On February 6, 2010, the scouting coordinator from the Nyanza region of Kenya, Charles Omanga, received an urgent call. A fire had broken out in one of the busiest shopping malls in Kisumu, and the city needed his team of scouts to help.
Omanga in turn had trained the members in his troop on the techniques he learned, so they were prepared when the call for help came. He pulled his troop together and they rushed to the mall. Arriving before any firefighters or emergency response personnel, they quickly put out the fire. “It was up to us to protect those involved and save lives,” Omanga said.
“The last thing I heard was a deafening explosion from the gas store,” said a man at the scene of the fire. “The next minute, the whole store was enveloped in thick, dark smoke. I thought it was going to be my last day. Had it not been for the quick intervention of the Kenya Volunteer Ministers, many lives could have been lost in the inferno.”
The Nyanza region Kenya Scout Volunteer Ministers help at a grassroots level every day—not just in disasters. They regularly visit 40 local hospitals to deliver Assists to the patients. Assists are techniques developed by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard that speed recovery by addressing the emotional and spiritual component in injuries and illnesses.
The Volunteer Ministers also help children of the area get the full benefits of their education. “To be a good student, you must know how to communicate effectively,” said Omanga. “We always teach communication skills first. Then, by training the children in Study Technology developed by Mr. Hubbard, they really understand how to learn.”
Omanga, determined to make a difference in his region, is planning to register over 600 new Scouts and train them as Volunteer Ministers in the next few weeks.