In early April, heavy rains triggered floods and landslides that took more than 255 lives, with over 46 missing persons and 60,000 displaced residents throughout the state of Rio de Janeiro. As the worst tragedy in Brazilian history, the state of Rio was declared a national disaster area. Our Association members from Brazil and Paraguay mobilized quickly, and organized two relief efforts. Targeting the most seriously affected areas of Niteroi and Sao Gonçalo, they worked together with the civil defense and social welfare workers from the municipal government. Besides conveying Master’s love, our members distributed some 7 tons of food benefiting over 700 families who received it with happiness and gratefulness.
In June, the northeastern Brazilian states of Alagoas and Pernambuco were deluged with 36 centimeters of rainfall in just three days, the heaviest seen in three years. According to officials, at least 20 people lost their lives, 35,000 were rendered homeless in Alagoas, while another 15,000 were displaced in Pernambuco. With Master’s US$15,000 loving contribution, our relief team arrived in the town of Barreiros, State of Pernambuco, on July 11 and handed out 500 emergency food packages in three severely affected communities—Village of Baeté, Una River and Prainha de baixo—with the kind assistance of the governor, local officials and volunteers. They were especially thankful for the tireless support received from Colonel Neyft, a retired fireman, and his group of young students.
During both relief efforts, our Association members shared with the local people information on how our food choices have a significant impact on the climate so that they quickly and wisely adopt a compassionate, eco-friendly vegan diet to prevent future disasters and to live in peace and harmony.
Expenditures by Supreme Master Ching Hai and Her Association
* Throughout the relief operation, the team members paid for their own transportation, food and accommodation.