Scientology Volunteers & Fundacion MEJORA assist “Sisters of the Poor” in Madrid
The Little Sisters of the Poor are a Catholic religious congregation of women whose mission is to help the elderly
MADRID, SPAIN, December 8, 2022 – The Little Sisters, founded in Saint-Servan (France) in 1839 by Jeanne Jugan (canonized in 2009), arrived in Spain in 1863. There are currently 27 houses for the elderly spread over two ecclesiastical provinces, that of Madrid, which also includes the two existing houses in Portugal, and that of Barcelona-Seville.
In their mission of helping the elderly, specially those who no one takes care of them, the Little Sisters launched a campaign to request support from different foundations and this is how the Scientologists got to know about them and the incredible work they do.
Since its foundation, the congregation began to spread rapidly in various cities of France; in 1851 they also settled in England and two years later in Belgium. From 1855, with the help of Father Ernest Lelièvre, it experienced a rapid expansion. At the death of Jeanne Jugan, 40 years after the foundation, the sisters numbered 2,400, divided into more than 170 communities established in France, England, Belgium, Scotland, Spain, Ireland, the United States, Algeria, Italy and Malta.
In 1882, the first house on the Asian continent was founded in Calcutta (India) and in 1884 in Melbourne (Australia). In 1885 the first house was founded in America, in Valparaiso (Chile), and in 1886 foundations were begun in Africa. Currently the Congregation is present in 32 countries with 202 houses for the elderly, with 2,800 Little Sisters.
Upon receiving a letter from the Little Sisters of the Poor, the in charge of the Volunteer Ministers in Madrid, Christine Dauzon, made a call to a group of volunteers to get either food, hygiene or cleaning products, or donations to buy these products. Not much later the first donations were received through the Fundacion Mejora (established by the Church of Scientology and recognized with UN Economic and Social Consultative Status) and with that, Scientologists went “shopping” to get the much needed supplies and food.
“We filled the van with the purchase, and went there, and the nuns showed us their beautiful chapel” said Daouzon. The nuns explained the Scientology volunteers about how it works: they take in elderly people with few financial means who have no other assets. “We have about 70/80 residents, accommodated in single rooms” said the Sister. The site is very nice, very big and well maintained. The building was financed by a couple 110 years ago when they donated their fortune. Then the building was built with that money. The portraits of these two people are in the hall of the residence, in honor of them. The institution is part of a group that is throughout Spain, and the oldest residence is 150 years old. “She explained that they live on alms, that our help comes in handy” said Dauzon.
“Volunteering to improve social conditions in our environment and beyond is key to someone who calls him/herself a Scientologist” said Ivan Arjona, President of the Foundation Mejora, and representative for Scientology in European institutions and the United Nations.
In 1973, Founder of Dianetics and Scientology L. Ron Hubbard conducted a sociological study in New York City and discovered a society that had dramatically worsened from the city he remembered years before. From this study he predicted where the culture was headed: rampant immorality, violence as sport, and ultimately, politics by terrorism.
Needed was a way to help others live their lives and build their futures. In answer, Mr. Hubbard drew the plans for a grassroots movement, one that would instill these values back into society and so halt the decline: the Scientology Volunteer Ministers Program.
Noting a tremendous downturn in the level of ethics and morality in society, and a consequent increase in drugs and crime, Mr. Hubbard wrote, “If one does not like the crime, cruelty, injustice and violence of this society, he can do something about it. He can become a VOLUNTEER MINISTER and help civilize it, bring it conscience and kindness and love and freedom from travail by instilling into it trust, decency, honesty and tolerance.”
Accordingly, in addition to traveling to wherever disaster strikes, Volunteer Ministers work with public servants in their own communities, helping to improve conditions right at home. Their information and training centers are bright yellow tents open to the public at weekend events and fairs, where anyone may enroll on a course or seminar that is delivered right in the tent.
Extensive information displays present the full array of tools for resolving any situation—from rescuing failing students or getting addicts off drugs, to alleviating emotional trauma of physical injuries, salvaging troubled relationships or solving human conflicts.
Volunteer Ministers also deliver seminars to police, firemen and disaster relief organizations with local community programs as well as through Goodwill Tours traveling from city to city with their tents.
So whether manning a tent at home or in a village 10,000 miles away, Scientology Volunteer Ministers all live by the same motto: “Something Can Be Done About It.”
Because of their courage, compassion and training, they have become indispensable in times of greatest human need—traveling halfway around the world to help people who have lost everything in an earthquake, tsunami, hurricane, flood or the like.
This includes a corps hundreds strong at Ground Zero within hours of the 9/11 tragedy. It also includes more than 500 volunteers from 11 nations in Southeast Asia in the wake of the tsunami and over 900 Volunteer Ministers attending to victims in Louisiana and Mississippi in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Likewise, during the Haiti earthquake disaster, the Church of Scientology and its parishioners flew in planeloads of much-needed medical and food supplies. In addition, they have brought in hundreds of medical professionals and Volunteer Ministers to help Haitians cope with their losses and rebuild their lives.
Volunteer Ministers have also trained and partnered with over 1,000 different groups, organizations and agencies around the world, including the Red Cross, National Guard, Army Cadets, Salvation Army, Boy Scouts, Rotary Clubs, civil defense and disaster management agencies, YMCAs, police and fire departments of dozens of cities and towns and hundreds more national and regional groups and organizations.