By Austria News Group (Originally in German)
In late May and early June 2013, torrential rainfall struck Austria, where flood warnings had been broadcast in advance. Thus, immediate aid was provided to those in need. Austrian Radio and TV stations aired nonstop calls for contributions under the title, “Instant help for Austria.” The government provided relief funds and supplies, which initially came in the form of “first relief packages” for all those affected by the flood. The Red Cross, in cooperation with relief organizations; the Team for Austria (volunteers trained on the spot); the military and fire brigades distributed the packages. These groups also helped push back the floodwaters and clean up after the flooding had receded.
Upon learning of the flooding, Supreme Master Ching Hai lovingly contributed a relief fund of EUR 10,000 and requested our local Association members to help those affected. After receiving the funds, a team of our Association members from the Vienna Center gathered information on the situation and contacted local relief organizations.
Fortunately, thanks to help from the relief organizations and people in rural communes and parishes, we were able to assist families who needed help, particularly in the most severely affected areas.
In the region called Kössen in Tyrolia, 300 families had been hit very hard. In this area, the municipality, fire brigades, social groups and the local church cooperated in distributing relief funds. Thus, we provided these local relief groups with 53 vouchers worth approximately EUR 50 each for the purchase of daily necessities. We also distributed brochures on the benefits of the vegan diet.
In the area known as Eferdinger Becken, the villages of Alkoven, Goldwörth and Pupping were seriously damaged by the flooding. The citizens of Alkoven and Goldwörth had established a special committee to distribute relief funds received from the government, but in Goldwörth, 90 families were still in need. We thus provided 90 vouchers worth EUR 20 each to help purchase living essentials, and also offered materials on the vegan diet.
In the village of Alkoven we distributed 150 vouchers worth EUR 10 each for necessary supplies at the request of local officials. In addition, we found more people in the village in need of financial help, including an elderly woman who was distressed because she had lost all her belongings. We gave her EUR 300. Altogether we came across eight villagers who needed help and offered them a total of EUR 800 and information on the benefits of the vegan diet.
In the village of Pupping we gave a total of EUR 1,250 to 13 people whose homes had suffered serious damage and who were in need of help.
One of our Austrian Association members went to Wachau. Most of the villages there already had good flood protection, but some were severely affected by the floodwaters. Together with his family, our Association member distributed organic vegan food and eco-friendly cleaning and washing products worth EUR 700 to 14 residents in the area. In addition, information about Supreme Master Ching Hai´s charity work and the positive effects of the vegan lifestyle was distributed. The recipients were receptive and deeply grateful for the help.
The lower Austrian town of Hainburg was also severely affected by the flooding. People there were distraught as they had just experienced severe flooding only a few years earlier. Based on the people’s needs, we supplied vegan food, cleaning utensils, daily necessities, and money vouchers worth EUR 1,400 to 12 residents.
We tried our best to spend the funds Master provided as efficiently and effectively as possible, taking care to reach those families who were truly in need and as many people as possible. In promoting Master’s message we discussed the connection between meat production, meat consumption and climate change, and presented information on the benefits of the vegan diet with those we encountered.
Expenditures by Supreme Master Ching Hai
for Flood Relief Work in Austria
|Vouchers for food and supplies||8,810.00||A|
|Vegan food and cleaning and repair supplies for those affected and postal expenses||1,286.60|
|Total|| EUR 10,096.60