Immediately following the earthquake in Chile, the Embassy of Canada task force helped ensure the safety of Canadians in the country.
Since that time, the Embassy has also turned its attention to helping the Chilean communities affected by the quake rebuild. Following the earthquake and the subsequent tsunamis, many schools in the affected regions were left in ruins. Due to physical damage and loss of equipment, 2750 schools were declared “unusable”.
Many schools were forced to delay re-opening, leaving nearly 1 million school children temporarily unable to pursue their studies.
La Escuela Libertad was one of those devastated by the earthquake. To help students deal with the loss, the Embassy of Canada in Chile has donated 320 brand new backpacks filled with school supplies such as workbooks, pencils, pencil crayons, scissors, rulers and erasers to help each and every student at La Escuela Libertad start their school year well prepared for classes.
After sustaining considerable damage, the school postponed its re-opening for reconstruction and to ensure student safety.
Many of the students’ families are also experiencing economic and financial problems due to damage to their homes, workplaces and community. As a result, the Municipality of Talcahuano identified re-opening the school as a priority.
The school supplies donation was presented to the students from kindergarten to grade eight during the school’s touching opening ceremony for the new school year. The distribution of the new school supplies proved to be an opportunity for the children to get excited over new belongings after having endured so much loss.
This initiative is just one example of Canadian contributions to Chile’s reconstruction in the aftermath of the earthquake. In addition to private donations and initiatives, the Government of Canada has donated $2 million dollars to relief efforts and to date, Canadian companies active in Chile have donated an additional $10.9 million.