Volunteer Ministers providing help in flooded areas of Bosnia

KOPANICE VILLAGE, BOSNIA - Members of VM Disaster Response Team working on saving usable construction materials from a house which have to be demolished due to heave damages it suffered in the recent flood. Saved materials will be used for builing a new house on the same place.

KOPANICE VILLAGE, BOSNIA – Members of VM Disaster Response Team working on saving usable construction materials from a house which have to be demolished due to heave damages it suffered in the recent flood. Saved materials will be used for building a new house on the same place.

In today’s post we would like to give you some flavor of the kind of help we provide here. Mind you, this is not a PR kind of post, this is real, tough life in flooded areas.

Bringing fresh fruits to a shelter giving temporary accommodation to families with children.

Bringing fresh fruits to a shelter giving temporary accommodation to families with children.

We are constantly in communication with local Red Cross and two temporary shelters established in two local schools. One of the schools provides shelter for older people, the other shelters families with children. We found out that school sheltering older people has no showers but 50 older people uses a plastic garden hose in stead. In matter of hours our VM Disaster Response Team handled the problem – six new showers were installed and ready to use. Our operational rule here is simple – find what kind of help is needed and wanted and provide it as fast as possible.

Installing showers in a school serving as temporary shelter for retired people from flooded areas

Installing showers in a school serving as temporary shelter for retired people from flooded areas

In another school serving as a temporary shelters for families with children, we found out that although they have enough basic food, children are missing fresh fruits and vegetables. In matter of hours fresh oranges and apples were provided for every child in a shelter. Staff at both schools were grateful for our help, invited us for traditional black Turkish coffee and wished to picture taken with us (see the gallery at the bottom of the post).

After exchanging phone numbers and e-mail addresses and promising we stay in touch, we went to visit local Red Cross. In a meeting with Red Cross officials we found out that help is urgently needed in nearby village of Kopanice which suffered the most damage in the flood. Some 50-70 houses in the village will need to be demolished as their foundations were moved out of the place by a wall of water which formed when river banks collapsed. Help was needed in salvaging material from the houses to be used for building new ones.

Salvaging materials from a house designated for demolition

Salvaging materials from a house designated for demolition

With no delay our VM Disaster Response Team formed a convoy of our yellow VM truck and two cars with volunteers and we were on the way to Kopanice. We were greeted by a family already working on salvaging materials and we went straight to work. Wearing protective gloves and masks, as the area represents a high risk of infectious diseases, we were removing valuable materials from the top down. We stopped working in the late afternoon when swarms of mosquitoes start to make work in the open spaces unbearable.

At the end of the day we were dirty and we smelled bad, but we felt great! We had a busy day and we helped where help was necessary, and it felt wonderful!

If you would be interested in joining us, click “Activation” button above, fill in the form and will contact you back as soon as possible.

Sincerely yours,

Volunteer Ministers Disaster Response Team

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