By Lin Jianzhong, Fuchuan Project Staff, World Vision China
Mo Zhonggui, 70, is affectionately known locally as Grandma Mo and lives with her husband in a little brick house in the mountainous village of Longji, Guangxi Province, a picturesque place set on a river.
Due to its geographical location, Longji village is vulnerable to extreme weather and earthquakes that easily trigger landslides.
The harsh conditions here have forced the younger generation to leave home in search for better paying jobs in nearby cities. Grandma and Grandpa Mo's two sons are no exception; they left home for better opportunities some years ago and raise families of their own in Guangdong Province. This leaves the elderly couple to take care of themselves, rain or shine.
Fears do haunt the aging Mo couple when inclement weather conditions occur. "When the rain comes, we tremble with uncertainties. During stormy nights, we would stay awake in fear that if we doze off, something terrible might happen to us," said Grandma Mo as her husband nodded with worry creasing his brow.
Health has also taken a toll on their health with multiple illnesses. This poses a real concern and risk should a disaster occur. With Grandma and Grandpa Mo not physical strong, they have very little chance of escaping if they are not equipped with clear knowledge of what to do.
Last year, World Vision Fuchuan programme area conducted trainings in Longji village to help equip villagers with knowledge to cope when disasters occur.
Grandma Mo was one active participant. Her enthusiasm even won her a rechargeable torch light that comes in handy during disasters. Every family received leaflets and calendars with disaster related information to help reduce the risks they are living with.
“I am so glad this kind of training was conducted. Now, we are better equipped on how to escape and help each other if a disaster happens,” said Grandma Mo.
This year, World Vision organized a disaster drill in Longji village and together with the village leaders, developed a disaster contingency plan and widened the emergency passage over the river. World Vision also invited doctors to demonstrate and train villagers on emergency assistance. With this knowledge and a plan in place, the village leader beams with confidence that his people are now better equipped and stand a better chance in surviving disasters. The disaster contingency plan included evacuation help for the elderly like Grandma and Grandpa Mo.
Grandma Mo once again brought her enthusiasm to the drill, acting as an injured villager but when all was over, she said “Now, even on stormy nights we can sleep in peace,” and Grandpa Mo nodded with a sense of security and relief.
Learn more about how World Vision China responds and prepares for emergencies.