"Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12

“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”- William Butler Yeats

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Update from Half The Sky Foundation

Dear friends,

I know you have been waiting eagerly for more news of how the children are faring during the aftermath of the disastrous earthquake in Sichuan.

When something terrible like this happens, confusion is everywhere and rumors spread. All of us are so worried about the children. We are trying to be scrupulously careful to pass along only information that we’ve been able to verify.

We have now set up a procedure whereby we can get an update from the Ministry of Civil affairs each day. They are supervising all relief efforts so have the most complete and accurate information available. We also now have contact information for all affected welfare institutions and have begun the process of reaching out to them directly to see if theyneed help.

I will write daily with any new information that has been given to us. 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, Wednesday afternoon in China, there are 12,012 people dead and 7,841 missing in Sichuan alone, and the numbers continue to rise. 26,206people are living in temporary shelters. Only 30 children of 900 have been rescued from the collapsed high school in Dujiangyan, Sichuan. At least 20 children were buried in the collapse of a primary school in Liangping, Chongqing.

What follows are the welfare institutions closest to the epicenter: Mianyang, Zitong County, Dujiangyan, Deyang and Guanguan.

The following is a preliminary, and not necessarily complete, list of institutions which are also potentially affected: Wenjiang County, Neijiang, Rongxian, Zigong, Ganzizhou, Panzhihua, Luzhou, Santai County,Leshan, Suining, Nanchong, Guang’an. We will have a full list later today or early tomorrow. While we’ve heard rumors about some of the above, we won’t pass on that information until we’ve made direct contact and verified. I want to stress that we’ve heard no reports of children in the welfare institutions being injured, only that some have been relocated for their safety.

An update on the Chengdu CWI: There has been some foundation damage to the rehab building and some cracked walls in other buildings, which are being carefully inspected. The children’s building is in the best shape and all children have been moved to the first floor but spend most of the day outside, weather permitting – or in the institution buses if there israin. All institution staff and HTS staff are working around the clock to care for the children and keep them safe.

In cooperation with China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs, Half the Sky has set up the Children’s Earthquake Fund. The Fund will provide direct aid to the thousands of children who are suffering in the wake of the earthquake and aftershocks. Donations will be used to provide emergencyand long-term relief to children affected by the disaster, including emergency shelter, food, and medical care for children orphaned or separated from their families, as well as temporary or long-term fostercare or, if necessary, temporary institutional care. The ministry has guaranteed that the funds will be used only to help the children.

You can donate to the fund by calling Half the Sky (+1 510 525 3377) or at one of two dedicated sites online: Global Giving:

http://www.globalgiving.com/pr/2100/proj2086a.html or

Half the Sky website:

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 25205266 or online at https://www.paydollar.com/b2c2/eng/charity/payInfo.jsp?charityId=4947

We are juggling a lot these days — doing everything we can to help out here as well as keeping our existing programs operating, AND opening model centers in 5 new provinces this year to bring everyday care to so many children still waiting for us to reach them. But somehow we must find away to do it all.

This is just a devastating, heartbreaking situation. We are so moved by your desire to help.
We feel fortunate to be a conduit for so much loving concern. Thank you all!

with love,


Jenny Bowen
Executive Director
Half the Sky Foundation


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