Master's Love Reached across
By Peru News Group (Originally in Spanish)
From June to August 2010, severe freezing weather in Peru’s southern highlands had caused at least 409 people to succumb to pneumonia and cold-related illness. The victims were primarily young children and the elderly, with less fortunate rural communities at altitudes of over 3,000 meters being the worst hit as residents there also faced malnutrition, extreme poverty and poor living conditions in addition to no access to needed vaccines and other medicines. With mountain temperatures plummeted to -24 degrees Celsius, even the normally hot and humid Amazon areas reported record lows of 9 degrees. The government declared a state of emergency across 16 regions, and the Peruvian Red Cross made efforts to assist those living in the Andes Mountains.
Upon hearing of these perilous conditions, Supreme Master Ching Hai conveyed Her heartfelt sorrow as She pledged US$20,000 in aid, and asked our nearby Association members go assist the most vulnerable, particularly the children and elderly.
At the end of August, our local Association members formed a relief team and spent seven days travelling to 42 communities to bring warm clothing and blankets to 2,433 people in several remote districts in Azángaro, Melgar and Carabaya provinces, where no previous aid had been provided. The villagers were extremely grateful, with the children being so delighted that they immediately put on the new clothes and jumped for joy.
In the town of Huaychao, the local government helped gather people from nearby areas and brought them to a village center to receive the aid. The relief team distributed 250 blankets and quilts and entrusted 250 sets of clothing for young children to the Health Center staff to share with families in distant communities. They also gave out vegan food made with native products to 270 villagers, while reminding them that these foods are the most appropriate to combat the cold, and have been used since ancient times by their ancestors. On the way back, they stopped several times to provide more warm clothing to those who did not make it to the gathering, thus brightening their days with these surprising gifts.
After returning to the city of Ayacucho, the relief team hosted a vegan dinner for the representatives from the Ministry of Health, the International Technical Support Office, and the National Institute of Civil Defense to discuss with them the topic of global warming and the solution of the plant-based diet. We pray for the protection and resilience of the Peruvian people through these difficult conditions, and that such weather extremities subside due to our greater benevolence towards the environment.
Expenditures by Supreme
Master Ching Hai