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Bringing Needed Help to Earthquake Victims in Pakistan’s Khyber Pkhtunkhwa Province

A bright flash of yellow: The Pakistan Volunteer Assist Team brings hope to mountain villages.

Perwaz ul-Hasan was in England last month at the annual celebration of the International Association of Scientologists (IAS), when he learned that a massive 7.5 earthquake had struck Afghanistan, India and his native Pakistan, killing more than 300. He immediately headed home.

Disaster is nothing new to ul-Hasan. In fact, it was exactly three years earlier that Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board Religious Technology Center, awarded ul-Hasan and his wife Khalida the prestigious IAS Freedom Medals for 2012 for his years of unconditional help, coordinating and providing relief to victims of natural disasters through the Pakistan Volunteer Assist Team of Pakistan. 

The group gets its name from assists—techniques developed by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard that help speed healing by addressing the spiritual and emotional factors in stress and trauma. Learning of the earthquake he knew it was time to pull out his bright yellow jacket and mobilize his team.

Gathering a group of 15 volunteers including doctors, he headed for Shangla Dondai in the Himalayas, a remote region where victims were completely cut off from relief. Getting there was a challenge in itself—the Taliban has attempted to seize control of the region and the team had to pass through numerous police check points to get there.

The volunteers set up camp and provided medical care and assists in the villages of Mudafghan, Mannay, Shahpoor, Abbazai and Pakore. 

At the Government College in Puran Shangla, Mr. ul-Hasan conducted an assist workshop for 130 students, many of whom decided to join the volunteers to help those affected by the earthquake.

After receiving an assist, a man who was injured when he was pinned by a concrete roof that fell on him during the earthquake, said, “My body has been numb since that happened. Now, after getting assists, I can feel my body—this is incredible.” 

An elder from the village of Shangla Shahpur, thanked the volunteers for their medical care and assists, asking them to train all the villagers on assists and inviting the team to come back to the village. “The citizens of Shangla are thankful for your precious time,” he said.

The team received a letter of recognition from the Mozo Basi welfare organization of the district of Shangla, who are, “extremely thankful to the Pakistan volunteer team for setting up their medical camp in Basi,” and “hopeful that you will continue your good work.”

With there motto, that no matter how bad it may be, “something can be done about it,” these volunteers have helped more than 4,500 people and trained several hundred more in assist techniques to carry the help forward. 

The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 11,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.

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