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Chile Earthquake: Follow-up 15 March 2010

We have just received this update from SOS Children Chile:

"We held meetings with SENAME (Youth Welfare Authority; http://www.sename.cl) and JUNJI (National Board of Kindergartens) and have coordinated the delivery of food rations supplied by the government to the children attending the two SOS Social Centres that have already operated in Concepción before the quake (SC Pasaje 1 and SC Jorge Montt).

At the moment we continue operating five day-care programmes in the city of Concepción and keep on assisting 700 children in:

1.    Iglesia Cristo Rey

2.    Iglesia Bautista

3.    Sector Juan Pablo II

4.    Población Agüita de la Perdiz

5.    Communal Centre "Los Grillitos"

The children in general are still very frightened, therefore school classes in the area will not start before April. In the meantime, both children and co-workers in Concepción will continue receiving emotional support. The children will also be supported with entertainment activities.

Chile earthquake

At the end of last week, the SOS emergency team travelled to "La Caleta de Tumbes", a small town located at the coastal area near Concepción, where there has also been an SOS Communal Centre before the quake. Nevertheless, the team could not make it because of an early alert of tsunami.

The city of Concepción and the surrounding areas still have to cope with water shortage and difficulties in obtaining other needed supplies because there are no products available. Since the day of the quake, the majority of the people have no access to high-protein food; queues at distribution points and supermarkets are just too long.

Victor Beltrán, the director of SOS Children's Villages Chile, was visiting the different day-care programmes and held meetings with the community leaders, who are grateful for the support they are currently receiving from SOS Children's Villages - which is in many cases the only organisation that has shown up, especially to the remote towns. In a meeting between the director of the SOS emergency team and the representative for the Regional Intendancy in Concepción, among other authorities, the work of SOS Children's Villages was again highlighted and presented also in a movie which was broadly endorsed both by the authorities and the communal leaders.

The national TV channel "Televisión Nacional de Chile" greatly highlighted that SOS Children's Villages is the only organisation working directly with and for children. So, this report opened new broadcasting possibilities for the work done by the organisation in the national media."