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Scientology Volunteer back in Adams from relief trip to Haiti

Richard Girard, second from the left in yellow, talks with members of a relief team in Haiti last month. Girard went to the island nation as part of a six-week Church of Scientology relief mission. (Submitted photo)

By Ryan Hutton, North Adams Transcript Tuesday April 20, 2010

ADAMS—After spending six weeks in Haiti, Adams resident Richard Girard is back in the Berkshires with tales of his trip.

A Tent for the Haitian Woman No One Thought Would Survive

Scientology Volunteer Minister, nurse and EMT Ayal Lindeman at Port-au-Prince General Hospital in March 2010 with Benitha, whose life he and a Haitian physician saved.

It was January 2010, a week and a half after the 7.0 earthquake hit Port-au-Prince.  Benitha, a dying Haitian woman in a ward at General Hospital, called out for help—to no one, to everyone.  Earlier that day, attempts to help her failed because they didn’t have the needed equipment or medications.  Medical staff were stretched far beyond their ability to cope—with a handful of doctors covering the entire compound and hundreds and hundreds of patients in urgent need of care, there was nothing more they could do for Benitha.  The woman was literally drowning in her own fl

Two months later: Haitian Earthquake Victim Ralph is doing great!

Facing a hopeless future, Ralph met Scientology Volunteer Minister Ayal Lindeman, who moved heaven and earth to get him proper care.

A 22-year-old Haitian engineering student, Ralph Mary Gedeon, who arrived in the U.S. February 18 for the surgery and treatments necessary for him to get a prosthetic leg, is now out of the hospital in a rehabilitation facility.Brought to the United States by Scientology Volunteer Minister Ayal Lindeman, Gedeon has responded to the surgery and massive IV antibiotics, and is well on his way to a full recovery.

Scientology "Lifeboat" Arrives in Haiti

The Hornbeam at the dock in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

The "Lifeboat for Haiti" arrived in Port-au-Prince today.  It is loaded with tons of supplies--everything from MREs (meals ready to eat) to crutches, medicine, cooking-stoves and an ambulance.  All the supplies were donated by charities and everything is being distributed to charities in Haiti including schools, orphanages, hospitals and clinics. 

The entire team of Scientology Volunteer Ministers will be unloading and distributing the supplies tomorrow.

Scientology Volunteer Ministers Training the People of Haiti

A Volunteer Minister training a Haitian police officer in communication skills.

With the immediate medical emergency over, the Scientology Volunteer Ministers have expanded their delivery of other services. They are concentrating on training the people of Haiti in simple tools to improve conditions in life.

Over the past few weeks Scientology Volunteer Ministers in Haiti have trained more than 8,000 Haitians.

In founding the Scientology Volunteer Ministers program, L. Ron Hubbard published an article called “Religious Influence in Society,” in which he wrote:

Volunteer Ministers Helping Haiti Orphans

Two Volunteer Ministers at an orphanage in Haiti.

Before the earthquake there were estimates of over 300,000 orphans in Haiti. There is no way to accurately estimate how many there are now, but it is a tremendous social problem.

The Scientology Volunteer Ministers visit orphanages, bringing food and supplies. Every VM who does so comes back with the same impression--the children of Haiti are amazing. Despite what they have been through they are so resilient, so open and so spiritual. They deserve all possible help.

Volunteer Ministers Ship En Route to Haiti with Supplies

The Hornbeam, a former Coast Guard icebreaker, is en route to Haiti with relief supplies on board.

Lifeboat for Haiti headed out of Miami earlier this week. On board is an ambulance, medicine, food, and supplies for hospitals, orphanages and other charities in Haiti. It is also carrying individual wood-buring cooking stoves destined for the IDP (internally displaced persons) camps.

Physical Therapist Helps in Haiti

Christina Panetta (center back in blue scrubs) and husband Richard (to the left of her in the photo) with children in Port-au-Prince. Here they are helping children learn to get around with crutches.

Hearing about the inestimable number of physical injuries and an estimated 4 to 6,000 amputations in Haiti from injuries from the January 12 earthquake, physical therapist Christina Panetta decided to use her skill to help Haiti recover.

She and her husband Richard left for Port-au-Prince February 14 on one of the Scientology-chartered flights. They have spent the past six weeks volunteering in Port-au-Prince. In the photo, above, sent in by an iPhone, Christina and and Richard help kids at Port-au-Prince General Hospital learn to use their crutches.

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