World Humanitarian Day
Floods, earthquakes, and disease… There is so much suffering in the world. Fortunately, there are people willing to help and provide aid. Much is also being done by the New Apostolic Church and its members. Today, 19 August, is World Humanitarian Day.
Edgar Villaruel is desperate. His house has been destroyed, as has his fishing boat and therefore his only source of income. How is he supposed to feed his family?
Long-term instead of short-term help
Typhoon Odette caused a lot of suffering at the end of last year, but there was also a huge humanitarian response. Much of the aid, however, was of a short-term nature: food, water, medicine, and clothing. This does not help in the long term, because boats and fishing gear are still damaged or completely lost. And these are the fishermen’s livelihoods. NAC SEA Relief wants to help in the long term. The New Apostolic relief organisation therefore distributed marine engines, fishing gear, plywood, nails, paint, and resin. And to help the people with the reconstruction of their homes, they provided sheet metal, nails, and wood.
Hopefully, Edgar Villaruel will soon be able to provide for his family again.
Reconstruction after earthquake
A devastating earthquake in Haiti in August 2021 and a tropical storm a few days later killed more than 2,000 people, injured over 12,000, and caused about 130,000 families to lose their homes. The organisation NPH (Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos) responded quickly and brought food, drinking water, and hygiene articles to Haiti and also provided medical help. The disaster relief effort was supported by the charity human aktiv, the aid organisation of the New Apostolic Church Southern Germany with 25,000 euros. The funds were also used to rebuild peoples’ homes and livelihoods. Families received building materials and tools, and some craftsmen from the organisation helped the people to rebuild their homes and helped to restore farmland so that the families can earn their livelihood again.
Help after flooding in South Africa
Heavy rains, severe flooding, and mudslides in the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa in April 2022 killed at least 448 people and left many more homeless. More than 13,500 houses were damaged by the disaster, there were power cuts, and interruptions in the drinking water supply. The floods also destroyed large parts of the infrastructure and at least 250 schools.
More than a thousand kilometres away, the youth of the Apostle Area West Coast were touched by this disaster and, for a month, collected all kinds of supplies for the people who had been affected by the disaster. On 25 June the youth leader of the Apostle Area, Jean Charles, handed over the collected blankets and canned goods to the New Apostolic relief organisation Mashake Foundation, which will see to the distribution. Priest Charles thanked the youth for opening their hearts.
Container with aid supplies arrives in Suriname
There was a great deal of excitement in Paramaribo in Suriname when a container with aid supplies arrived from the Netherlands. The Dutch charity Stichting Corantijn in Lelystad in the Netherlands had begun filling the container with aid supplies, furniture, and medical supplies in late January. In May, then, the container was brimful with supplies and was shipped off to Suriname. It was loaded onto a boat in Rotterdam which then made course for the South American country. The contents will have made many people very happy.
Blood can save lives
The members of our congregation in the town of Metzingen in Germany prepared their church for a blood donation campaign on Saturday, 5 August. They began with the set-up in the church early in the morning so that the doors were open by 10 am. People could come by to donate blood until 7.30 pm. A total of 160 blood donations were made, 16 of which were first-time donors. Afterwards, of course, everything had to be prepared for the church service the next morning. Luckily there were so many hard-working helpers!
Two kindergartens in Stupferich, a small town in Germany, organised a festival-cum-bone-marrow-drive on 16 July for an organisation that supports leukaemia and tumour patients, blut.ev. A New Apostolic sister, whose children attend one of the two kindergartens, took the chance and asked human aktiv, the relief organisation of the New Apostolic Church Southern Germany, if they could support this festival with a donation. The relief organisation gladly agreed and donated 500 euros. For the children the sunny Saturday was a day of fun and games, while the adults had the opportunity to have their bone marrow typed.