BUDAPEST, Hungary, Nov. 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Not long after the COVID-19 lockdown began in Hungary, Volunteer Ministers from the Church of Scientology Budapest received a message on their Facebook account. Noticing that they were helping those most severely affected by the pandemic, the head of the town's Roma community asked if they could please visit the village of Gyulaj where many live in poverty.
The Volunteer Ministers responded with donations of food such as fruit and vegetables, potatoes, flour, rice and pasta, hygiene supplies—and some nonessential but highly appreciated treats for the children.
Some 65 to 70 percent of the 1,700 or so Gyulaj residents are Roma—many of them casual laborers living at or below the poverty line. The lockdown took a terrible toll on the community, with farm work and day labor severely impacted by restrictions. The Volunteer Ministers returned to the village with more supplies as the pandemic continued.
In September, with restrictions lifting and the promise of returning to normal, the mayor of Gyulaj and the village's Roma leader decided to organize an event for the entire community: A joint celebration of the village day and the annual Roma cultural festival.
With the centerpiece of the celebration a cooking contest, the Volunteer Ministers arrived at dawn with their bright yellow van loaded with 70 pounds of meat and cabbage. And to complement the stuffed cabbage and goulash, the volunteers added soft drinks and chocolate.
It was a fun-filled afternoon and the Volunteer Ministers left with plans to return for Christmas with gifts and holiday food to make it a great year for the community.
Then in early October, tragedy struck the town. The Volunteer Ministers received a call from the Roma leader, asking for help. A freak accident killed four cousins age 17 to 27 as they were driving to work. A fifth cousin was injured but survived. All five were electricians: the breadwinners of their families. Their vehicle skidded into an oncoming truck in the rain. Then, as the village was reeling from that shock, the mother of four children died suddenly, unexpectedly, leaving her children orphaned.
The volunteers immediately collected funds and left for the village with food and supplies to help the families through this tragic time and to let them know they are always on call to help them get through this ordeal.
A Volunteer Minister's mandate is to be "a person who helps his fellow man on a volunteer basis by restoring truth and spiritual values to the lives of others." Their creed: "A Volunteer Minister does not shut his eyes to the pain, evil and injustice of existence. Rather, he is trained to handle these things and help others achieve relief from them and new personal strength as well."
Their motto is, no matter the circumstances, "Something can be done about it."
The Scientology Volunteer Ministers of Hungary headquarters is the Church of Scientology Budapest, whose new home was dedicated in 2016 by Mr. David Miscavige, ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion.
SOURCE Church of Scientology International