Relief news update from Bolivia - 17 Sep 2011  
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Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association relief news update from Bolivia.
When the ordinarily dry highlands of Potosí in southwestern Bolivia were struck by heavy winter snow, about 7,000 residents were stranded as the extreme weather hampered government relief efforts.

At least 30 people in the capital La Paz and in El Alto reportedly lost their lives to hypothermia. Supreme Master Ching Hai immediately donated US$20,000 with all her love and sorrowful prayers, requesting that our nearby Association members to please go if possible to bring supplies for warmth to those most in need.

This amount could acquire US$198,000 in emergency items if bought in the United States, based on Bolivia’s cost of living.

Supreme Master Ching Hai also reimbursed the travel and related expenses of the relief team from Costa Rica, estimated at US$2,000.After traveling by bus for 10 hours to the Department of Potosí, our Association’s relief team met with Potosí Department officials, who said that the government was only able to assist one-fourth of the 5,800 families due to limited resources.

The rest, along with over 25,000 llamas, faced hunger due to the inclement weather. With transportation, guidance, and indigenous language translators provided by the regional government, our Association’s relief team was able to purchase and distribute nutritious vegan food supplies for 1,140 families in a total of 16 remote communities.

Relief recipient (M): We are very deeply grateful, in our heart, to Master Ching Hai.

Relief recipient (F): Many thanks to Master Ching Hai for these donations that have been given to our people who really need it and have been affected by the snowfall. Thank you very much, Sister Ching Hai. Thank you very much.

Relief recipient (M): Master Ching Hai,many thanks.

VOICE: With appreciation for the helpful aid of the Bolivian officials and personnel, we also thank Supreme Master Ching Hai for her loving assistance, and our Association’s relief team for their caring work.
May Heaven protect the cold- and snow-affected residents as we pray that such weather extremities are eased through our kinder, eco-friendlier choices.

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