By Georgia and Armenia Relief Team (Originally in English)
During the most severe days of winter 2012-13, Supreme Master Ching Hai’s compassionate heart reached out to those most in need: homeless people and others without means. Master contributed US$30,000, requesting that our local Association members please provide comfort to the less fortunate in Georgia and Armenia.
Upon receiving Supreme Master Ching Hai’s contribution, our local Association members tried to locate homeless and underprivileged individuals with the help of local organizations and residents. In the first stage of the relief work, we traveled to a welfare center in Batumi, Georgia and found a family operating a small daycare facility. We brought the children by bus to a local shop and bought them all kinds of warm clothes, boots, stationery and other needed items. Since it was Christmas Eve, they also received Christmas tree ornaments to help them celebrate. They were extremely grateful for everything they received. Their joy could be seen glowing in their eyes.
Next, we visited a rehabilitation center in Batumi for mentally and physically challenged children. The center needed warm clothes, shoes and food items, so went shopping to meet their requirements. Afterward the residents attended a joyous New Year’s party.
In the city of Tbilisi, we went to a center for individuals of various ages with mental and physical disabilities. The center was in urgent need of massage beds, physiotherapy instruments and massaging devices, in addition to food items. We delivered all of these supplies to them, as well as a press kit about Supreme Master Ching Hai, so they could get to know more about who the gifts were from. The director of the center was very excited and said a few days ago he was asking God to please help him to buy some devices and something for the children. They were very appreciative of Master’s grace and love.
Another place we visited in Tbilisi was a small rehabilitation center with a total of 36 boys and girls from elementary to high school. We took the children shopping in their village and purchased necessities such as warm clothes, hats, gloves, overcoats and shoes for them. We also provided their center with some food items (pasta, flour, rice, oil, soya protein and sugar). At that time, they were celebrating New Year. They were very happy and grateful for the items we brought.
After this, we traveled to Armenia by train. We visited a school where underprivileged students were studying, including some mentally challenged children. With the help of the director and the school staff, we visited their homes. For each family we purchased food items including oil, rice, sugar, pasta and flour, as well as detergents. Some families also received warm clothing, while the most financially disadvantaged received cash. When they were receiving their gifts, some of them began to cry with joy, saying repeatedly that it was like a miracle at the beginning of the new year. They added that it would be a good year for their families because of this blessing.
We also went to a rehabilitation center that was taking care of over 90 children who were both physically and mentally disabled. Because the children were unable to leave the location, the director of the center arranged for us to bring clothes there so that the children could choose clothes to their liking and to their individual needs. The center also received a variety of food items.
The next place we visited in Armenia was a residence for refugees who migrated from Abkhazia. We had prepared a list of more than 45 families who were in great need, and gave them food items such as pasta, rice, sugar, vegetable oil and flour, detergents, and hygiene supplies for a boy who was paralyzed.
Return to Georgia
Afterwards, we returned to Tbilisi and Batumi in Georgia several times. With the help of locals, churches and government organizations, we located people most in need and delivered food items including sugar, rice, pasta, flour and vegetable oil to them door by door. In cases where the families were in need of supplementary aid, they received amounts of cash according to their situation.
There were families who had lost everything because of incidents such as fires, and also individuals who were undergoing intensive treatments for cancer (chemotherapy), who received cash in addition to other contributions.
The final stage of the relief work in Georgia included helping a group of 65 children in time for the new school year. After making arrangements with a governmental organization, visiting the children’s residence and learning about their conditions, we provided all the children with transportation to a shopping center. There they all received new apparel for the upcoming school year. Seeing their happiness and joy was something words cannot describe.
In Adjara, Georgia, with the help of a governmental organization, we found 105 larger families in need. We visited the families one by one in urban and suburban areas over several days to bring them necessities. They expressed that they were very thankful to our beloved Master.
Throughout our journey, people who received the assistance as well as the local people who were helping out were filled with gratitude. It was the first time they had received such a big helping hand, especially in very cold weather and harsh conditions. Time and time again, the happiness and joy of the families after receiving the contributions from Master truly touched us.
We thank Supreme Master Ching Hai for Her love, and for the opportunity to share Her benevolent gifts with those less fortunate. We pray that those we were privileged to help continue to be protected by God’s love and grace.
Expenditures by Supreme Master Ching Hai for
Winter Relief Work in Georgia and Armenia
|Food (rice, sugar, oil, salt, pasta, wheat flour and vermicelli, etc.) and supplies (shoes, pants, hats, stationery, warm clothes, shoes, physiotherapy instruments, massage bed and detergent powder, etc.) for disadvantaged children, adults and vulnerable families, as well as cash assistance for chemotherapy||15,865.42||A1-A10|
|Food (rice, pasta, sugar, oil and wheat flour, etc.) and supplies (shoes, clothes, pants and umbrellas) for disadvantaged families and children as well as cash assistance to needy students||7,646.43|
|Cash assistance to individuals with sickness or disabilities, a family in need and disadvantaged students in Georgia and Armenia||6,488.15|