In disaster zones around the world—from tsunamis, earthquakes and hurricanes to floods and fires—the yellow shirts and the yellow tents of Scientology Volunteer Ministers (VMs) have become an iconic symbol of indiscriminate help.

At the site of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre buildings in New York in 2001, Volunteer Ministers were an integral relief force on the ground working to support police and firefighters within hours after the buildings collapsed. Since then, VMs have served at every major disaster site worldwide. After deadly mudslides hit Eastern Uganda, VMs helped train village officials and residents in their rescue and relief technology. In Haiti, Volunteer Ministers helped transport earthquake victims to medical facilities. In Nepal, they helped rebuild devastated villages, comforted children who lost family members and ministered to those whose hope had evaporated.

But the drama of disaster relief is only part of the Volunteer Ministers’ story. They also address systemic problems in local communities where social ills, including homelessness and poverty, have left disenfranchised people struggling to cope.

The VM programme draws on volunteers from both inside and outside Scientology.

Volunteer Ministers are dedicated to assisting others not only in life-saving situations, but also by helping individuals overcome difficulties in their daily lives. This vital programme is helping meet the needs of those throughout the world for whom the yellow shirts of its volunteers are a sign of hope.

“I wish to register my appreciation and recognition of the service rendered by the Scientology Volunteer Ministers in successfully empowering our communities with skills for improved living through the seminars conducted in the 15 districts of Uganda—all toward the aim of enhancing peaceful coexistence.”