The United Nations reported that in one recent year natural and man-made disasters affected the lives of some 208 million people. The world’s largest network of disaster relief organisations was only able to reach 15 % of them at that time. What about the rest?
The international Volunteer Ministers Disaster Response Team works dedicatedly to help fill the gap. Since 1976, and especially in the last decade, Volunteer Ministers have become a recognised global force, serving at more than 200 disaster sites in the wake of earthquakes and tsunamis, floods and fires, hurricanes and typhoons.
L. Ron Hubbard initiated the Volunteer Minister programme after observing that crime and violence in society were rising in proportion to the decline of religious influence. With tools and practical solutions for helping others available for use by Scientologists and non-Scientologists alike, the Volunteer Minister programme extends unconditional help in reflection of the motto “Something can be done about it.”
Volunteer Ministers are often among the first volunteer responders on a disaster scene, providing the aid most needed by emergency response authorities. They are trained to help those in critical need, assisting emergency workers and disaster victims with logistics and “spiritual first aid.” They also train others in Volunteer Minister techniques and often remain after the immediate crisis has passed to assist with long-term community recovery.
Today’s Volunteer Minister programme focuses on emergency response training in communities before disaster strikes. They accomplish this through travelling exhibits and seminar facilities self-contained in the distinctive yellow tents of Volunteer Minister Cavalcades and Goodwill Tours.
Volunteer Ministers train citizens in local areas to respond to any man-made or natural disasters or other challenges that may affect an individual, family or community. Imparting 19 separate bodies of technology from The Scientology Handbook, a comprehensive manual of Scientology fundamentals, Volunteer Ministers teach how to relieve suffering and trauma, resolve problems, handle crises and mend relationships, whether within a family or among nations. They bring practical solutions to real-life concerns. Including how to establish any organisation, maintain effective communication and achieve community goals.
Volunteer Ministers teams have traversed 15 million miles on 5 continents, providing assistance in 17 languages to more than 18 million individuals.