BRINGING HELP AND SOLUTIONS TO A TROUBLED LAND
Volunteer Ministers Aid Recovery in Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Two decades after the end of the Bosnian War in 1995, the specter of violence and despair again hangs heavy over the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Tuzla Canton was the center of the 2014 “Bosnian Spring” protests that spread to the rest of the country, with hundreds injured in the outbreak of public revolt over high unemployment and two decades of political inertia.
Into this troubled land came Scientology Volunteer Ministers, dedicated to helping citizens establish a new and bright future for the country. The VMs first arrived in May 2014 in the Orasje area after severe flooding, assisting for three months to deploy truckloads of donated food and water and to restore houses and farms. The Volunteer Ministers also gave workshops on practical subjects requested by the community, ranging from how to organize to how to study.
To expand the scope of their aid, the Volunteer Ministers brought their Goodwill Tour and its visible yellow tents to Bosnia, beginning with seminars for small businesses, a key sector of society, to help the country flourish.
The Association of Independent Craftsmen teamed with the Goodwill Tour to hold the seminars designed “to bring practical solutions to people that they can use in everyday life to help themselves, their family and friends and to bring peace, tolerance, trust and hope to people.”
Those practical solutions were offered in several ways: through personal consultations to provide assistance with specific life situations, including a booklet on the subject to take home as a reference, and through 19 tools For Life Courses available in the yellow tents. Subjects included learning to communicate with ease and confidence, alleviating illnesses and injuries, improving family and workplace relationships, helping a person recover from drug problems, and many others. Visitors often came in, signed up for one of the free courses and did it at once, such as the teacher who arrived, learned about Study Technology and used it with great success in her classroom the next day.
WITH THEIR NEWFOUND TOOLS FOR LIFE, CITIZENS ARE RECOVERING FROM THE NATURAL AND MAN-MADE DISASTERS AND HAVE ASSUMED A NEW SPIRIT OF HELP AND COMMUNITY.
Sometimes groups came in for specific seminars they requested. A seminar on communication for 50 people from a small business resulted in a turnaround in company sales. A seminar on “Assists” was requested by a women’s association, and in a few hours they gained skills to better help themselves and others deal with trauma and stress.
A special seminar on the Emotional Tone Scale was provided for a dance troupe that performed at the opening of the Goodwill Tour, giving them tools to predict human behavior in their everyday interactions with others.
Other seminars delivered were Study Technology and How to Resolve Conflicts, both to 46 students from the Tuzla Traffic School, and Fundamentals of Public Relations to the Foundation of Tuzla Society, a group that carries out social projects in Tuzla.
In keeping with the Volunteer Minister pattern of helping individuals and then teaching them to in turn help others, nine Volunteer Minister groups were formed by local residents to keep on helping their fellow citizens after the Goodwill Tour departed. With their newfound tools for life, citizens are recovering from the natural and man-made disasters and have assumed a new spirit of help and community.
TOOLS FOR LIFE
To contact a Volunteer Minister for one-on-one assistance, to schedule an on-site seminar, to view chapters of the Tools for Life film or sign up for an online course, visit www.volunteerministers.org. In addition to online and on-site training, anyone with a desire to help others, no matter their creed or faith, may enroll at any Church of Scientology for training as a Volunteer Minister.
Free Online Courses
The Volunteer Ministers are on call at any time to respond to any disaster, natural or manmade, to help those in need. Donations help support the transport of VMs across the world, and provide the vital basic resources for the victims of disasters—food, water, tents and medical supplies.