In times of need, Jehovah’s Witnesses provide assistance to fellow believers and others. They do so as an expression of love, an identifying mark of true Christians.—John 13:35.
What follows is a partial list of the help given over a 12-month period ending in mid-2012. The list does not include the spiritual and emotional care that always accompanies our efforts. Disaster Relief Committees appointed by our branch offices organized much of the assistance. In addition, local congregations regularly shared in the help given.
Japan: On March 11, 2011, an earthquake and resulting tsunami that, all told, affected hundreds of thousands of people struck northern Japan. Jehovah’s Witnesses throughout the world generously contributed money, skills, and resources to assist in the recovery. Watch our video about earthquake relief efforts in Japan.
Brazil: Floods, landslides, and mudslides resulted in the death of hundreds of people. In response, Jehovah’s Witnesses dispatched to the affected region 42 tons of nonperishable food items, 20,000 bottles of water, 10 tons of clothing, and 5 tons of cleaning supplies, as well as medicine and other items.
Congo (Brazzaville): When an ammunition dump blew up, the homes of 4 of Jehovah’s Witnesses were destroyed and the homes of 28 other Witnesses were damaged. Food and clothing were given to those affected, and local Witnesses took in families affected by the disaster.
Congo (Kinshasa): Medicine was provided for victims of cholera. Clothing was donated to those affected by flooding caused by torrential rain. Medical help, seed for planting, and tons of clothing were given to those in refugee camps.
Venezuela: Heavy rains caused floods and mudslides. Disaster relief committees helped 288 affected Witnesses. More than 50 new homes were built. Additionally, relief committees are helping those whose homes are threatened by the rising water level of Lake Valencia.
Philippines: Typhoons brought floods to part of the country. The branch sent foodstuffs and clothing to the victims, and local Witnesses helped clean up after the waters subsided.
Canada: Following a major forest fire in Alberta, the Slave Lake Congregation received a sizable donation from Witnesses in the region to help with the cleanup. Because not all of the money was needed, the congregation donated more than half of the sum to help victims of disaster in other parts of the world.
Côte d’Ivoire: Goods, lodging, and medical care were provided to those in need before, during, and after a war that the country experienced.
Fiji: Because of severe flooding from heavy rains, most of the 192 Witness families that were affected lost their farms, their source of food and income. Relief food supplies were provided for them.
Ghana: Flood victims in the eastern region of the country were provided with food, seed, and replacement housing.
United States: Tornadoes damaged 66 homes belonging to Witnesses in three states and destroyed 12 homes of Witnesses. Though most of the homeowners had insurance, funds were made available to help with the recovery effort.
Argentina: Congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses helped those in the south of the country whose homes were damaged by volcanic ash.
Mozambique: Food was supplied to more than 1,000 people affected by drought.
Nigeria: Two dozen Witnesses who were injured in a serious bus accident were provided with financial help. Assistance was also given to many in the north of the country who were rendered homeless as a result of ethnic religious clashes.
Benin: Medicine, clothing, mosquito nets, fresh water, and accommodations were provided for victims of severe flooding.
Dominican Republic: Following Hurricane Irene, local congregations helped with house repairs and material aid.
Ethiopia: In two areas of drought and in one area of flooding, funds were provided to meet the needs of those affected.
Kenya: Relief funds were provided for victims of drought.
Malawi: Assistance was given to those living in Dzaleka refugee camp.
Nepal: A landslide severely damaged the home of a Witness. A temporary home was provided for her, and assistance was given by the local congregation.
Papua New Guinea: Arsonists burned down eight homes belonging to Witnesses. Arrangements were made to rebuild them.
Romania: Some Witnesses lost their homes as a result of flooding. Assistance was provided to help rebuild them.
Mali: From neighboring Senegal, funds were given to some who lacked food because of a bad harvest that was caused by drought.
Sierra Leone: Witness doctors from France gave medical help to Jehovah’s Witnesses living in previously war-torn areas.
Thailand: Disastrous floods did much damage in several provinces. Relief teams repaired and cleaned 100 homes and 6 Kingdom Halls.
Czech Republic: After floods damaged several homes in the Czech Republic, Witnesses in nearby Slovakia helped in relief efforts.
Sri Lanka: Most disaster-relief work in connection with a tsunami there has been completed.
Sudan: Food, clothing, shoes, and plastic sheets were sent to Jehovah’s Witnesses who have been displaced because of fighting in the country.
Tanzania: During heavy flooding, 14 families lost their belongings. The congregations in the area donated clothes and household items. One house was rebuilt.
Zimbabwe: Drought has resulted in hunger in one area of the country. Food and money have been given to those affected.
Burundi: Relief assistance, including medical care, is being given to refugees.