The Savulei Paramount Council of Chiefs of the Solomon Islands endorsed the Scientology Volunteer Ministers program in March 2012 and welcomed the volunteers to the island in a traditional ceremony that dates back from the dawn of time.
Lambi is home to Paramount Chief Savulei whose authority extends over the 56 chiefs of the Savulei Council of Chiefs. So impressed was he by the results he saw in his village, he and his council officially endorsed the program and invited the Volunteer Ministers to return for a traditional welcoming ceremony.
The endorsement expresses the Savulei Council of Chiefs’ thanks to L. Ron Hubbard for developing the program:
“As Paramount Chief of Savulei and the Chairman of the Savulei Council of Chiefs I write on behalf of 56 Chiefs and the people of Savulei.
“We have come to know Mr. Hubbard through his Scientology teachings. We see him as a man of much wisdom, one who truly cares about others and we have great respect for him.
“The Savulei Council of Chiefs say thank you so much Mr. Hubbard. We look at you as our Big Chief guiding us to a better way of living.”
For more than 30,000 years, Solomon Islanders have lived much as they do today in “the place that time forgot” as the island nation is known. In villages like Lambi throughout Guadalcanal, traditional ways of living trace back thousands of years, untouched by the outside world. Villagers live in thatch-covered huts: no phones, no Internet—no electricity.
But its isolation from the rest of the modern world does not spare Lambi from the problems inherent in life, and the technology developed by L. Ron Hubbard for the Volunteer Minister program applies as much in an isolated village as it does in London, Moscow or New York.
For six weeks, beginning in November 2011, the volunteers of the Goodwill Tour lived in the village and organized workshops, training more than 100 villagers in important life skills: the underlying cause of conflicts, the barriers to study, communication, and the full array of subjects contained in the Scientology Handbook.
From the ranks of those they trained, a team of indigenous Volunteer Ministers formed up that will continue the work after the South Pacific Goodwill Tour moves on.
In the official welcoming ceremony in March 2012, the leader of the Volunteer Ministers Goodwill Tour and the team of local Volunteer Ministers paddled across the bay to enter Lambi. As they arrived on the shore, the chief’s warriors attacked to protect the village; the chief steps in, telling his warriors to stand down—that these are friends—and invited them to enter the village where they exchanged food and gifts.
In his speech to those assembled, the Paramount Chief thanked the Volunteer Ministers for providing the technology to bring the peace and spiritual freedom his people have been seeking.
In creating the program in 1976, L. Ron Hubbard described the qualities of the Volunteer Minister: “A Volunteer Minister does not shut his eyes to the pain, evil and injustice of existence. Rather, he is trained to handle these things and help others achieve relief from them and new personal strength as well.”
Scientology Volunteer Ministers have trained and partnered with more than 1,100 organizations, including the Red Cross, FEMA, National Guard, Salvation Army, Mexico’s International Rescue Brigade, Boy Scouts, and hundreds of local, regional and national groups and organizations, giving freely of their skills, their care and compassion. They have provided physical and spiritual relief at more than 200 disaster sites.
Today hundreds of thousands of individuals are trained in the skills of a Volunteer Minister across 185 nations. For more information on Scientology Volunteer Ministers, visit www.volunteerministers.org.