Scientology volunteers removed everything on the way during the Italian Emilia Romagna floods recovery efforts

Scientology volunteers removed everything on the way during the Italian Emilia Romagna floods recovery efforts
Volunteers at work

Emilia-Romagna was affected by two floods, the first from May 1 to 4 and the second from May 17 to 19. Scientology volunteers joined recovery efforts.

EMILIA ROMAGNA, EMILIA ROMAGNA, ITALY, May 25, 2023/ — 23 rivers flooded, more than 100 towns and villages have been affected by the flood. There have been 280 landslides. 15 people are dead and 28,000 have been displaced. Damage estimated at 7 billion euros.

On May 19th, the first group of Scientology Volunteer Ministers (VMs) started to operate under the direction of the Civil Protection of Cesena. Ready to take on any needed task, the scientologists were entrusted with the area of Ravennate Street in Cesena, an area where there are mostly flooded terraced houses, and they took charge of clearing the mud from the garages, warehouses and houses on the ground floor. The help of a Bobcat, a small bulldozer, they worked on dragging the mud off the road to allow the cars to circulate, which was of great need not only help reach faster the normal operations, but also to allow further help to arrive.

Villagers of Cesena are very thankful and it wasn’t difficult to see Scientology volunteers in the yellow outfits, receiving the thanks and hugs from everyone around. In view of the effectiveness of the volunteers, when Civil Protection unit saw the job that was done, they decided to give more work for the next day. 

At the end of the day, the civil protection received the report of the day and they appreciated it so much that they assigned a work area for the next day. Another team of VMs took action in another small village in the province of Ravenna that is completely full of mud. The VM went to the Civil Protection representative of the village who, “when learning that our VMs were available, asked if 50 of us could go because not many volunteers had arrived there” said the in charge of the VMs on the ground.

On May 20th, after organizing the logistics to activate more volunteers, ten of them went to Sant’Agata, in the province of Ravenna, where the cleared seven houses and a stationery shop from all the mud generated during the floods.

On Sunday 21 May the volunteers moved to Forlì, another city very affected by the flood. There were 30 VMs, and some of them even went there from Milano, who joined all the volunteer villagers who were already at work on the ground. And while cleaning all the streets, small acts and miracles of mother nature occur, that give an additional touch to everything that is already going on right there, and so, even a small turtle was saved from drowning into the mud.

The city of Forli was in great need of even more volunteers, so upon completing the cleanings in Cesena, the VMs moved there, adding 15 additional volunteers of which some came from Senigallia. It is in such times when people of all sorts of life realize that helping those in need is not only a responsibility but something very nice to do, and while on their way to Forli, the Senigallia volunteers were approached by 3 youth interested in their outfit. When the VMs explained where they were heading to, the youngsters decided to jump in with the volunteers, to go there join all the helpers and the Civil Protection authorities. The biggest problem in this city was the lack water pumps to quickly suck up the water because manual means take too much time and the Scientology VMs made it possible to have these pumps and get them running place after place.

In Sant’Agata sul Santerno, province of Ravenna, Scientologists arrived from from Bologna, Ferrara, Padua and Ravenna and also non scientologists who cooperate with VM on relief efforts, especially in times of need.

This group continued with the work started yesterday under the directions of the Civil Protection coordinator who once again thanked us continuously for the work done. Some of the locals asked about Scientology and many persons, seeing that the VM were in “yellow uniform” as a coordinated team, asked where they could go to help, taking them as stable data because there was no Civil Defense Coordinator in the area.

In the city of Forli, “mud and water were cleared in the majority of the city. The next hoot is to remove furniture, clothes, equipment damaged by the mud. All the material that has to be thrown away is now piled up on the sides of the roads and the municipality did not have sufficient means to load them and take them to the landfill, so we found a truck and a bulldozer to get going. We are having to clean up even kindergardens because we want children to be able to get back with all their small friends as soon as everything safe” said Luiggi Bambrani, spokesperson of the Church of Scientology in Italy.

“Whether serving in their own communities or on the other side of the world, the motto of the Scientology Volunteer Minister is “Something can be done about it.””, said Ivan Arjona, President of the European Office of the Church of Scientology for Public Affairs and Human Rights. “The program was created in the mid 1970s by Mr L. Ron Hubbard and is sponsored by the Church of Scientology International as a religious social service that today constitutes one of the largest and most visible international independent relief forces” concluded Arjona.

The Volunteer Minister’s mandate is to be “a person who helps his fellow man on a volunteer basis by restoring purpose, truth and spiritual values to the lives of others.” 

Additionally, a global network of volunteers form the permanent Volunteer Ministers Disaster Response Team that mobilizes in times of disaster caused by humans or nature, answering the call wherever needed. Collaborating with some 1,000 organizations and agencies, they have utilized their skill and experience in providing physical support and spiritual aid at hundreds of disaster sites.

ScientologyEU Newsroom

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