Helping people with disabilities

Three Years Later: Serving people with disabilities is not optional; it is part of the package of rebuilding Yushu in 2013. Plateau Perspectives continues to work with the Disabilities Association to help develop and improve rehabilitation service provision. Over the next year, 80 staff workers will be assisted through a training program concerned with disabilities and rehabilitation.

Two years on… Still assisting the people of Yushu after the quake

As we move through 2012, and toward the third winter since the earthquake, the progress made in Yushu is in many respects significant (a whole town has been, or is being, rebuilt); yet in some other ways, progess also remains quite challenging especially for those who do not yet have new land/homes assigned or built…

Plateau Perspectives’ on-going, longer-term response to the earthquake has been in two main areas: (1) post-earthquake livelihood recovery, through development of Community Ecotourism; and (2) development of Rehabilitation Services in Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in cooperation with the Disabilities Association.

Newsletter and annual reports, providing more detail about this work, can be downloaded from Plateau Perspectives’ website. Additional insights into our work can also be found in the “What We Do” section of Plateau Perspectives’ website; different sub-sections of our relaunched site also outline interventions in Income Generation, Community Ecotourism, Health & Rehabilitation, Disaster Relief, etc.

In support of the development of Community Ecotourism, a new site with a focus on community projects has been launched in the past year, Financial support for this work comes in large part from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) by way of partner organizations in Norway, with additional support from Ford Foundation for the trial development of herders’ cooperatives and trust funds. Collaboration with nature reserve authorities also continues, as large areas of the prefecture are situated within ‘protected areas’ – and the development of a community co-management approach to conservation can help local communities better participate in conservation initiatives as well as achieve socio-economic development aspirations through community ecotourism and other means.

Our project to support the development of Rehabilitation Services in Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture – begun in Longbao/Rongbo and also in Zhiduo/Dritoe – still needs further financial support.

Please consider supporting our work, in aid of the people of Yushu. Donated funds will be used to support the development of Rehabilitation Services in the Yushu area, or as requested (e.g., to support community development, or other affiliated programmes). Thank you for your generosity!


Relief Update as of November 15, 2010

Over the summer months, Plateau Perspectives worked with many of its local partners to determine the most strategic role that it can play in the mid- and long-term recovery of Yushu, following the earthquake that devastated the region on 14 April 2010. The following three-prong approach, or strategy, was adopted:
(1) We are still responding to short-term (immediate) relief needs as they arise, whether this be follow-up medical care for patients, or provision of materials supplies;
(2) With regard to community-based medical care, our main priority is now on the rehabilitation of people with physical disabilities incurred due to the earthquake, as well as a general upgrading of rehabilitation services in the project area; and
(3) We also support the recovery of local livelihoods in the area, with a special emphasis on building the capacity of local communities to participate in new tourism opportunities in the prefecture (note: the government has designated the Yushu area as a new tourism destination, and is rebuilding the regional economy accordingly).

Specifically, since our last update, we have distributed the following emergency relief supplies in Yushu: more than 50 medium-size tents (each for 6-8 people), 700 solar powered dLights, 50 other solar powered lights, 5 large boxes of FedEx clothing, 400 thermals for children, 100 pressure cookers, 400 pairs of socks for children, 100 cell phone rechargers; 150 wheelchairs and 50 crutches; winter coats, shoes, hats, gloves, and thermals for 1,521 school children (with assistance from several local partners).

This week, we also are preparing further relief assistance, including winter coats, hats, thermals, and blankets for an additional 420 school children; winter coats, shoes, and blankets for 1,000 people (with the Civil Affairs Bureau); 100 solar powered lights, 50 wheelchairs, and 20 crutches (with the Disabilities Association).

Project agreements are in place for us to continue the above work in the months ahead. We are now working in cooperation with the Disabilities Association, and we are also in dialogue with the Tourism Bureau to promote more community-oriented tourism in the future. At the same time, with support from the prefecture government, we will of course also continue to respond to relief needs as we learn of them, especially now as people must face their first post-earthquake winter. The times ahead are still difficult, and your help is still very much appreciated.

Thank you in advance for your continued support, in aid of the people of Yushu.

The Yushu Prefecture government has requested aid from Plateau Perspectives in the form of medical personnel and medical supplies. We have established a base of operations for medical outreach, three medical teams are on site, and we are now seeing hundreds of patients each day in the devastated town. Additional supplies are en route. There is a solid network of medical personnel in China prepared to depart for Yushu, most medical supplies currently required are available domestically, and gifts of cash are the easiest and quickest way that you can help out.

USA/International Canada Donations UK Donations

All donations are tax deductible in the USA and Canada; and in the UK, Plateau Perspectives will receive an additional 28% support from the government.   US-Based donations go through Alpha Communities International, a partner of Plateau Perspectives which helps provide online donation support. For more information on Alpha Communities, please visit their website.

