In response to scores of requests for training, the Scientology Volunteer Ministers group in Kampala, Uganda, has begun delivering seminars to residents along the eastern border of their country.
Ever since flooding and deadly mudslides hit the area in March of this year—heightening the hardship and poverty of this region’s people—Eastern Uganda’s local leaders have been hard-pressed to find a way to restore hope. But after reading about Volunteer Minister successes on the internet, leaders in the Bududa area eagerly e-mailed the Volunteer Ministers’ international headquarters requesting seminars and training.
VMs from Uganda’s capital, Kampala, were promptly mobilized to travel the more than 100 miles to Bududa, near Mount Elgon at Kenya’s border. The group faced heavy rains as they traversed miles of dirt roads. Towards the end of their journey they were warned that the daily downpours would cause the mudslides they had traveled to subdue.
On their arrival in Bududa, one of the VMs familiar with the region’s villages introduced the group to its leaders. The chairman of the local governing council welcomed the volunteers and pledged their security while they were in his area. Word spread quickly that the VMs had arrived and would deliver their much-anticipated seminar. Within a short time, 230 people had arrived.
Pedaiah Teba, the Lead VM for Uganda, had learned some words in the local language, Lumasaba. “I did that so they would know that even though I am from the city of Kampala where we speak a different language, I care about what happens to the people in Bududa,” he said. “I offered my condolences for their losses. At the same time, speaking on behalf of the Ugandan VMs and the Volunteer Ministers’ international office, we wanted them to know that there is hope and that we want to help them begin to start anew.”
Soon after the outdoor seminar began, the skies threatened rain, and a local Catholic priest let the seminar continue inside his church in a welcome gesture. There, the entire crowd practiced assists, techniques developed by L. Ron Hubbard to relieve mental and spiritual duress.
Following the seminar, the VM team, wearing their signature yellow shirts, moved through three temporary camps set up for those who were ill, injured and homeless after the March mudslides. Conditions there had left many sleeping on thin plastic atop the muddy ground. The VMs then decided that one trip to the area would only be the start of their efforts to help these people reconstruct their lives. The people of Bududa and their leaders have communicated that they want more training from the Volunteer Ministers. And as word of the VM technology has spread throughout the area, hundreds more are expected to come for training when those in yellow shirts return to eastern Uganda.