--- SEARCH ---
Learning Chinese
Learn to Cook Chinese Dishes
Exchange Rates
Hotel Service
China Calendar

Hot Links
China Development Gateway
Chinese Embassies

Ferocious Tsunami Starts Donation Drives Across China

Bombarded with devastating TV pictures on tsunami-ravaged South and Southeast Asian countries and a rising death toll, Zhou Jin, 78, an average Chinese in Beijing, rushed to a local donation center Saturday and left 1,800 yuan (about US$217).

"I am too old to have much expenditure. Here is the cash I have with me. Take it and make use of it for the needy there," Zhou told civil affair officer Zhang Ye.

When asked about why she gave away all her cash, Zhou said she was not fishing for name. "The catastrophe has made me in low spirits for so many days. I wish I could do something and here comes the chance," she said.

Since the donation center in the Yuetan neighborhood was set upon Friday morning, more than 13,000 yuan (about US$1,567) have been received. Many of the donors are the retired who happened to pass by the center while shopping and exercising.

An old lady in a gray overcoat with a shopping basket in hand said, "Why don't you advise us about the donation drive before hand? If I didn't come by, I'd have missed the chance."

Zhang Ye, who's in charge of the civil affairs of the Yuetan neighborhood, apologized to her, saying this donation drive was indeed started in a rush.

"We didn't knock people's doors to mobilize them, not even print flyers or posters. We wish people could come at their own will and it turns out to be pretty encouraging," she said.

Earlier in 2004, two donation drives were officially launched in the neighborhood, to help poverty-stricken mothers and people who get injured while rescuing others separately. To encourage people to open up their purses, local civil affairs officials and volunteers spent at least two days to spread flyers and mobilize before the drives were formally kicked off.

"This time, we don't want to be pushy, but people constantly come and give whatever they can afford. This is very impressive," Zhang said.

According to the Friday forecast of the United Nations, the death toll in tsunamis of the Indian Ocean is approaching 150,000.So far, a total of 124,000 proven deaths have been reported from Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Maldives and other countries. Four Chinese were confirmed dead and another 290,missing.

Faced with the calamity, Chinese from all walks of life have acted voluntarily to help people thousands of miles away. So far, the All-China Youth Federation and the Chinese Juveniles Development Foundation have donated one million yuan (about US$120,482) to young people in disaster-hit areas, while the All-China Federation of Trade Unions have sent over three million yuan (about US$361,447) to union organizations in tsunami-ravaged countries.

China's electronic manufacturer TCL group donated another three million yuan through the China Red Cross Society while the Huawei Company gave Thailand, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Bangladesh each communication equipment worth US$500,000 to support their post-disaster construction.

The Shaolin Temple, a famous Buddhism temple in central China's Henan Province, also donated 400,000 yuan to the tsunami-hit countries through the Buddhism Association of China.

Wang Xiaohua who heads the Pubic Relations Department of the China Red Cross Society said the Chinese people are very active to join in this donation drive targeting foreign needy.

"They just call in one after another," he said.

Since the society opened its telephone hotline 010-65139999 on Thursday, more than 500 people have called in, expressing their willingness to help. The China Red Cross Society already donated US$660,000 through the International Red Cross Society and relevant organizations in disaster-hit countries.

"This is not the first time that Chinese voluntarily donated for overseas people. They made the same efforts during the African famine in the 1980s and the later wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. But this one definitely involves more people and a greater passion," he said.

(Xinhua News Agency January 1, 2005)

Print This Page | Email This Page
About Us SiteMap Feedback
Copyright © China Internet Information Center. All Rights Reserved
E-mail: webmaster@china.org.cn Tel: 86-10-68326688