El Salvador and India: After the devastation hope amid the ruins
The e-mail from Marta Benavides came days after the first, devastating earthquake shook El Salvador on January 13. A month later, she was writing again about a second quake that "...[destroyed] what little had been left standing" in her homeland.
Half a world away, the people in the Indian state of Gujarat faced similar scenes of chaos and destruction after a January 26 quake left tens of thousands dead.
The people of El Salvador and India will be dealing with the aftermath of these disasters for years to come, and AFSC will be there to help rebuild their lives. AFSC responded quickly to both disasters and continues to assess the long-term relief and reconstruction needs.
El Salvador Just under a third of El Salvador's six million people have been hit hard by the two earthquakes and countless aftershocks. To date, AFSC has raised more than $165,000. The money is being used by local partner agencies in El Salvador to purchase emergency supplies and temporary housing for survivors. AFSC staff in Honduras also assembled six truckloads of foodstuffs, medicine, and construction materials for delivery to El Salvador, and the Philadelphia office sent nearly 2,000 hygiene kits, which included soap, adhesive bandages, and candles. In addition, AFSC recently shipped several containers of mattresses, clothing, and medical supplies donated by various corporations.
India AFSC thus far has received more than $100,000 for its India Earthquake Fund. AFSC is working with partner agencies, in particular Kutch Nav Nirmaan Abhiyan, to determine how best to respond to those whose needs may not be met by larger agencies.
The loss in both countries is tremendous. But as a recent e-mail from Marta in El Salvador indicates, hope endures amid the ruin. She writes: "The people are surviving, and we are taking care of our lives. We are learning that we are El Salvador; that we'll dig it [out] with our fingers and nest it within our souls."
You can help
To make a donation to AFSC's relief and reconstruction efforts in El Salvador and India, please make checks payable to AFSC and mark for "El Salvador Earthquake Relief and Reconstruction" or "India Earthquake Fund." Mail to AFSC/Development, 1501 Cherry Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102.
To contribute via Visa or Mastercard, call AFSC toll-free at (888) 588-2372, ext. 1.
Send comments or suggestions to:
e-mail: email@example.com Phone 215-241-7000
National Office: 1501 Cherry St., Philadelphia, PA 19102
The AFSC is a 501(c)3 organization and all contributions are tax deductible.
Last changed: April 25, 2001