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US Organization Helps Conduct Post-trauma Projects

A non-profit organization engaged in humanitarian aid and development activities, the Mercy Corps, is working on two post-trauma recovery projects in China. Its programs are targeting young victims of the Wenchuan earthquake. A public health expert from the organization spoke with CCTV US correspondent, Zhu Hua.

32-year-old Matt Streng is a program officer from Mercy Corps. He's leaving for China to assist with two programs that will help Chinese children recover from their post-quake trauma.

Two programs also involve adults as mentors and caregives. They will be trained in communication and first-aid skills to work directly with the children. They will also be equipped with a sports kit which contains games Streng said are important to both caregives and youth.

Using Peru as an example, where a huge earthquake occurred last autumn, Streng said that creating a safe environment, such as a temporary camp or school where kids can recover from the trauma, is also very important,

From his previous experience, Streng said that positive results can be reached with the help of these two programs. The young people are able to focus more on their school work, whereas before they would be distracted by traumatic images in their minds. The program also helps them to create new friendship and the children begin to share and express their feelings more.

A workbook in Chinese named "My earthquake story" is currently being prepared. Thousands of the workbooks will be sent to the youth in Sichuan Province in the near future.

(CCTV June 4, 2008)

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