Updated August 7th, 2017 | Washington, DC
The Vicente Ferrer Foundation (VFF) hosts thousands of visitors each year from around the world at our India headquarters in Anantapur. From August, 1st to 6th a group of thirteen donors and friends arrived from Spain to witness the impact of VFF’s work in India. The group leader, Vicente Perez was a frequent traveller to India and VFF’s programs. Throughout the last 4 summers he had organized a group of friends to participate in an alternative vacation to support VFF’s work. Among the group were everyday heroes each of them a sponsor to group of women entrepreneurs or sponsoring a child. After having an opportunity to meet the communities that they generously supported, the group was en route to enjoy some of South India’s unique historical and cultural highlights.
At four o’clock on Saturday, August 5th, the group left the VFF facilities after hiring a local minibus to explore the neighboring state of Tamil Nandu. At ten o’clock in the morning the minibus collided with a truck. Dr. Shoba, a resident of the nearby community and a long time friend of VFF, was among the first responders to the scene. She provided immediate assistance to the injured and contacted VFF staff. Upon news of the crash, a team of four doctors from VFF’s healthcare facilities were dispatched to provide assistance at the Colombia Asia Hospital in Bangalore. In addition to the medical team, VFF dispatched ambulances to transfer the deceased.
The Indian authorities responded quickly and the local police have begun an investigation. The Spanish Consul General in Mumbai travelled to Bangalore and continues to offer an outpouring of support.
Ángel Domínguez, Concepción Márquez, Immaculada Santiago, Rocío Chacón, María Dolores Bernal and Mari Paz González all suffered minor injuries and are now reunited with their families in Spain. Three individuals remain in India receiving care. One is in critical condition in the intensive care unit, another is now in observation, and the third is now preparing to return home.
Moncho Ferrer, the Director of Programs in India and the Chairman of VFF USA stated, “Our collaborators are part of the VFF family. We are doing everything in our hands to support and accompany the group in this difficult time. Our thoughts are with them and their loved ones”.
All of us at VFF mourn the loss of Josefa Morán, Nieves López, Vicente Pérez, Francisco Pedrosa, and Sadiq Ali. These amazing community leaders are going to be sorely missed by all. VFF will continue to accompany the families of the victims and the survivors in this difficult time. Everyday heroes like these incredible donors have made all the difference in empowering rural communities in india. Their legacy lives on in our hearts and in our projects.