By Chile Relief Team (Originally in Spanish)
During the month of January 2017, Chile battled the worst wildfires in its history. More than 100 fires had burned down over 900,000 acres of land in central and southern areas, wiping out forests, plantations and populated towns. Eleven people lost their lives, including four firefighters and two police officers. Thousands of homes were destroyed. Many people were able to escape and sought shelter; however, a large number had to spend nights on the streets.
President Michelle Bachelet declared a state of emergency. Chilean firefighters and volunteers were mobilized to tame the blazes, and countries including Brazil, Russia and the United States brought water-carrying aircrafts for assistance while others such as France, Peru and Mexico sent specialists, money and resources to help ease the fires.
As Supreme Master Ching Hai has instructed, our local Association members also acted quickly to coordinate help for those in need. Using US$5,800 contributed by our local Association members, with reimbursement available from Master, we purchased relief items including basic food and daily necessities. We distributed them at the end of January to 200 of the most desperate families in Constitución, one of the most affected cities.
To help those who had lost their homes to recover, many kindhearted people organized major fundraising efforts, and all the donated goods were distributed to the needy immediately.
Our deep gratitude to Master for Her support. We pray that all the Chilean people will soon adopt the vegan diet to help preserve the forests, to cool the planet and to protect themselves and others.
Expenditures by The Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association for Wildfires Relief Work in Chile
|Rice, oil, beans, lentils, oatmeal, pasta, tomato sauce, sugar, salt, tea, cookies, toilet paper, diapers, baby wipes, bleach, candles, matches, shampoo, women’s hygiene supplies||5,800||A|
Note: Our Association members contributed about US$380 to cover travel, food and lodging expenses of the relief team.