Caritas Internationalis is supporting Caritas Hong Kong’s relief efforts in the wake of the powerful May 12 earthquake in China that has claimed more than 68,000 lives.
In and around the capital city of Sichuan, Caritas Hong Kong has assessment teams on the ground identifying the scale of devastation and loss, and the ways to best provide immediate and long-term support for survivors.
The assessment team found hygienic conditions to be dire and the needs of children paramount.
Other Caritas members from France, Germany and Taiwan are also active in the earthquake disaster zone.
“Most of the children who lived in the temporary tents were [sitting] idle; they had nothing to do. Though they had shelter and received something to eat, nobody was taking care of their secondary needs. They need clothes, basic living essentials. The tents are scattered and not many of the volunteers are professionally trained in counseling,” said a partner staff member.
Caritas Hong Kong plans to provide outreach and support to children for their healing and to establish a sense of routine, to reclaim their sense of normalcy.