Constanza, 8, a sponsored child, becomes visibly upset as she talks about what happened when the 8.8-magnitude quake struck her family’s Chilean town on Feb. 27.
“We went to the top of the hill,” says Constanza. “It felt like the earth was going to open.”
When the shaking finally stopped, she returned with her older sister and parents to the home they had fled — or what was left of it. Not only had it been knocked off its foundation, with its walls and floors split apart, but it had physically moved. Once on flat land, the house now leans down a hill.
“When I came to see my house, I was very sad. I didn’t think it would be like that,” remembers Constanza, her voice trembling. “[I thought], this isn’t my house, and I cried a lot.”
In these safe places, children can participate in structured activities with others their age, as well as talk about their experiences in a supportive setting that fosters healing.
“The children don’t understand what’s happening. They cry. They suffer,” said Paz Romina Castillo Aviles, a fourth-grade teacher from Dichato, Chile, a town destroyed by the quake and subsequent tsunamis. “They’ve lost their homes, and their parents are facing a lot of stress because of what they are living through right now.”
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World Vision is establishing Child-Friendly Spaces in Dichato and other quake-ravaged towns in Chile, even as our teams also work to meet the physical needs of survivors like Ana Maria Flores and her two children.
“We didn’t have a tent. We were sleeping outside, under the stars. We have a mattress, but we were wet from the frost in the mornings,” said Ana Maria, as she pointed to a mattress leaning against the fence outside of the home they shared with her in-laws in Lota, Chile.
For mothers like Ana Maria, even tiny steps toward recovery are worth celebrating. “The most important thing is that we have somewhere to sleep now,” she said. “Thank you to everyone who helped us be able to have this.”
>> Please keep in prayer the survivors of the devastating earthquake in Chile, particularly vulnerable children and families like Constanza and Ana Maria who have lost their homes and are struggling to acquire essentials. Pray for the efforts of our teams to bring relief to these hurting people.
>> Donate now to World Vision’s Chile Earthquake Relief Fund. Your gift will help our teams deliver critical, life-saving relief and support to survivors of this disaster.
>> Sponsor a child in Chile. Your love and support will provide essentials that will help a boy or girl be better equipped to survive and recover from future disasters like the recent quake.
>> Give monthly to help World Vision respond quickly and effectively with life-saving assistance for vulnerable children in the aftermath of disasters. Become an Emergency Response Partner.
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Four ways you can help
|Please keep in prayer the survivors of the devastating earthquake in Chile, particularly vulnerable children and families like Constanza and Ana Maria who have lost their homes and are struggling to acquire essentials. Pray for the efforts of our teams to bring relief to these hurting people.|
Donate now to World Vision’s Chile Earthquake Relief Fund. Your gift will help our teams deliver critical, life-saving relief and support to survivors of this disaster.