AKRON, Pa. -- Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) and the Commission on Overseas Mission of the General Conference Mennonite Church have together contributed $16,500 Cdn./$12,000 U.S. to help rebuild schools and homes destroyed by summer floods along the Yangtze River in central China.
More than 1,600 persons have lost their lives and hundreds of thousands of homes have been destroyed. Much of the summer's rice and cotton crop has been lost, forcing some already poverty-stricken areas to rely totally on the government for grain assistance.
While this summer's floods are a result of heavier than normal rainfall, the Chinese government has conceded that widespread logging and other ecological damage along the Yangtze River is contributing to the problem as well.
Amity Foundation, a relief and development organization initiated by the Chinese church, will distribute the funds. The Amity Foundation is currently assisting people in several poor and hard-hit counties in Anhui Province. In addition to rebuilding several primary schools, materials will be purchased to reconstruct a home for elderly people.
Tan Liying, Amity Foundation's relief coordinator, also hopes they will also be able to undertake further work among minority groups affected by the flooding. Ms. Tan has told China Educational Exchange that Amity is doing what it can in the face of such a huge calamity, and that outside assistance from Mennonites and other Christians around the world does make a difference.
China Educational Exchange coordinates Mennonite programs in China.