(NewsFeed - GLOBAL SIKHS-WAVES OF MERCY -- Feb 03) www.globalsikhs.org
Injured Volunteers Return
Global Sikhs-Waves of Mercy sends its third mission.
Langkawi, February 03: THE two GLOBAL SIKHS-WAVES OF MERCY volunteers injured while providing humanitarian relief aid in Aceh, Indonesia, returned to Langkawi, Malaysia, today (Feb 03).
At the same time, its third mission of 19 volunteers began active work in Aceh today, after leaving from Langkawi on Feb 1.
In the Jan 22 incident, Captain Marius J W Bogaard, 48, and Johannes A van Leewen, 51, suffered mainly first degree burns in the explosion that occurred while they were clearing a coastal road in Paroe, a village the team had been nursing.
A few hours later, a helicopter from a German naval vessel Berlin which was operating nearby evacuated both Dutchmen. On the ship, both men were given immediate medical attention and are now recovering.
Both sailors were part of the first team of 31 volunteers dispatched by the GOBAL SIKHS-WAVES OF MERCY, a humanitarian relief agency spearheaded by Malaysian Sikh Youth, also known as Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia (SNSM).
“The conditions are still desperate in Paroe. The torrential rains have caused overnight flooding. The swollen rivers have washed away the temporary bridges. We need heavy engineering to build proper bridges,” say Capt Marius upon his return to Langkawi today.
Despite is injuries, Capt Marius went back to his vessel, the Sean Paquitto II, which is berth just outside the shore of Paroe, about 20 nautical miles from Banda Aceh. Johannes suffered more serious injuries and could not continue work.
“He looked burnt out, but his spirit is clearly visible,” says Capt Hugo Crawford, director of the Waves of Mercy, the partners in the mission. Waves of Mercy is a Langkawi-based relief team began by the island’s yachting and boating community in response to the tsunami disaster in Aceh.
After two successful missions, the GLOBAL SIKHS-WAVES OF MERCY marches on with its third mission moving deep into Aceh, to assist affected villagers under their care to rebuild their lives, while at the same time providing the necessary medical and emergency reliefs.
The team of 19 people left on a ship from Langkawi, an island on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, on Feb 1. Today, (Feb 3), the team has already begun work at its base camp in Sabang, Pulau Weh and also at the village of Paroe.
The chief de mission for the third mission is Mr Harbinder Singh, a former president of the SNSM.
The GLOBAL SIKHS-WAVES OF MERCY has been concentrating in two areas – Pulau Weh and Paroe.
The humanitarian relief team has established camp at Sabang, Pulau Weh, just north of Banda Aceh.
Paroe, facing the Indian Ocean, is 28 km from Banda Aceh. This is the village found by the GLOBAL SIKHS-WAVES OF MERCY search and relief team on board Sean Paquitto II on Jan 14. Until then, the villages had lost all contact with the outside world since the disaster struck.
The mission has played an instrumental role in both areas. In Pulau Weh, which has 12 camps for internally displaced people, the major challenge is with sanitation and hygiene.
“In one camp, who have a few hundred people sharing three toilets. As you can expect, no one claims ownership, and the toilets are very dirty. In a situation like these, any outbreak of a disease can be potentially dangerous,” says Dr Tikfu Gee, who led the medical team in the second mission.
In Pulau Weh, the UNHCR has requested the assistance of the GLOBAL SIKHS-WAVES OF MERCY to administer measles vaccinations to all children below 15 years old on the island.
For media inquiries, please call: Habhajan Singh 016.3850062 or Capt Hugo Crawford 012.5937335
For more information and photographs, please visit the following websites: www.globalsikhs.org and www.wavesofmercy.com
Global Sikhs-Waves of Mercy: Background
WHO WE ARE
GLOBAL SIKHS-WAVES OF MERCY is the name coined for the international relief effort to help the earthquake and Tsunami victims in Aceh, Indonesia. It is an informal grouping of Sikh and non-Sikh organisations worldwide that want to assist in the relief mission. While the mission platform carries the name Sikh, it is open to people from all races, religions and nationalities. We have, both on the mission and at the headquarters level, volunteers from various races, religions and nationalities.
The mission is spearheaded by Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia (Malaysian Sikh Youth), a Malaysian-based 41-year old youth organisation. This is a registered NGO in Malaysia and has performed various community projects in Malaysia and the Asia Pacific region. Website: www.snsm.org.my
Its key operational partner is the WAVES OF MERCY, a group of Langkawi-based sailors who have rallied together to make the ships available to carry forward the mission. It is led by Captain Hugo Crawford. Some of the sailors have lost their boats in the tsunami incident. Website: www.wavesofmercy.com
Its main international partner is the UNITED SIKHS, an international NGO with chapters in Europe, America and Asia. It has sent five of its members to Kuala Lumpur for the relief work in Aceh. In separate missions, UNITED SIKHS have also sent their members to Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. Website: www.unitedsikhs.org
- Sikh Council on Religion and Education (SCORE), Washington, USA
- Guru Gobind Singh Foundation (GGSF), Washington, USA www.ggsf.org
- Gurmat Learning Zone. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/learning-zone/
- The Association of Sikh Physicians for Involvement, Response and Engagement (ASPIRE), USA
- Naujawan Sabha Melbourne, Australia
- Dya Singh World of Music
Our mission is to assist in the humanitarian relief operations in Aceh, Indonesia, in the most effective manner as possible. Funds raised and assistance rendered will go towards achieving the objective.
24-HOUR COMMAND CENTRE
GLOBAL SIKHS operates a round-the-clock control and command centre n Kuala Lumpur. Tel: ++ 603 - 2283 3713
||Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia - Tsunami Relief
||Bangsar Baru Branch
||66, 68 & 70, Jalan Maarof, Bangsar Baru, 59000 Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia.