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Response to Emergencies

Dear National Committee Presidents,

At 2.28pm on 14 May 2008 an earthquake measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale struck the Sichuan province, Peoples Republic of China. The surrounding provinces of Qinghai, Shannxi and Gansu where also affected.More than 80,000 people died and more than 5 million people were left homeless.

The OMEP Asia Pacific Region Assembly (22 May 2008 Hong Kong) discussed possible ways to support early childhood in the devastated areas. Discussions with Professor Ma Yi Nian, OMEP Honorary Member suggested support for the badly effected remote, mountainous villages in Gansu, would be appreciated as that region has received little attention. Considerable world attention and fund raising has focused on the Wenchuan epicenter of the earthquake in Sichuan province.

The discussion led to a suggestion from Professor Ma for OMEP support to establish young children’s libraries in the districts of Gan Nan and Long Nan in the south and south west of Gansu. The area includes a high percentage of Zhang Ethnic Minority people. The Zhang Minority people are generally very poor and disadvantaged due to language and literacy challenges. Availability of books and support for literacy learning will help the children and families in the two areas. Villages Zhou Qu and Die Bu in Gan Nan and Kang Xian, Li Xian and Wen Xian in Long Nan have been identified as target villages for this project.

The proposal was discussed and approved by the OMEP World Assembly in Québec city in August of this year. A rough estimate of the funds needed for the project is US$14,500.00. OMEP World Executive acknowledged and thanked OMEP United Kingdom for the US$3000 they have already raised for the earthquake stricken area. This money will go towards the library project. OMEP World Executive is also very grateful to OMEP Hong Kong for donating $US 1,300.00.

In response to the Assemblies approval OMEP World Executive is asking National Committees to support this project by donation. Funds donated are to be submitted to the OMEP World Treasurer, Maggie Koong: mkoong@victoria.edu.hk

Maggie recommends that donations be
Transferred using: SWIFT: HSBCHKHHHKH
to: #405-9-600223 OMEP-HK
Bank Name: HSBC Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.
Address: Hong Kong University Branch,
The University of Hong Kong,
Pok Fu Lam Road, Hong Kon.
Please identify any funds transferred with the words “Earthquake Fund” on your transfer slip. In this way Maggie will be able to identify the incoming donations. I also ask National Presidents to email Maggie and alert her to the incoming funds to enable her to easily keep track of the incoming funds. email: mkoong@victoria.edu.hk

Many thanks for your contributions and concern for children and families in the earthquake stricken area of Gansu province PR China. I look forward to providing feedback about the library project as the initiative develops.

Yours sincerely

Professor Ingrid Pramling Samuelsson
World President
September 23, 2008