In December 2007 a team of seven Scientology Volunteer Ministers traveled to Uganda to help flood victims. More than 300,000 people were displaced, their food crops and livestock destroyed by the effects of months of heavy rain.

Working alongside emergency workers and volunteers, the Volunteer Ministers brought another dimension to the word relief through the use of Scientology assists; simple procedures developed by L. Ron Hubbard that help the individual overcome the emotional and spiritual component in trauma.

Here is their story:

On December 5th, we arrived in Katakwi, an area devastated by the flooding.

A volunteer from a German NGO (non-governmental organization) who had been working in Katakwi took us to a nearby camp. We got a very warm welcome from the people who were there, most of whom are Ateso, the second largest ethnic group in Uganda.

We were surprised to learn how many people had actually been living in the camp for years. They were driven there not by the floods but by the danger of the area, where rustling by the neighboring Karamajong tribe makes them fear for their lives and their cattle. Living together in the camp as they do gives some measure of security, but does not guarantee it. Just a couple of weeks before we got there, the camp itself had been raided. The raids normally happen at night under the cover of darkness. To live in fear is no way to live. But these people don't know any other way.

Scientology Assists help people orient themselves to the environment. Living under such stress, the people in the camps tend to fixate on the past and dread the future. These assists made such a difference. One comment we heard over and over again from people we helped was "I can feel the fresh air." At first we didn't understand what they meant. We finally realized they were so bound up in their fear, loss and pain they had lost touch with the most simple and basic aspects of living and could finally relax enough to breath freely.

There was another experience that really stands out in my mind. We went back into the field with the same German volunteer team. One of the main things this group is involved in is child protection. Because of the difficult times in these camps, children are often neglected. The parents are away looking for food all day. There is precious little time to spend with the children. Our friends in this group have a long list of games for the children to help the youngsters improve their concentration.

When we heard about this we realized how valuable the Locational Assist would be for the children. A Location is a very simple assist that helps orient the individual to the present environment. We began giving the children these assists and right away they were able to concentrate effortlessly.

That same day, while we were there, we also gave assists to a lot of the adults. Many of them had been injured and were still suffering from the pain. They were amazed to see how much better they felt when we used assists to help them overcome the emotional and spiritual aspects of the injury. You could almost tell at a glance which of the people received the assists by how happy and relieved they looked. And all through the camp you could hear people saying Yalama! Yalama!—Thank you! Thank you! And that made the entire experience one we'll never forget!

Scientology assists can be found online through the Scientology Handbook. Courses are also offered free of charge through the Scientology Volunteer Ministers web site.

Author's Bio: 

Ms. Wieland is an editor for the Scientology Press Office web site.