Flood-Damaged Bosnian Farm, Salvaged

In June 2014, Scientology Volunteer Ministers Balkans Disaster Response Team in the Bosnia and Herzegovina village of Kopanica help a man salvage his farm after May’s devastating floods.

The damage caused by the May 2014 floods has been estimated at €1.3 billion in Bosnia and Herzegovina—more than the entire cost to that country by the 1990’s war. But to someone like Vlado, a man from the village of Kopanica, those figures were irrelevant—he was at risk of losing everything.

Vlado and his elderly parents owned and operated a small farm in one of the regions hit hardest by the floods. In the course of three grim days in May, three months’ of rain fell, causing rivers to overflow. At the flood’s peak, two meters (six feet) of water covered Vlado’s farm.

He sent his parents to live in a nearby village while he began the overwhelming task of trying to salvage what remained.

Then, in June, the Scientology Volunteer Ministers Balkans Disaster Response Team arrived in the region. They asked Vlado if he would like some help. He needed to dispose of literally tons of rotten and contaminated animal feed. They loaded it into a truck and took it to the field to burn. Next, they dug out and cleaned up the barn and pigsty that had been buried in mud and debris.

Finally, the house itself—drying out the walls with a special machine, donated to the village by the Scientology Disaster Response Team.

“Many times I have seen disasters and earthquakes happening in faraway countries on TV,” said Vlado, “but I never did anything about it. And now you came from far away to help me. This made me think—maybe I should help others in future, and I decided I will do so. You helped me to return my farm to life. Without you it would take me weeks to do that. I have no words to thank you enough.”

More volunteers are needed to help the Balkans recover. If you are interested in volunteering, contact the International Disaster Response Officer at (323) 960-1949 or email

Transcending all ethnic, cultural and religious boundaries, the Volunteer Ministers program is there for anyone in need of help. Volunteer Ministers training is available free of charge through the Scientology Volunteer Ministers website to anyone who wishes to help others.

The Church of Scientology has published a new brochure, Scientology How We Help: Scientology Volunteer Ministers—Something Can be Done About It, to meet requests for more information about the program. To learn more or read a copy of the brochure, visit the Scientology website.

In creating the Volunteer Ministers program, L. Ron Hubbard wrote, “If one does not like the crime, cruelty, injustice and violence of this society, he can do something about it. He can become a Volunteer Minister and help civilize it, bring it conscience and kindness and love and freedom from travail by instilling into it trust, decency, honesty and tolerance.”