Nearly four years since the Indian Ocean tsunami crashed onto the shore of southeastern India, work continues to rebuild the region itself and the lives of those who survived. Key players in this phase of recovery are the Scientology Volunteer Ministers.
Within days of the tsunami, Scientology Volunteer Ministers arrived in the region from all over the world to work with the search and rescue personnel and provide help to those who lost loved ones, homes and property. And when others returned home, a group of French Scientologists stayed on and made Pondicherry their new home and the full recovery of the region their mission.
Towns and cities have emerged from the initial devastation, which, according to the Government of India, amounted to some $2.56 billion. Having completed the initial recovery phase, concentration has now moved on to “development”, and “Disaster Risk Reduction” (DDR) has become the primary concentration of aid to the area. High on the list of DDR priorities is establishing community-based programs that prepare local residents on how to survive in times of calamity.
The Scientology Volunteer Ministers India Goodwill Tour arrived in Pondicherry in August to certify members of the Scientology Volunteer Ministers group and provide disaster preparedness training based on the Scientology Handbook. The members of this tour, who are experts in this technology, have already trained police, fire departments, health care and relief workers and volunteers throughout India.
The defining characteristic of a disaster is disorganization and chaos, and the Scientology Volunteer Ministers courses on the basics of organizing and communication enable people to quickly set up new communication systems and infrastructure. They become skilled at restoring calm and getting people operating as a team to overcome the immediate threat from the environment.
Once the initial panic of a disaster is over, those trained in this program can confidently take on the next order of business—the survivors themselves. They learn how to speed up recovery from injury. This unburdens otherwise overloaded medical resources who need to concentrate on life-threatening injuries. Those trained in Scientology Disaster Relief can also bring survivors through loss and trauma so they can get on with their lives, care for their families and participate in the relief effort themselves.
What enables them to do this is the “Scientology Assist“. Developed by L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Scientology religion, assists address the emotional and spiritual side of trauma, enabling the person to recover fully from injury, stress or shock.
For more information on the program, disaster response training and Goodwill Tours, visit the Scientology Volunteer Ministers web site.