Scientology Volunteer Ministers of South Africa: Helping Essential Workers Take Care of the Country
When the pandemic struck, Scientology Volunteer Ministers reached out to essential services with help and continue to serve every day. Their work is presented in a series of videos in the new interactive timeline on the Scientology Website.
One of the new terms that entered into the vernacular over the past year of pandemic is “essential workers.” These are the people who see to the health, transportation, food and safety of their towns and cities. Often taken for granted before, they have become recognized as heroes, especially by those who depend on their services when their country goes into lockdown. But while the essential workers take care of the rest of us, who takes care of them?
In South Africa, the Scientology Volunteer Ministers took on that job, volunteering their services for the past 13 months to help those we depend on. Their work is featured in a series of videos on the new interactive timeline on the Scientology website: 20/21: A Look Back & A Look Ahead.
“You guys came in here to help us,” says the SAPS (South African Police Service) colonel in charge of a Johannesburg precinct in one of the videos. “You guys take care of our foot soldiers by sterilizing our vehicles. This is what we call police-community partnership. It sends a message to everyone.”
They also help stem the spread of the virus through educational materials. The Church of Scientology created a series of booklets and videos that are all available free of charge in 21 languages through the How to Stay Well Prevention Resource Center on the Scientology website. They have been translated into Zulu, Sotha and Xhosa—the languages spoken by nearly half the nation. Volunteer Ministers have handed out more than a million copies of Stay Well booklets in South Africa in the course of their work.
For one police training officer, it is the information provided by the Volunteer Ministers that he values most. He says most people didn’t understand the risk of the pandemic much less how to protect themselves and their families. These booklets have made all the difference.
The commander of a fire station in Gauteng Province recalls his concern over his staff being exposed to COVID-19 when responding to incidents. “If I’m not safe, then I’ll be a hazard to the community,” he says. By sanitizing his station and vehicles and training his staff it puts them in control.
The fire chief of another station describes the Church of Scientology as “coming to our rescue.” He thanks them for “committing themselves to enter these high-risk areas, stabilizing, putting their lives at risk,” and describes their continued support as “a blessing.”
The volunteers also clean and sanitize orphanages and homes for the elderly and train the caregivers on how to protect themselves and those under their charge. One caregiver describes his dilemma: although it puts him at risk to come to work, he sets his concerns aside because those in his facility need his help. He is grateful that the Volunteer Ministers disinfect the home and make sure the staff and their beneficiaries learned how to care for themselves. “It puts us at ease,” he says.
An executive of another emergency service in Tshwane finds it “very heartwarming to know that when you are on the frontlines, there are other people making sure you are safe,” and says, “thank you to the Church of Scientology for having emergency service workers and the preservation of life and the livelihoods of people in mind.”
The Volunteer Ministers program was created in the mid-1970s by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard. It is a religious social service sponsored by the Church of Scientology.
The Scientology Volunteer Ministers of South Africa are headquartered at Kyalami Castle in Midrand, South Africa, which was dedicated on New Year’s Day 2019 by Scientology ecclesiastical leader Mr. David Miscavige.
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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