Restoring Hope, Bringing Help
ANSWERING THE CALL
In disaster zones around the world—from tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and fires—the yellow shirts and the yellow tents of Scientology’s Volunteer Ministers (VMs) have become iconic. At the site of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center buildings in New York in 2001, Volunteer Ministers were an integral relief force on the ground working to support police and firefighters within hours after the buildings collapsed. Since then, VMs have served at every major disaster site worldwide. In Haiti, Volunteer Ministers helped transport earthquake victims to medical facilities. In Nepal, they built temporary shelters for those left without homes, comforted children who lost family members and ministered to those whose hope had evaporated.
But the drama of disaster relief is only part of the Volunteer Ministers’ story. They also address systemic problems in local communities where social ills, including homelessness and poverty, have left disenfranchised people struggling to cope.
The non-profit VM organisation draws on volunteers from both inside and outside Scientology and was originally conceived as a way to help restore spiritual values. Doing so reinforces the vital connections between people affected by disaster—or by the failures of modern society to meet its humanitarian obligations.
Volunteer Ministers are dedicated to assisting others not only in life–saving situations, but also by helping individuals overcome difficulties in their daily lives. This vital programme is helping meet the needs of those throughout Ireland for whom the yellow shirts of its volunteers are a sign of hope.
“SCIENTOLOGY VOLUNTEER MINISTERS ARE HIGHLY EXPERIENCED IN DISASTER RESPONSE, AND I RESPECT THAT. THEY GET TO A DISASTER WITHOUT DELAY, OBSERVE FOR THEMSELVES, FIND OUT WHAT IS NEEDED, AND DELIVER IT TO THE VICTIMS AS FAST AS THEY CAN AND THE BEST THEY CAN. I WISH TO HAVE THEIR SUPPORT FOR THE LONG TERM, AND I WILL ASSIST THEM IN ANY WAY POSSIBLE.”
ASSEMBLY MEMBER, PREFECTURE OF MIYAGI, JAPAN