Efforts through the Web: The Ryongchon Relief Project


It’s quite a relief to witness active and valiant efforts to help out North Korea on a particularly devastating incident that happened on April 22, 2004. These efforts to extend a helping hand were even projected over the web. It is a relief, since North Korea has been the target of many attacks for the past few years after the civil war that created the two borders over Korea.

The incident that came about on April 22 was the explosion of a train loaded with ammonium nitrate fertilizer and tank wagons which obliterated the entire area within a half–mile radius. When the launching of the relief project was projected online on May 2, 2004 at http://nkzone.typepad.com/nkzone/2004/05/links_ryongchon.html, the deaths already totaled to 161 and it is reported that thousands were burned, blind and/or deaf that lie on cabinets without even the most basic medical supplies.

According to the reports, most of the victims were school children (over 60% of those who died) and over 2,000 home have been completely destroyed. This incident became the first opportunity of LiNK website to organize all of its chapters and launch their first major independent initiative – “ The Ryongchon Relief Project”. Another thing that prompted them to act was because the Korean Red Cross was granted permission by the North Korean government to transport medical and food supplies directly to North Korea.

As such, the LiNK did not waste time on getting the attention over the North Korea blog-zone to request donations addressed to pharmaceutical companies, local hospitals, drug stores, university labs and even compassionate individuals. For those interested to send out their donations, they can be coursed via the Korean Red Cross to Ryongchon, directly.

Phases are programmed in the revival of the Ryongchon area – from emergency phase, they are now into the stabilization phase. For each of this phase, different things are needed. They had particularly listed down the things that are specifically needed so that even individuals or other civic organizations would really know what they could do to contribute even a bit: medical supplies like ointments, antibiotics, antiseptics, bandages, Vaseline, IV fluid, and other treatments to help in the injuries. They also encourage monetary donations for purchase of other medical supplies through Paypal.com.

Ways of shipping location and methods are also elaborated so that people will know how to send their contribution without it being wasted on other pockets.

This relief project only shows how much the web site could really help out in promoting humanitarian projects all throughout the globe. This is one of the nice and positive things about the technology offered by the web development, now, if only web users would just concern themselves with these kinds of projects – helping others out.

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Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

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