China: Winter clothes for children and teachers in Guangji

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Christian volunteers from Wuxi City (Jiangsu Province) donated 1597 new school uniforms for students and teachers in Guangji, a township in the centre of Sichuan's earthquake region. With temperatures dropping and winter drawing near, local students' lack of adequate clothing had become very obvious. Amity Foundation staffers had paid a visit to the church in Wuxi City in July this year. Talking to church workers, they found that members of the congregation were eager to help people in the area struck by the devastating 12 May earthquake. Amity then set out to identify a school in Sichuan whose students would profit from the help on offer, which was a donation of clothes.

Although many people survived when the earth shook, almost all the houses in Guangji were flattened by the quake. As a result, economic activity in the region all but ceased. Shelter, food and safe drinking water were made available to local people as part of the disaster relief efforts right after the earthquake, but it has been difficult to provide anything except the most basic things to people ever since. Guangji's primary and secondary schools were closed; they opened again only on 1 August. All kindergartens, primary schools and junior high schools were merged into one. There are 1240 students and 127 teachers at this school. Wuxi Christians wanted to help make sure that these students and teachers at least have warm clothes for the winter.

The school provided numbers and individual sizes of teachers and students to Amity. This information was passed on to Pastor Li Pengfei in Wuxi. Together with other church workers, he made sure that the clothes were produced and delivered, then sent through the Amity Foundation to Guangji. The school uniforms were eventually given to the students and teachers in a small ceremony on 16 October. Students, teachers and local school administrators were very happy and expressed their profound gratitude to Amity and the Christian volunteers in Wuxi.