Perhaps it is only a drop in the ocean, but every drop counts: in collaboration with many other organisations, New Apostolic aid agencies are right in the thick of world events—for example, in Sierra Leone and Bangladesh.
Together with its partner organisation, “Help”, NAK-karitativ has assisted some 1,000 families of the Rohingya ethnicity. This ethnic minority lives in Myanmar, primarily near the border with Bangladesh. They have been persecuted for many years, and have also suffered from discrimination and violence. At the end of August, the conflict escalated and sent a wave of refugees pouring into neighbouring Bangladesh.
Over half a million people live there in overcrowded refugee camps. The living conditions of the people have become quite dramatic, owing to the persistent monsoon season. Together with “Help”, NAK-karitativ is handling the distribution of relief supplies, and is thus supplementing the measures undertaken by the WFP (UN World Food Programme). First and foremost, families are being supplied with mosquito nets, clothing, and hygiene products. These measures are intended to protect the people from cholera and malaria.
The bare necessities of life
The Missionswerk of the New Apostolic Church of Southern Germany has made 20,000 euros available for immediate relief measures in Sierra Leone. People who have become homeless in the “twin disasters” the country has endured are now receiving foodstuffs, drinking water, clothing, and hygiene products. Here the aid agency is working in collaboration with the Red Cross and a government fund.
Violent rains have had a devastating impact on the West African state. According to media reports, some 30,000 people have lost their homes. Added to this were the serious mudslides in Regent—near the capital of Freetown—and other places, which claimed the lives of as many as 1,000 people.
The people in this country, which is among the poorest in the world, have had to deal with quite a lot of suffering over the last 25 years. From 1991 to 2002, there was a civil war that was responsible for the deaths of between 50,000 and 300,000 people, as well as the displacement of around 2.6 million people. And between 2014 and 2016, the Ebola epidemic ravaged the country, claiming the lives of 4,000 affected persons. The locals are quick to recall that the Church had also provided humanitarian aid at that time.
A heart for children
Bishop André Kreis passed away last month after a brief illness. He was the president of the board of trustees of NAK-Humanitas. “In him we have lost a personality full of ideas and resolve, a man with a lot of heart, to the beyond,” writes the aid agency of the New Apostolic Church Switzerland on its website.
The support and advancement of children was especially important to him. So it was that day care centres came into being in Zăbrani, Romania and Răzeni, Moldova. After their retirement, Bishop Kreis and his wife were planning to buy a little house in Zăbrani in order to dedicate themselves to the care, support, and assistance of children as volunteers.