Church Members Work to Restore Devastated Indian Coastal Fishing Communities
WILLS POINT, Texas – Believers Eastern Church announced the launch of a statewide rehabilitation program for the victims of Cyclone “Ockhi” in the Indian state of Kerala. The cyclone was the most intense originating from the Arabian Sea since 2015 and the first in nearly 40 years to travel nearly 1,500 miles.
The church will distribute 100 boats, 1,500 educational kits, and scholarships to the victims’ families and children over the next two years in the affected areas of Thiruvananthapuram, Alappuzha and Kollam. The program will benefit more than 1,000 families of this region.
The launch was announced in presence of Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister, Kerala, P. J. Kurien, Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Thiruvananthapuram along with Rev Dr. K. P. Yohannan, Metropolitan of Believers Eastern Church.
Other eminent dignitaries like Mathew T. Thomas, the Minister for Water Resource’s for the Government. of Kerala; Mayor of Trivandrum, MLA of Thiruvananthapuram East were present.
“Whereas the government is always doing its bit to help victims of such natural catastrophes, it is important that the civil society participants also contribute towards relief and rehabilitation measures. Our government appreciates and welcomes such initiatives and will extend all possible support for the successful roll-out and implementation of this project,” said Chief Minister Vijayan.
Cyclone Ockhi had ravaged a large part of coastal Kerala late last year killing a large number of people besides leading to loss of property and means of livelihood for locals. Most of the affected families were of fishermen who not only lost their property and belongings to the cyclone, but also lost their only means of livelihood – their fishing boats. Through this program, Believers Eastern Church aims to reach out to and rehabilitate the fishing communities and the families who live there.
“When I visited the site sometime back I realized that merely by giving clothes or food we would not be able to address the problem. Livelihood and education are the two most critical pillars of any social order. Over the next two years we will address these aspects and reach out to more such victims who need a helping hand,” said Yohannan.
The Church’s numerous other programs have benefitted thousands of children, women, leprosy patients and victims of natural catastrophes by providing them education, counselling, health camps, medicines, hospitals, shelter, rehabilitation and clean drinking water.
About Believers Eastern Church
Believers Eastern Church is a Christian denomination, Biblical and evangelical in faith, apostolic in origin, universal in nature, ecumenical in outlook, and has a constitutional episcopacy for governance. The Church at present has 22 Bishops giving spiritual and administrative leadership in the service of God and humanity.