By Peru Relief Team (Originally in Spanish)
The El Niño phenomenon brought unusually heavy rainfall to Peru from January through March 2017, triggering the worst flooding in decades in the country. According to the Peruvian government, about 700,000 people were displaced, 94 individuals lost their lives, and almost 150,000 houses and many bridges were destroyed by overflowing rivers and mudslides. The northwestern coastal areas suffered the worst damage. In the capital city of Lima, which is in the central coastal part of Peru, the flood destroyed 8,400 homes and claimed eight lives.
The government dispatched military and police forces to rescue the affected people. Special ministers were appointed in each province to manage disaster relief. Individuals and NGOs were also sending lots of material help such as clothes, water, provisions, mattresses, tents and hygiene products, etc. International aid was also sent by many countries.
Upon hearing the devastating news, Supreme Master Ching Hai quickly provided US$12,000 to assist the relief work. Our local Association members also contributed US$1,700 to support this effort. In response to Master’s caring instruction to help those in need, a relief team of our Peru Association members from Cusco, Lima and Puno quickly formed.
On March 28, as soon as the National Emergency Operations Center announced that the emergency had passed in the affected areas, our relief team visited the towns of Carapongo and Santa María of the Lurigancho District, which is one of the largest districts in Lima, and is located in the valley of the Rímac River. Based on the information provided by Ms. Karina Casas, the coordinator of the Carapongo Victims Association, we prepared relief packages and returned to Carapongo on April 5 with two loaded trucks.
In total, we distributed 200 buckets with water dispensers and 200 bags filled with various foods, water, and personal hygiene items to those in need. In addition, in the early morning, we shared 200 bowls of freshly made vegan food with the affected people. The warm meal was well-received by them, and Master’s timely gifts brought them hope and joy. Many expressed their gratitude, and one person gave us a letter written at that moment that says,“ We are eternally grateful for the compassion, morale-elevating help and food support from the Association. God bless Master Ching Hai.”
On April 11, after coordinating with the Association of Towns and Small Farmers from the Rímac Valley, we arrived at the Corazón de Jesús neighborhood in the town of Ñaña of the Lurigancho District and gave out 105 relief packages and vegan burgers made with quinoa. People who received the help were very excited, and they said that the vegan burgers were delicious. We also distributed some kitchenware, tableware and 180 sets of children’s clothing. The mothers were overjoyed to receive the clothes, and considered the assistance a blessing from Heaven.
Our next stop was the city of Piura, which was one of the most severely affected areas in the north. The overflowing river damaged the infrastructure, and thousands lost their homes and possessions, especially in the Catacaos District. The stagnant water caused a lot of mosquitoes to breed. The mosquitoes could potentially spread dengue fever; thus our team added mosquito nets and repellent to the relief package. Thanks to the Boy Scouts from Piura who lent us a truck, we were able to transport and distribute 300 relief packages in the city on April 25. Many recipients were moved to tears.
We used the remaining relief fund to buy vegan dog food for one Association member who rescued four dogs abandoned after the floods in Lima. She feeds them and provides a warm home for them.
Thanks to the love and grace of the divine, we finished the humanitarian mission with lots of love. May God’s blessing stay with the affected families and give them strength to rebuild their lives.
Expenditures by The Supreme Master Ching Hai and Her International Association for Flood Relief Work in Peru
|Buckets with water dispensers, water, lentils, peas, beans, oil, soymilk, rice, oats, candy, marmalade, pasta, salt, sugar, hygiene items, mosquito nets and repellents, vegan dog food.||44,251||A|
|Total||PEN 44,251 (US$13,700)|