Relief news from Colombia - 15 Dec 2011  
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Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association relief news from Colombia.
As months of relentless rains deluged Colombia, resulting flooding and landslides claimed at least 95 lives from September to November 2011. Nearly 310,000 people were affected, including thousands who were displaced as their homes and swathes of farmland were destroyed.

Upon hearing of the disastrous conditions in October, Supreme Master Ching Hai had donated US$15,000, an amount that could obtain US$73,000 in emergency items if purchased in the United States, based on the cost of living in Colombia.

Conveying all her love and prayers, she requested that our nearby Association members please go to render aid to the most desperate. In the first week of November, our Association’s relief team from Costa Rica and Colombia traveled to Sincelejo, capital of the department of Sucre, where many of the families affected
by the floods had lost everything.

They met with government officials and arranged transportation by car and small boat to reach several communities that had not yet received help and where many families had lost everything.

José Nicolas Vega, Coordinator of Prevention and Attention to Disaster, Sucre Department, Colombia (M): There are houses destroyed 100%, so they need to be constructed through new housing programs.

There are houses that need reconstruction, homes that have deteriorated walls, others the ceilings. And most of these families have not been able to recover yet; no crops, farmers lose everything because the winter has been so strong and so frequent that they can’t be grown in the area.

VOICE: The relief team purchased vegan food items, including rice, beans, sugar, oil, spaghetti, salt, lentils, corn flour, and wheat flour, in quantities that could supply 800 families for a week.

The store owner also helped arrange transport to the municipalities of Sucre, San Benito de Abad, and Caimito. The relief team was thus able to reach more these isolated communities, with many elderly residents in desperate situations as well as children who could not go out of their homes to play due to the floods.

Relief recipient 1, Sucre Department, Colombia (F): From all this, many homes collapsed, and there are needs due to lack of food and meals.

Relief recipient 4, Sucre Department, Colombia (F): There was a lot of damage, all households were inundated. A little girl fell into the water, but luckily I realized in time.

VOICE: The relief recipients expressed their deep gratitude as they excitedly received Supreme Master Ching Hai’s donations. They were also eager to learn more about the eco-stabilizing vegan diet, saying they were impressed to see our Association’s relief team work with so much energy day after day.

José Nicolas Vega, Coordinator of Prevention and Attention to Disaster, Sucre Department, Colombia (M): Supreme Master Ching Hai, receive our most sincere thanks with all our heart.

Relief recipient 1, Sucre Department, Colombia (F): I want to send a kiss, a hug, greetings, and may God bless you and see you for this gift that she (Supreme Master Ching Hai) sent us.

Young relief recipient 4, Sucre Department, Colombia (F): You are an angel from Heaven.
Young relief recipient 2, Sucre Department, Colombia (F): May God bless you every day of your life. Thank you.
Young relief recipient 5, Sucre Department, Colombia (M): Thank you, Master, for remembering us.

Relief recipients (M&F): We love you, Master!

VOICE: Our appreciation, Colombian officials and local store owner, for your helpful assistance. We also join in thankfulness for Supreme Master Ching Hai’s caring support, and for the sincere endeavors of our Association’s relief team. With Heaven’s grace, may the Colombian residents soon resume stable daily lives as
humanity’s kinder ways help restore the balance of our ecosphere.