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Totally Different —— Life in Disaster-affected Areas

China Social Assistance Foundation    2009-07-23 17:52

 

On July 20th, China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA) launched the Disaster Relief Action for Chongqing Flood-affected Areas and donated 2 million RMB materials to Bishan and Tongliang counties. The relief materials arrived at the disaster-affected areas on July 25th, and then distributed to victims to help them overcome the difficulties. On July 16th, 2007, a flood which affected 459 townships in 35 countries was worse than any hit recorded in the past hundred years in Chongqing. The counties locate in Shapingba, Bishan and Tongliang were submerged; a total of 6.88 million people were affected, 42 died, 12 disappeared and 1785 injured; amount to 31,900 houses collapsed and 88,600 houses were damaged; the directly economic losses amounted to 2745 million RMB, in which, agriculture losses were 989 million.

 

On July 28th, CFPA and CCTV Film Channel launched “Film Star’s Caring Tour to Disaster-affected Areas” together. The couple, Ms. Jiang Qingqing and Mr. Chen Jiangbin, who are both famous film stars, went to the Bishan Disaster-affected area to visit poor mothers and babies. They brought food to the infants and displayed their care for poor mothers and babies in disaster areas through taking real action.

 

In the afternoon, the couple visited three mothers and babies in Tianchi Village in Bishan County. Located in the mountainous areas, houses in the village were washed away in the flood. Because it was raining the previous night, the road was very muddy and difficult to walk on. On the way to a victim, Huang Xuemei’s house, the film stars had to tread through water and mud. Huang’s daughter was only 19 days old and the flood took place right after she was born. In the flood, most houses were washed away; but fortunately, because most villagers attended a party to celebrate her birth they survived from the flood. Now the girl is known as the “little lucky star”.

 

Huang lived in a house built of mud, where the house was low and humid. She said that she was very weak after childbirth and worried about possible illnesses caused by the house’s high humidity, because during rainy days, the house leaked everywhere. She was afraid of rains might come again like last time. However, to poverty, she was not able to find a good way to solve the problem.

 

The “Little Lucky Star” suddenly cried out possibly because she saw so many people came to see her. The couple film stars who just had their own child were busy holding the little girl and presenting the milk powder and Vitameal (a kind of children’s food) to the mother and telling her to use the food when her daughter turned 6 months.

 

The second poor mother and baby visited were Lei Tao in Tianchi Village. Her house was located at the foot of the mountain. Beside her house, big stones and broken trees were washed down by the flood. Although her house had not collapsed, but the rear wall was broken so that mud and sand came into the house. She recalled: “At first, we saw a neighbor’s house below us that was washed away, and the strong flood waters were rushing down beside our house. We were very worried at that time.”

 

Her son was born 4 months ago and the little fellow smiled at us. The star couple held the little son in their arms as if he was their own baby.

 

Lei said: “our son has no nutritious food to eat, and unfortunately, I have no milk for him. Now I can only feed him with porridge.” Ms. Jiang Qingqing cried at the sight of the food shown by the child’s grandmother. She sobbed: “The gap between us is so large. We worry about choosing the best milk powder and diapers for our child. When you see the experiences of these families, and then you want to help them……”

 

While the wealthy urban mothers are puzzling about which infant commodities to purchase, poor rural mothers are using simple porridge. They need little and they are satisfied only if their children are healthy and not affected by disasters. Two mothers, totally two different lives.
         
However, mothers in disaster-affected areas became strong enduring the hardships in life and try to pay as much attention as they can in raising their children. Like Ms. Jiang Qingqing said: “They devote everything, even their lives, just like the mother Huang Xuemei, who felt very happy for just surviving the disaster. How lucky they feel - they are good if their children are good. They are stronger than all of us. ”

 

Mr. Chen Jiangbin talked about his feeling of the tour. He said: “When you have your own child and family, if you see the difficult life of others, you will be touched by them. Real life is hard, you need to come to put your own feet on the earth and feel their life. It is most important to participate in the activity to help them”. 

 

The life of poor mothers and babies is a condensed picture of life in poor areas. Maybe, a victim near the muddy road is waiting for our help. Let’s keep more eyes on them. Let more people feel the social warmness and care! All donations made by general public will establish a Disaster Relief Fun to help the disaster-affected people to overcome their life’s difficulties.

 

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