By Madhava Smullen on 23 Jan 2010From ISKCON News
Hare Krishna Food For Life Global is joining forces with several ISKCON temples to provide nutritious, hot vegetarian meals to victims of January 12th’s massive earthquake in Haiti.
The quake, which measured 7.0 point on the Richter scale, struck at 5pm local time and is estimated to have killed between 100,000 and 200,000 people, most of whom were buried alive under collapsing buildings. Homes have been destroyed and livelihoods devastated in a disaster that the International Red Cross estimates has affected about three million people.
Food for Life is planning to complement the efforts of bigger agencies such as the Red Cross, CARE and OXFAM, and will be working under the protection of the military from internationally secured sites. Water for Life Global will supply a sanitation service and mobile water purifying system for the project.
ISKCON is providing volunteer support from the USA, Brazil, Hungary, and the UK as well as locally.
Chaitanya Dasa, a Food For Life volunteer especially experienced in disaster relief, is leading the Hungarian team. Back in 2005, Chaitanya received an award from the Hungarian Government for his outstanding services to victims of Sri Lanka’s December 2004 Tsunami.
The relief efforts will initially be funded by ISKCON Hungary, as well as Bhaktivedanta Manor’s welfare arm The Lotus Trust in the UK.
The volunteers—who currently number a dozen, and will soon be joined by congregational devotees—are coordinating food supplies and equipment from the Santo Domingo temple in the Dominican Republic, which they will transport to Haiti once local people have received vital medical help and the roads have been cleared.
They then plan to feed thousands a day with hot prasadam meals, as well as to distribute canned and packaged goods. The initial group of volunteers aim to stay in Haiti for at least one month, after which they may be replaced by others if necessary.
“It will take some time before things stabilize in the country,” said Food for Life Director Priyavrata Dasa, “So this effort is likely to end up as a four-month endeavor.”
Estimates of those killed by the massive earthquake measuring 7.0 point on the Richter scale that struck the nation of Haiti at 5pm local time on Tuesday, January 12th range from 100,000 to 200,000, most buried alive due to collapsing buildings. Tens of thousands of homes have been destroyed and people’s livelihoods devastated.
ISKCON devotees who have a temple within travelling distance of the affected area are preparing to provide vegetarian food as part of its Food For Life programme. The temple Domingo is on board with relief efforts and has cooking facilities with numerous volunteers ready to help. Food for Life Global is partnering with Water for Life Global who have mobile water purifying system and they will also be providing a sanitation service.
Hare Krishna Food for Life Global is planning to work under the protection of the military complementing the work of bigger agencies such as CARE and OXFAM and Red Cross at present.
ISKCON is providing volunteer support from USA, Brazil, Hungary, the UK as well as locally.
Food for Life Director Priyavrata Dasa said, “It will take some time before things stabilize in the country, and is likely to end up as a four month endeavor.”
The Lotus Trust, the welfare arm of Bhaktivedanta Manor in the UK, is working with partner food relief organisations currently with a base in nearby Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic where food supplies are being prepared to go into Haiti once the roads are cleared to ensure local people receive vital help.
The Hungarian group is led by Chaitanya Dasa, a Food For Life volunteer who specializes in disaster relief. In 2005, he was given an award by the Hungarian Government for his outstanding services provided to the December 2004 Tsunami victims of Sri Lanka.
The group joined forces with the Santo Domingo temple first on January 21. They will then travel from there to Haiti, where, with the help of the Dominican devotees, they are planning to feed thousands a day with nutritious hot vegetarian meals. They will also distribute canned or packaged goods. The initial funding is being provided by the Hungarian Yatra. This group of devotees are planning to stay in Haiti for a month, and if it necessary they will be replaced by others after one month.
The devotees will start coordinating everything from the Santo Domingo temple, then are planning to camp out in internationally secured sites in Haiti.
Altogether a dozen devotees will be starting off the project, and will later be joined by congregational devotees from the Dominican Republic and other countries.