Sichuan Relief Mission Benefit

On May 6th, there will be a cocktail party and benefit event for the Sichuan Relief Mission.

The Sichuan Relief Mission is a student-run organization that started last year under Kevin Wong, a senior at NYU. Along with a group of NYU students in May 2009, he led the group to Beichuan county in Sichuan – a more neglected area because of the attention surrounding Wenchuan county. However, the city of Beichuan is the closest to the epicenter and therefore the small town of Dengjiaxiang was greatly affected by the earthquake. A documentary team also followed the group and are currently working on a feature-length documentary of the situation there.

In the Winter of 2010, a smaller group of volunteers returned to see how the people they met the past May.

The purpose of the cocktail party is to raise money for a new school in Dengjiaxiang. The students were forced to go to another school hours away that prevents them from living closer to their families. With a new school, the students can stay closer to home and study in a proper building instead of one of those portable steel shacks.

Tickets are $50 for the event, and it includes an open bar, a live performance, and food. All proceeds will be going towards the school and supporting the students as they continue their education through scholarships.

You can get more information through their website sichuanreliefmission.org. For more questions, you can also email thesichuanreliefmission@gmail.com.

I think this is quite a worthy event to attend. It’s devastating to see so many earthquakes happen in this year – Haiti, Chile, Qinghai, China, and minor ones in California – and while there has been a rush for aid, how long do you think that will last? Most devastations get attention for the first six months or even a year, and then after that the aid drifts off.

What’s worthy about this mission, also known as SRM, is that they’re not forgetting about the people in Sichuan. The earthquake hit an area that had a relatively polar-socially population – people were either really rich or really poor. Those that were really poor include mostly the elderly, and they now have to take care of their grandchildren. The government fails to give them enough aid, as 2 years later they are all still living in temporary housing.

Though there are more recent earthquakes to attend to, we can’t and shouldn’t forget the victims from prior devastations either (i.e. Hurricane Katrina).

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