By USA News Group (Originally in English)
In January 2013, heavy snowfall and plummeting temperatures of minus 23 degrees Celsius left residents of 10 mountainous municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina without basic necessities. Most severely affected were the municipalities of Han Pijesak, Sokolac, Srebrenica and Kupres, as well as villages on Bjelašnica Mountain and in the Brčko District. Upon hearing of the people’s plight, Supreme Master Ching Hai lovingly contributed US$10,000 to the Red Cross of Bosnia and Herzegovina in support of relief efforts.
The funds were directed to the Red Cross to buy food and personal hygiene supplies. The Red Cross, which conducts relief efforts in the area each winter, also worked with various media to raise public awareness about the dire situation of villages that were isolated due to the extreme weather. Even though snowdrifts and rocks had cut off a number of roads, Red Cross teams braved the conditions to deliver aid packages directly to these areas or to the nearest possible locations.
The relief items traveled from regional Red Cross branches to distribute to those most in need, including elderly and bedridden individuals living alone, people with disabilities, underprivileged families with young children, single mothers, refugees and displaced persons. A total of 326 parcels were delivered: 150 food and personal hygiene packages by the Red Cross Society of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 150 by the Red Cross of Republic of Srpska, and 26 by the Red Cross Brčko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The recipients were deeply grateful for the items. The despair of many changed to confidence in their recovered stability through this timely help.