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Future hopes from scenes of tragedy

A team of volunteer photographers who ventured to the quake-hit areas in Sichuan Province last May captured some of the most moving scenes and images of that terrible event.

Now their works are on exhibition along with 200 paintings created by children who survived the disaster.

Organized by the China Association of Social Work Child Welfare League and the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau, the exhibition, which opened on Sunday, showcases 120 pictures and 200 paintings.

With its theme "2009 My Beautiful Summer," the exhibition reveals the current situation and the needs of the children affected by the earthquake through the photographers' sympathetic lenses and the children's naive drawings. It calls for more people to help those in need and create a "beautiful summer memory" for the children.

In those colorful paintings, the children have expressed their simple wishes - a red skirt, a trip to the capital Beijing, a holiday by the sea. Other children hope through their brushstrokes that their homes will be made as beautiful again as they were before the earthquake.

The exhibition is the second showing after Beijing. It will run through May 12, the day when the disaster struck the country's southwestern regions. Then the exhibition will travel to Chengdu, Sichuan Province.

After the exhibition's tour, some sponsored children will have a chance to join a summer camp in Beijing and Shanghai.

The quake destroyed thousands of buildings, as well as infrastructure like communication networks and electrical towers. Homes, schools and businesses were destroyed.

The earthquake was the most destructive natural disaster to hit China for decades. The quake left more than 87,000 people dead or missing, 374,000 injured, millions homeless, and a huge loss of more than 845 billion yuan (US$124 billion), according to Xinhua news agency.

Meanwhile, about 7,000 classrooms collapsed in Sichuan Province.

Date: through May 12

Venue: Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, 100 People's Boulevard

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