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Published:February 12th, 2009 12:44 EST
Women of Yao Jin Help To Rebuild Entire Village Destroyed by Earthquake

Women of Yao Jin Help To Rebuild Entire Village Destroyed by Earthquake

By SOP newswire2

Rebuilding Of Destroyed Chinese Village Of Yao Jin By American Charity OBI Nearing Completion

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA, February 2009 - Almost ten months after the village of Yao Jin was devastated by the 2008 earthquake that took the lives of over 80,000 in China, the women of Yao Jin display a resilient spirit and inspiring strength, both emotionally and physically, as they work alongside men to rebuild their homes.  Their telling story can be seen in a newly released video, "Women of Yao Jin" (available at www.chinaquakeproject.com), produced by the humanitarian organization Operation Blessing International (OBI), which has been working to rebuild the entire village all winter.

In "Women of Yao Jin," the village women can be seen working to unload 1.5 million bricks, pouring concrete, performing metal work, carrying heavy lumber¬- grandmothers, mothers, and young women that all still find the time to care and cook for their families in spite of the physical exertion they must use in order to accelerate the process of building their new homes.  Operation Blessing International plays a witness to these women that are still able to smile as they endure the hard work in frigid winter temperatures.

David Darg, director of international disaster relief for the charity who has been on the ground in Yao Jin through the rebuilding process, says, "One of the things that has amazed me the most is the resilience of the villagers. They endured a living nightmare but have rebounded so well. Giving them the opportunity to focus on reconstruction has been a huge help, not only are they getting their homes back, they have been keeping busy each day and focused on the future."

Last August, OBI launched a unique disaster relief effort called, China Quake Project (www.chinaquakeproject.com), featuring a website allowing for donors in the USA and abroad to "adopt" Chinese families in the remote village whose homes were destroyed by the massive 7.9 magnitude earthquake that struck on May 12, 2008. The donated funds have been used to rebuild the entire village, which is nearing completion -- all the structural work is complete and the only work that remains is plastering and painting. Yao Jin will be the first village in An County to be completely rebuilt.

According to David Darg, the logistics involved in the rebuilding have been immense and made more difficult by the high demand for construction materials. The winter cold has been ferocious and the villagers and construction teams have had to work in bitter conditions while still living in temporary shelters. Also, building in one of the world`s deadliest quake zones has posed great challenges as well.

Regardless, spirits in the village are exceptionally high, especially with the Chinese New Year.

Says Darg, "I asked one of the villagers what the Ox represents for the New Year. `Prosperity,` he said. According to Chinese symbolism, the characteristics of the Ox are very fitting: unswervingly patient, tireless in work, and capable of enduring any amount of hardship without complaint. The villagers have indeed endured the most unimaginable hardship, but now through their hard work they will soon be living in brand new homes."

To donate, volunteer, or read updates on OBI`s efforts, please log on to www.chinaquakeproject.comwww.ob.org and/or www.myowneyes.org.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 22 countries around the world on a daily basis. In 2008, OBI responded to 33 disasters in 16 foreign countries as well as 7 major domestic disasters. Most recently, OBI mobilized teams and funded major relief and recovery efforts in Myanmar, the Sichuan Province of China, Rift Valley in Kenya, Bangladesh, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, the Darfur region of Sudan, Pakistan, Somalia, India, Indonesia, Mozambique and the Philippines. OBI has also made headlines as a first responder to U.S. hurricanes, floods and tornadoes as well as the tsunami disaster in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. In addition to directing major disaster relief efforts, OBI has often filled the role of logistical arm to organizations including the International Red Cross, the Salvation Army, UNICEF and the United Nations World Food Program. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 209.3 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $1.7 billion to date.