To raise awareness for the needs that exist in these areas and the efforts of Plateau Perspectives and Yushu Earthquake Relief, please consider changing your FACEBOOK picture or your TWITTER profile picture to one of the images below.

Plateau Perspectives and Yushu Earthquake Relief have been fortunate to receive valuable corporate funding and sponsorship from the following corporations as well as significant personal giving through PayPal.

Plateau Perspectives Response

Response, Relief, and Recovery efforts by PP and YEQR

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

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.

Final death toll at 2,698

News agencies reporting final death toll

Several news outlets are reporting the final official death toll to be right at 2,698.  Provided below is an excerpt from People Daily:

China puts final death toll from Qinghai quake at 2,698

The final death toll from the 7.1-magnitude earthquake that jolted Yushu of northwest China’s Qinghai Province on April 14 was 2,698, with 270 people missing, vice governor Zhang Guangrong said Monday.

Among the victims, 2,687 had been identified and the identities of 11 bodies remained unknown, Zhang told a press conference.

The vice governor said the killed include 199 students and a Hong Kong resident.


Strong Aftershocks in Yushu

5.4 aftershock felt in Yushu

A 5.4 aftershock, the strongest since the initial quakes, was reported around the Yushu/Gyegu area.  There are no reported injuries at this time.  Our staff took several calls from friends and coworkers in Yushu who all reported that the situation wasn’t serious nor was it hampering relief efforts.  This is to be expected since the vast majority of Yushu residents are living in tents outside of town.  Reports did come in that the aftershock was much stronger on the west side of town while relief workers on the east side of town still felt the tremor.

For more information, see the attached links:

Magnitude 5.4
Date-Time Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 02:29:54 UTC
Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 10:29:54 AM at epicenter
Location 33.141°N, 96.153°E
Depth 50.7 km (31.5 miles)
Distances 80 km (50 miles) WNW of Gyegu (Yushu), Qinghai, China
240 km (150 miles) NNW of Qamdo, Xizang (Tibet), China
365 km (225 miles) ESE of Tanggulashan, Qinghai, China
1950 km (1220 miles) WSW of BEIJING, Beijing, China


Relief Update 3:04pm local time on 5/27

Our relief efforts continue in Jiegu with provision of necessities for daily living in the tent encampments. Two of our field staff returned to Xining late last night after having distributed durable insulated tents, thermal clothing, cooking implements, and various other materials to make life in the camps more livable. They also assessed the needs for additional relief supplies and services while on site, and will be reporting soon as to what specific supplies need to be sent down over the coming days.

Relief Update

Relief Update+Recap as of 4:54pm local time on 5/24

We apologize for the lack of updates recently; the fact remains, however, that we are still very much involved in the relief efforts.

Disaster relief work in Jiegu/Yushu continues, as so many needs following the earthquake will persist for weeks and months to come. Up to three years may be needed for full reconstruction of the town … and this means that many local residents will have to live in their makeshift tent-homes for at least one winter, and probably two winters, before moving back to a semblance of normality. It is not an easy time, and we will continue to assist people in Yushu in as many ways as possible.

Specifically, we are now focusing our relief efforts on three fronts: distribution of emergency supplies, provision of clean water, and (discussions regarding) the possible establishment of a rehabilitation centre somewhere in the prefecture. Relief supplies currently being distributed to needy families in Jiegu include large tents, beds for the elderly, household cooking sets, solar powered lighting, thermal clothing, etc. Additional requests also are being made to assist with provision of fuel for heating and cooking. On-site we are cooperating with government and village leaders, other emergency relief camps, and local families. Regarding water, we are now arranging for a new low-tech (appropriate technology) water purification system to be trialed, which could meet the needs of several households per unit; and we also are in discussion with a large firm about the possible installation of an community-scale water purification system that can provide for over 10,000 people with one unit and could be used in township centers. Rehabilitation needs are equally great and we are therefore also exploring the different ways possible to assist in this area, as we already have on staff, or available, medical personnel well suited to help meet such needs.

Continued assistance is needed, however, to help carry out all of the above activities – particularly in the area of on-going financial support. The relief and recovery work following the devastating earthquake that affected Yushu on April 14, 2010, will need to be long-term and your support is enormously appreciated.

Thank you!

(if you are interested in helping with the needs listed in a financial capacity, please go here)


Relief Updates as of 12:39am local time on 5/6

Over the past week we delivered 28 high-capacity water purification systems to Jiegu. On Tuesday we sent a team with two trucks full of tents for distribution to residents of the town, as well as checking on water purification efforts. They arrived in Jiegu today along with a chemical engineer to start assessing longer-term options for improving access to clean water and two Plateau Perspectives managers to discuss potential for delivery of additional relief supplies.

Yushu Earthquake Relief