Scientology Volunteer Ministers Haiti: Over 284,000 people helped
May 9, 2010
In the first week following the Haiti earthquake the Church of Scientology Volunteer Minister corps has mobilized and safely transported more than 350 rescue and medical professionals and Volunteer Ministers to Haiti. Donations for about 40 tons of food and medicine were raised and the supplies were brought into Haiti for distribution, in coordination with the United Nations. Within ten days over 100 Volunteer Ministers were working in Haiti.
By the end of the second week after the disaster hit Haiti, they had established themselves as a stable source of help at the General Hospital of Port-au-Prince and the University of Miami tent hospital and in the many make-shift hospitals around the city. One Volunteer Minister team helped a Haitian aid organization to re-built an orphanage that could take in and feed about 80 orphans to date.
Others have teamed up with military or aid organization units and are organizing the distribution of food and medical supplies across the western part of Haiti. Since then the Scientology Volunteer Ministers expanded their organizational and logistics support to refugee camps outside Port au Prince, for example in Jac-Mel in the south of Haiti.
Since February 2010 Volunteer Ministers units in Haiti have set up eight camps around Haiti. Another camp was set up in the Dominican Republic, close to the Haitian border, to help refugees who are crossing the border and to arrange logistics for food and supplies to go into Haiti.
Throughout the day, Scientology Volunteer Ministers are helping injured and distressed Haitians to cope with their injuries and losses and giving them hope. Scientology Volunteer Ministers are also assisting medical professionals, in the operating rooms; delivering babies; organizing medical supplies or the transport, care or feeding of patients. In the forth month after the main earthquake trained Volunteer Ministers help in the physical reconstruction of the country; building shelters; reconstructing sewage and water systems; training locals.
Summary (Updated: 8 May 2010)
Since the disaster hit Haiti on 12 January 2010 over 300 Scientology Volunteer Ministers from 22 countries got active and:
- helped over 284,000 people, including thousands of orphans, with shelter, food, basic medical and other care
- arranged and delivered over 275,000 pounds (lb) of food, medical and other supplies including a truck and a complete ambulance
- arranged and raised funds for the transport of over 360 medical professionals, emergency workers, engineers and sanitation experts in six charter flights from New York, Los Angeles and Miami.
- constructed and manned ten Volunteer Minister camps to be closer to where help is needed
- trained over 120 Haitian Volunteer Minister teams
The Scientology Volunteer Ministers Corps is a program of the Church of Scientology providing disaster relief and emergency response. Created more than 30 years ago by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard, the program has expanded to 203,000 Volunteer Ministers worldwide who have served at 175 worst-case disaster sites, including Ground Zero after 9/11, the Southeast Asia tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and the Haiti earthquake disaster.
Volunteer Ministers have trained and partnered with more than 800 different groups, organizations and agencies including the Red Cross, FEMA, the National Guard, and police and fire departments aand are active members of VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters. The Volunteer Ministers Corps motto is “Something can be done about it.”
In 2001, more than 800 VMs responded to the World Trade Center disaster and provided spiritual and practical aid to emergency workers for many weeks. They have also been an integral part of rescue and salvage efforts at the sites of hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and fires.
More than 500 VMs from 11 nations served in relief efforts in Southeast Asia, India and Sri Lanka in 2004 after the Tsunami. Their work was reported on by international media including CNN, The Economist, Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal.
The service of the Scientology Volunteer Ministers has been recognized by politicians, police, military, other relief agencies and civic authorities. A mayor in Louisiana whose city had been hit by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 said, “I was very happy when more than 900 of your Church Volunteer Ministers arrived in my city from all over the world and became a major force in bringing physical and spiritual help to those in need.”
Scientology Volunteer Ministers are organized in Churches of Scientology Disaster Response (CSDR) teams. These teams, wearing their signature yellow shirts, arrive on a scene shortly after the first responders. They meet with local emergency managers and law enforcement officials to coordinate their actions and provide any immediate assistance needed, such as organizing a confused area, supplying food and water, manning PODs (points of distribution) and offering volunteers to assist with needed projects. As soon as possible they begin providing ‘Assists’ (an action taken to help a person confront physical difficulties and alleviate a present time discomfort, pain or trauma) to survivors, first responders and care-givers as needed.
Scientology Volunteer Ministers have extensive ministerial training in dealing with people experiencing stress, loss, grief, pain and/or shock as well as organizational skills.