Scientology volunteers work with Benin humanitarian group to improve the quality of care for orphans in the City of Djougou
The Scientology Volunteer Ministers Goodwill Tour, which travels throughout western Africa offering seminars, courses and one-on-one help for people throughout the region, has provided training to orphanage administrators in the city of Djougou, teaching effective solutions to the challenges they face in improving the quality of care in their facilities.
An estimated 340,000 Benin youth are orphans, with no anticipated decrease in the short term. In the first half of this decade the number of AIDS orphans—children who have lost either one or both parents to AIDS—in Benin more than doubled, from an estimated 23,000 in the year 2000 to some 62,000 in 2005, and the prediction is that this will only continue to escalate. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Agency for International Development have predicted that by the end of the decade, 20 million children in Africa will lose one or both parents to AIDS.
To effectively address issues related to parentless children, the Scientology Volunteer Ministers partnered with a non-profit group responsible for 28 orphanages in the City of Djougou. The Volunteer Ministers delivered “The Raising of Children” seminar for orphanage administrators, presenting procedures and practices, developed by humanitarian and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, that can be applied to improve the quality of care of children in these institutions.
The orphan care initiative is just one in Benin, an emerging nation whose Gross Domestic Product ranks 159 of 177 nations. The Scientology Volunteer Ministers Goodwill Tour offers seminars and workshops free of charge to any non-profit group or government agency on increasing efficiency, improving communication skills and organizing to increase production.
Scientology volunteers also trained nurses at a local clinic to use Scientology Assists, techniques that provide relief and speed recovery from emotional or physical trauma. They also gave a drug education seminar to a local youth group and a workshop to a women’s association on how to resolve conflicts and save marriages.
In addition to seminars in community locations, the volunteer ministers provided small-group training and one-on-one counseling at their big yellow tent, where visitors could select from 19 courses ranging from “Assists for Illnesses and Injuries” to “Tools for the Workplace.” These free courses are also available online at the Scientology Volunteer Ministers website.