Our Response So Far
Plateau Perspectives responded to the request from prefecture government to assist in the relief work since 14 April 2010. In carrying out its work so far, PP has liaised with the prefecture Foreign Affairs, Health Bureau and Public Security Bureau, and also the provincial Public Security Bureau. Our emergency response has been profiled in national and international media, including BBC, CNN, CBC, Time Magazine and Global Times. The Global Times article can be viewed at http://china.globaltimes.cn/society/2010-06/537192.html.
Medical Camp in Yushu
In the first two weeks following the earthquake, Plateau Perspectives ran a medical camp that treated between 120 and 240 patients each day, for a total of more than 1,200 patients. PP also established a ?Samaritan Fund? so that individual patients needing further care can be assisted if and when they travel to Xining. Overall, all partners in prefecture government (and the local communities served) have been extremely appreciative
Caring for Patients in Xining
In Xining, nearly 300 patients under the care of several provincial hospitals received care packages, with items ranging from toothbrushes to new clothing, with the help of many volunteers in town.
Emergency Relief Supplies
Relief supplies have been purchased and distributed in Yushu, including items such as large tents, beds, cooking utensils, solar powered electric lighting and thermals (clothing). Such household supplies can greatly enhance people?s living conditions in the new relocation camps. Additional donations of good quality used clothes have also been received from FedEx and now await distribution.
Water Supply and Purification
Potable water is a necessary commodity, especially in relocated communities. Assistance was given in the start-up phase for a national project to expand water services in Yushu town, and now additional plans are under review to trial and demonstrate a low-tech (appropriate technology) system developed following the Sichuan earthquake. It is unclear, though, how much local communities recognize a need for supplementary purification, such that the future of this venture remains uncertain.
Training Workshops about Caring for Traumatised Children
A child and adolescent psychiatrist who runs an inpatient adolescent ward in the United Kingdom and whose daily work consists of speaking to traumatised children, will present workshops in Xining on 8-16 June 2010. Topics will include communicating with children, children who are distressed or upset, bereaved children, and also guidance on different approaches that are helpful and approaches that may be harmful when working with (i.e., supporting, counselling) traumatised people, especially children.
Building Sustainable Livelihoods
Over the past few years, Plateau Perspectives has also been working closely with local pastoral communities to help improve their quality of life, with a special focus on increasing economic opportunities; and amongst the options available is the development of appropriate tourism. Discussions are therefore already underway to develop a ‘Yushu Tourism Network’ that may help set the desired ’standard’ for tourism in the region, which should consider social, cultural and environmental factors as well as economic benefits. Following the earthquake, helping to rebuild and/or develop alternative livelihoods will be of great importance, and with a national focus now on Yushu as a major ecotourism destination, engaging with and supporting local Tibetan communities so that they may truly benefit from such new developments is a key role for us to consider.