Woyun – A reborn village

In 2008, an Amity truck delivers emergency relief supplies to people affected by the Wenchuan Earthquake

At 14:28, on 12 May 2008, the Wenchuan earthquake hit Sichuan province with a magnitude of 8.0 on the Richter scale. The disaster displaced mountains and rivers, causing devastating destruction and killing nearly 70,000 people. The Amity Foundation responded to the humanitarian crisis and provided help and support to 162,000 people. Amity spend more than 52 million Yuan for emergency relief and post-disaster reconstruction.

Ten years later, Woyun village is reborn (aerial view)

After the earthquake, on the 10th anniversary of this tragic date, Amity staff went back to the village of Woyun. The village had been completley destroyed and was rebuild with the help of Amity and supporters from all over the world. Here, they spoke to the people who benefited of Amity's community rehabilitation and reconstruction activities 10 years ago. Gao Lehua, former party secretary of the village, proudly explains that Amity's long-term approach promoted family harmony in the village successfully. Following a three generation concept in rebuilding the houses, the support for the old-aged achieved outstanding results in the region.

Walking through the village, six towers of more than ten meters high are particularly eye-catching. They provide drinking water for nearly 1,000 households in the village and were build after most of the original water towers in the village collapsed. Wu Guofu, the Director of the village committee tells us that the village’s water pipes often suffered from cracking and water leakage before the earthquake.

Newly built water towers ensure the water supply in the village (left). The village board, introduced ten years ago by Amity, for announcments is still in use (right).

Hearing that Amity staff is back in the village, the farmers put down their farm work and recall the scene when Amity helped them to restore their livelihood 10 years ago. “Amity's aluminum granary is very practical and of good quality. Now it is still in use at home,” says Jade. “They are really durable, moisture-proof, insect-proof and rodent-proof.” The farmers are also still using organic organic fertilizers Amity introduced. “The organic fertilizer, won't harm the soil.”

Farmers are happy to see Amity staff visiting the village (left). Jade is showing us her granary, which is still in use (right).

In rural areas of China, women are rarely involved in decision-making and management. During the rebuilding process, Amity paid great attention to mobilize and involve women's abilities and to train their capacity. Today, Tian Wenmin has become a village director. Tian's elder sister is the captain of the current art team. She recalls her memories: “I remember, it was the first Mid-Autumn Festival after the earthquake. Amity held a Mid-Autumn Festival and organized a performance program in the village, when everyone else was not in the mood to organize it. Amity staff patiently encouraged us.” Now, this team of artists is not only famous in the neighboring villages, but also participates in larger performances. The performing group has become a cultural figurehead for the village of Woyun.

Tian Wenmin is meanwhile working for the village adminsitration (left). Her sister started a performing art group (right).

Gao says confidently: “Now, everyone in the village knows when a disaster has occurred. Villagers will make voluntary donations. Because everyone knows that these donations go out to organizations like the Amity Foundation. People who need help are just like us 10 years ago, when everyone helped us."