By Priyavrata Das
In the early months of 2005, after the devastating Tsunami that hit Sri Lanka on December 26, 2004 Food for Life Global coordinated the biggest emergency relief effort in ISKCON’s history. Volunteers from all over the world came together (ISKCON and non-ISKCON) to provide a helping hand. The response from the public was unprecedented, with over 500 people filling in a volunteer application.
The colossal 8.9-magnitude “superquake” that erupted just off Japan was 8000 times more powerful than the one that recently hit Christchurch in New Zealand. The force of the ensuing tsunami sent waves of churning mud and debris racing over towns and farmland in Japan’s northeast, consuming everything in its path.
Yesterday, I put out a call for volunteers on the FFL.ORG web site as well as Facebook and Twitter and today more than 40 people sent in an application. I am expecting more of the same. The critical ingredients of a successful relief campaign are:
1) cooperating with the emergency network on the ground;
2) utilizing local resources as much as possible;
3) Establishing a qualified leader amongst the devotees and providing a good support team;
4) providing a professional environment for volunteers from outside of ISKCON to feel comfortable working in.
I am therefore calling on devotees with prior experience in the Tsunami relief and other disasters to step forward now. At this time, our focus will be on identifying some team leaders and then gathering the resources we need to set up and serve prasadam. Food for Life Global’s web site FFL.ORG will continue to be the communication centre for the effort.
If you have experience and are interested in helping establish a prasadam relief service for the people in Japan, please step up now. Go to the FFL site to fill in the application. http://www.ffl.org/get-involved/volunteer-application/
I am currently on my way to Hong Kong, so I will be in the area and can join the team as needed.
We are especially praying for the health and welfare of the Japanese devotees and their families. If you are living in Japan and would like to help FFL Global in establishing or supporting a prasadam relief program, please contact me now. EMERGENCY@FFL.ORG
Food for Life
FFL Global: http://www.ffl.org
Phone: 301 987 5883
Fax Number: 208 906 8689
FOOD FOR LIFE GLOBAL
PO BOX 59037
Potomac, MD 20859
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