By Spain Relief Team (Originally in Spanish)
In mid-June 2013, unusually warm weather in the Pyrenees Mountains in northern Spain caused rapidly melting snow and severe flooding. Hearing of the devastation, Supreme Master Ching Hai asked our Association members to provide assistance to those most affected, with relief funding available.
After roads were cleared for safe travel, on Saturday July 27 our relief team from Madrid and Malaga Centers drove to the Benasque and Aran Valleys, which are around 500 kilometers away from Madrid, to learn what could be done to help the affected people. A local official provided us with the names of seven families in Benasque Valley who had needed to relocate due to the destruction of their homes.
At the time of the flooding, the families had been living in mobile homes at a camping site. We learned that the flooding occurred so quickly that some lost most or all of their belongings.
Our relief team returned to the Benasque Valley the following weekend to bring comfort and love to the seven families who had lost their homes. We were able to locate five of the families. Our team distributed a total of EUR 3,400 in cash contributions from Master’s relief fund, with two families receiving EUR 1,200 each, and one family receiving EUR 1,000. The other two families declined help and graciously asked us to use the money to help others.
We distributed several of Master’s publications to the families, including From Crisis to Peace – The Organic Vegan Way is the Answer, and information on climate change. Everyone was deeply touched and wanted to know where to write to Master to send their appreciation for Her generosity. All the five families were in disbelief that Master would send help to them and were very interested learning who was helping them. A member of one of the families commented “You really came here to give us money just for nothing? I have to find out who this lady is.” Another man, whose wife was expecting a baby, was speechless. He was so impressed that he took all the literature, but could not say anything. From the other recipients, we continually heard “It’s unbelievable. Who is this lady? We have to know.”
May God bless all those who lost their homes during the flooding in northern Spain. May disasters such as these diminish as more and more choose the vegan way of life.
Expenditures by Supreme Master Ching Hai
for Flood Relief in Spain
|Cash contributions to those affected by the floods||3,400||A, B, C|
|Total|| EUR 3,400
Throughout the relief operation, the team members paid EUR 600 for their own transportation, food and accommodations.