Students from Darthmouth respond to Quinghai quake
Thursday 6 May 2010, by
In response to the recent earthquake in the Quinghai province of China, Dartmouth students, faculty and members of the community have collectively raised more than $1,400 for various non-governmental organizations that are supporting the relief effort, according to Connie Hu ’11 and anthropology professor Sienna Craig, who has served as an adviser to several clubs and student organizations involved in the effort.
On April 14, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck Yushu County in the Quinghai province, killing 617 people by April 15, according to The New York Times.
The earthquake struck two days before a Buddhism and Medicine seminar at Dartmouth, and Craig decided to use the event as a means of leveraging funds for the relief effort, she said.
Through donations that mostly came from members of the community, the event raised $1,100.
Students have also taken initiative in responding to the earthquake. Hu worked with Ibrahim Elshamy ’09, the student director of the Tucker Foundation, to set up a way for students to donate through their DASH accounts to Yushu Earthquake Response, a consortium of local NGOs from Quinghai that helps provide food and other necessities to area residents, Hu said.
Hu sent out an e-mail to various groups and students on campus with a link to a website where students could donate with DASH, which was also posted on the Tucker Foundation website. As of Wednesday, $300 has been raised through the website, Hu said.
Craig, who is familiar with the Quinghai region, has advised students and organizations to donate to Yushu Earthquake Response and The Tibetan Healing Fund, an NGO focused on providing support to the families of earthquake victims that have been hospitalized, as well as rebuilding destroyed hospitals.
The Dartmouth Asian Organization and the Dartmouth Chinese Culture Society have been working together to organize a grill event at Kappa Kappa Kappa fraternity sometime in the next two weeks to raise money for the cause, according to DAO president Florence Ling ’11.
Although there has been some response by Dartmouth students to the earthquake, the level of response has been much less than that for both the recent earthquake in Haiti and the earthquake that occurred in Sichuan Province in May 2008, Ling said.
The magnitude and level of destruction of the most recent earthquake was less than that of the other two earthquakes, according to Craig.
Despite the smaller scale of this earthquake compared to the one in Haiti, Craig said it was “somewhat striking” that the relief effort for this earthquake has largely been limited to student culture organizations focused on Asia, while the response to the Haiti earthquake extended to many more groups across campus.
Many Dartmouth students are largely oblivious to the situation or unaware of how they can help, according to Ling. The earthquake received relatively little coverage in the media, Hu said.
Ling said that the recent earthquake in Haiti and the high-profile response to it at Dartmouth may have decreased the level of the response to the Quinhai earthquake.
Although the response has been smaller for the earthquake in Quinghai than for the earthquake in Haiti, Hu and Craig both said that they were pleased with what they have been able to accomplish.
“I’m just happy that there’s been any response at all, and I hope it continues in form,” Craig said.
Craig said it is important to continue providing financial support to both Quinghai and Haiti as each goes through its respective rebuilding process.
Source : http://thedartmouth.com