Durban - Over the past week, Molweni flood survivors were hopeful after receiving psycho-social spiritual counselling from Scientology Volunteer Ministers.
After being traumatised by the floods, they received counselling and were then taught how to deliver it to others.
Scientology Volunteer Ministers is made up of volunteers trained to provide assistance in, and respond to disasters.
“In no time, they stood up and were ready to help others through this traumatic period,” said public affairs director Sandile Hlayisi.
More than 400 people were killed and 40 000 were left homeless in parts of KZN.
“The impact of the floods was also deeply felt by the grief-stricken Molweni community as they watched their houses and loved ones being swept away by the floods,” Hlayisi said.
Scientology Volunteer Ministers travelled from their headquarters in Gauteng to provide immediate relief after the devastating floods.
They set up teams to assist in search and rescue operations, donated food parcels, blankets, organised significant clean-ups and provided psycho-social spiritual counselling to the survivors of the flood.
Kim Lavender of Scientology Volunteer Ministers said: “When I first arrived in Molweni, I immediately noticed that people were in a catatonic state. They couldn’t talk or move. It was as if they were staring into the beyond.”
“These people suffered major losses which can affect their mental and spiritual health greatly. At this moment, I knew I had to lend a hand with counselling,” Lavender said.
A whole team was assembled and they spent several days in Molweni delivering free sessions and also training the community members in these techniques officially known as “assists”, authored by acclaimed humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard.
During the first session, a woman in the community said: “I am not okay. I watched my home get washed away with my son. He is still missing. Every time I close my eyes, I see it happening again and again. I am stuck there.”
An “assist” was immediately given to her for a while and suddenly she began to brighten up, leaning forward in her chair and being interested in the environment.
“I feel okay. I am doing much better. At this moment I feel happy.” She reached to the back of her head and added, “I don’t know what has happened but I am different.” She was then trained on how to deliver an “assist”. “I can do this! I know how to help someone else. I have people who need my help, we can get through this together,” she concluded.
“It was a life-changing experience for me, seeing someone go from complete apathy to courageous, and willing to help and confront the situation in a matter of minutes is incredibly soul-satisfying,” commented Lavender.
One member of a Khanyisile family, lost her five-year-old daughter and was completely overwhelmed by grief. She received a “locational assist” and after a while, she started to open up about the incident. She expressed her thanks profusely.
This social service was also extended to other groups on the ground to help them with the trauma.
A search and rescue officer who received this counselling after losing his colleague a couple of days ago, approached one of the Scientology volunteers and said: “I have been feeling so different after that assist. I have been running around with a smile on my face ever since. I gained new-found courage and I am so grateful for what you have done for me.”
The Scientology Volunteer Ministers affirmed that they will be in the area and provide their services to the community and others for as long as necessary.