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Broken homes left behind, dreams ahead

Updated: 2013-04-24 11:25

LUSHAN, Sichuan - Feng Yaqin had been longing to go to Chengdu, capital of Southwest China's Sichuan province, where she hoped she would continue her study as a college student.

Her dream partially came true on Tuesday when the 12th-grader was relocated to the city after a quake damaged her school four days ago.

Broken homes left behind, dreams ahead

Along with Feng were some 400 other students, most of whom are boarding students from the 12th grade of Lushan Middle School. They arrived at the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics (SUFE) on Tuesday afternoon after a journey of about four hours.

In the university, the students resumed their classes on Wednesday, preparing for the forthcoming college entrance exam, scheduled for June 7 and 8.

Yang Hong, deputy principal of the Lushan school, said there are a total of 410 registered 12th graders. The first batch of 390 students was accompanied by 28 teachers from the same school.

Other students who were left behind due to traffic reasons or injuries will be sent to join them later, said the school principal, Yang Yuanming.

To leave her home behind and start a new life, although temporarily, is a hard decision for Feng, who had hesitated and intended to retreat from the trip.

She had planned to slip away and go back to her hometown to see her family, but was stopped by her teacher.

Feng's hometown Lingguan Township in nearby Baoxing County was badly hit by the quake.

Her parents, granny and younger brother all survived the disaster, a big relief for Feng. But still she worried about them.

"My mother told me the house is intact and asked me not to worry about them, but how could this be?" Feng said. "The television news said no house in Baoxing was left intact."

"Every time my mum told me not to worry, I worried more," she said, recalling that her father broke his leg last year but her mother lied to her in telephone and said everything was okay.

"After the quake, I was in no mood to study," Feng said.

Feng's schoolmate, Zhang Jing, from Taiping Township in Lushan, said her home was destroyed in the quake.

Zhang said she felt sad but had to leave. "My granny is at home and she has nowhere to live now."

Other students seem stronger though.

Yue Rui said she also missed her parents, who are now living in a tent.

"But with such good living conditions here, we have to make full efforts so that we can get a good point in the exam," Yue said.

All expenses for board and lodging of the students in Chengdu will be covered by the university, according to sources with the SUFE.

Moreover, the university will provide the students with psychological assistance to help them recover from the quake trauma.

Feng Weidong, director of the SUFE's mental health and human resources center who came to Lushan to pick up the students, said the teachers from the middle school would receive training to better help the pupils get familiarized with the new environment.

Feng and his team participated in the psychological assistance program five years ago after the Wenchuan earthquake left about 87,000 people dead or missing.

"What we should do is to create a familiar environment for the students and make them feel at home," he said.

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