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With more than 70 percent of Jakarta and its surrounding areas affected by the flooding earlier this month, which forced over 300,000 people from their homes and claimed the lives of at least 80, a Scientology Disaster Relief Team of the Churches of Scientology of Australia and locally trained volunteers formed up and deployed to the area two weeks ago to help residents recover.
It was one thing to read about devastation in the news, but the volunteers were hardly prepared for what they saw when they arrived. There were stretches of the city where water levels had risen as high as 4 meters (over 12 feet), bridges had simply been washed away by the torrents, and many thousands were living without electricity, with no way to cook food or boil water to make it safe to drink.
Meeting with the provincial disaster management and displaced persons organizations, they got a list of the seven worst-hit areas and started their work.
Following the successful pattern of Scientology Disaster Relief teams in Yogyakarta, Indonesia earlier this year and VM disaster relief in Medan and Aceh after the tsunami in 2004, the team met with local leaders, village chiefs and social workers, and started setting up seminars to train local residents on Scientology assist technology. Assists are procedures developed by L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Scientology religion that can be used by anyone to help people who are ill, distraught or injured. Assists do not take the place of medical attention but aid it by addressing the emotional and spiritual side of the trauma, something that is urgently needed in disaster zones.
In one village they found the social worker sick and running a high temperature. In fact, most of the social workers were ill, working night and day under very harsh conditions to try to help those who had lost everything during the floods. Using assist technology they got her back on her feet, once more able to cope with her responsibilities.
Traveling from village to village the VMs are training everyone who wants to help, with the basic technology contained in the Volunteer Minister Disaster Response Specialist Course.
The Scientology Volunteer Ministers Disaster Relief Team is supported entirely by donations. If you can join them or help support their activities, visit the Scientology Volunteer Ministers Web site and contact the International Volunteer Ministers Coordinator.
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