. The institution has structural cracks but was built
to current earthquake standards and is fundamentally solid. All the
children remain on the first floor of the children's building, mostly in
the cafeteria, and, weather-permitting, outside while awake. We've posted
a few photos on our website.

Chongqing and Yibin orphanages are fine - no building damage, no shortage
of supplies.

The orphanages below report problems. However, please note that not a
single child has been injured; all are fine:
- Zigong CWI needs bedding, powdered milk, crackers and disposable diapers
- Neijiang CWI has suffered some structural damage; one or two children's
dormitories, office building and laundry room have cracked walls.
- Nanchong 2nd SWI has cracks in walls, substantial damage to the ceiling
of a staff building, needs tents
- Mianyang Zitong CWI has severely damaged walls. Children have been
moved to a military base. Urgent need for diapers, bedding, powdered milk
and purified water
Hanzhong CWI (Shaanxi)- Quite a few water pipes burst, the water tower had
cracks. Children have been evacuated and there is need for more tents,
bedding and purified water. We've posted a few photos on our website.
Dujiangyan SWI has evacuated all children. They have no tap water or
electricity in their temporary shelter. They urgently need food, purified
water, diapers and powdered milk.

We are still unable to reach these institutions: Deyang CWI (78 children),
Abazhou CWI (52 children), Guangyuan SWI, Mianzhu SWI

One of our HTS Beijing staff, Ma Lang, is a native of Mianyang, Sichuan,
close to the epicenter. HTS' Director of Child Development, Ma Lang is
both a pediatrician and a child development specialist. She is on her way
home right now to make use of her skills both medically and to help
children traumatized by this disaster. We are so proud of Lang and wish
her safe travels. She has promised to share her journey with all of us.
So soon you'll be hearing from us both!

Usually just before June 1, China's Children's Day, Half the Sky announces a special appeal to help us fund new orphanage programs in the fall While we are committed to starting those new programs and know we will need help to make it happen, we just don't feel we can ask for help improving lives while children in Sichuan are losing theirs. There must be a Children's Day Challenge this year but not at this time. Please do what you can to help children in trouble now, and remember to help the kids of HTS a little later this year.Our hearts and prayers today are especially with the parents who have lost their children in the collapse of schools - Muyu, Xinjian, Juyuan, Liangping, and the rest. Please give what you can to help the children who survive go on with their lives.If you would like to donate to Half the Sky's Children's Earthquake Fund, it would be great if you would do so at Global Giving. The Ford Motor Company announced today that they will match every gift!
If you prefer to donate directly to Half the Sky, of course that's fine.
Here are the various ways:
You can donate by calling Half the Sky (+1 510 525 3377) or on our
If you would like a Canadian tax receipt, please donate at
If you would like a Hong Kong tax receipt, please call us at +852 2520
5266 or online at
We have been so moved by your support already. Thank you!

with love,

Jenny Bowen
Executive Director
Half the Sky Foundation