International Disaster Volunteers (IDV)

At IDV we believe that to provide meaningful relief and reconstruction assistance to disaster affected communities around the world we have to do more than reconstruct buildings. We need to understand and address the factors that made a community vulnerable to the disaster in the first place. Our work will be organised with these factors in mind so we can effect change that far outlives our presence.
Apr 24, 2015

Fun and Joy at the HTDC Orphanage, Thanks to You!

The kids enjoyed a day on the beach last month
The kids enjoyed a day on the beach last month

Thanks to your amazing support it’s been a fantastic few months for the kids at the HTDC orphanage.

After many months of uncertainty with the house we’ve finally decided to keep the orphanage in its current location. We’d originally looked at moving the kids as the landlord had added a second floor to the building and wanted the orphanage to rent the entire property.

This was more room than the kids needed and, rather than pay for the unnecessary space, we’d decided to look elsewhere. But while we were searching for a new home for the kids the landlord had a change of heart.

He’s since decided that the orphanage can continue to rent the original ground floor only.  What’s more he’s agreed to use the rent to further improve the property by concreting the grounds. This will provide a much healthier environment for the kids as it will eliminate standing water and mosquitoes.

Overall it’s a good solution and means that the kids can stop worrying about the uncertainty and get on with just being kids!  And what fun they’ve been having recently!

This year the orphanage directors have really wanted to give the kids a monthly activity to enjoy. All the kids had rough starts in life and these activities are a great way of giving them back some of the joy of being kids.

In February for example the orphanage held a carnival party to coincide with the national carnival celebrations. The kids dressed up in exotic clothes, had their faces painted and enjoyed carnival music and dances.

In March there was an amazing trip to the beach. The kids always love getting out of the house, but to leave the city and visit the sea is a very special treat indeed!  On the beach the kids had food and drinks and above all, a great time.

Then in April, to mark Easter, the kids enjoyed painting eggs, just like kids in lots of other countries.

Next month Haiti will celebrate its agriculture and the kids will also get involved here. The orphanage directors are planning to take the kids outside the city again, but this time to help plant trees.  This will teach the kids about deforestation and protecting the environment.

It’s all thanks to you that the kids at HTDC not only have a safe home, food and school, but they also have their childhoods back again.  Thanks so much for supporting these beautiful children!

As always, if you ever have any queries about how we’re using your donation, please don’t hesitate to email Andy@IDVolunteers.org. I would be delighted to hear from you.

Thanks to ALM Photography for providing these photos.

Even at home, the kids are still having fun!
Even at home, the kids are still having fun!
Apr 24, 2015

400 More Kids Learning Again, Thanks to You!

One of Guintigian classrooms we
One of Guintigian classrooms we've repaired

Thanks to your amazing support our work supporting education in Tacloban has progressed in leaps and bounds over the last few months.

Since our last report we’ve repaired typhoon damage at two further schools and one Day Care centre. Taken together, this work has changed the lives of 400 children by giving them back the education they need to build bright futures.

One of these schools is the Guintigian Elementary School, which is located about 40 minutes drive from Tacloban. While not far from the city it’s more rural location means that its 147 kids are often poorer and more neglected than those in the city centre.

When we first visited the school it was in a terrible state! Two of the school’s classrooms were in makeshift buildings which were badly exposed to the elements. The roofs leaked and during rains classes had to be suspended. School supplies were often also damaged. Overall the kids’ education was really suffering as a result of missed classes and inadequate learning materials.

But thanks to your incredible generosity we’ve changed all that.

We’ve renovated and extended one of the classrooms, and completely rebuilt the other from the ground up. We’ve also added a second bathroom, provided furniture and supplied the school with new books and sports equipment. The transformation has been amazing and the kids and teachers are thrilled with the results. Thanks so much!

We’ve also had similar successes recently at the nearby Planza Island school, and the San Agustin Day Care centre. Our repair and renovation of those faciltities has supported the education of 253 kids. However, much work remains to be done, especially in other rural locations.

For example we recently visited Jaro, which is about 40 miles from Tacloban, and found several schools in desperate need of help. The most urgent of these is the Anibongon Elementary school which is responsible for the education of 76 kids.

The only bridge to the community was washed away by typhoon Haiyan and, as a result, the school hasn’t received any help at all since November 2013!

The school’s four classrooms were severely damaged by the typhoon, but with nowhere else to go the kids are still using the buildings. This is not only destroying any chance of a decent education, it’s also extremely dangerous. One of the kids could be seriously hurt, or worse, just by trying to learn.

We’re really keen to help Anibongon school and we’re making it one of our highest priorities moving forward. However, we need more funds to finish all the work we have planned, including supplying the school with learning materials once the repair is complete. So, please consider donating today to help children who have been incredibly neglected to date.

As always, if you ever have any queries about how we’re using your donation, please don’t hesitate to email Andy@IDVolunteers.org. I would be delighted to hear from you.

The classroom above before we started work
The classroom above before we started work
Help us repair Ruth
Help us repair Ruth's classroom at Anibongon
Apr 24, 2015

Using the Calm to Prepare for the Storm

You
You're helping Marilyn prepare for disaster!

The weather in Banaba has remained mercifully calm over the past few months.

At Easter a super typhoon called Maysak did form over the Pacific.  But happily, after threatening the Philippines for a few days, the typhoon blew itself out before making landfall.

Our partners Buklod Tao had begun to break out their emergency supplies, which were paid for with your generous donations, but in the end they were able to stand down and return to their day-to-day tasks.

Of course, these day to day tasks still relate to preparing for disasters, although a little more indirectly.

It’s a sad fact that the poor are often most affected by disasters. For example, they can often only afford to live along dangerous riverbanks. Their poorly constructed houses are also washed away easily.

This is why providing livelihoods opportunities for Banaba’s poor is as important for disaster risk reduction as making preparations for an actual response.

And thanks to your incredible support we’re helping to provide these opportunities in Banaba.

Last year we purchased sewing machines for the Banaba Livelihood and Evacuation Centre. These machines are used by local women to make a range of products which can be sold to earn vital income.

Products made by the women include shopping bags recycled from old juice cartons and slippers made from coconut husks. Over the last few weeks however the women have also started sewing cleaning rags made from unwanted clothes and material.

One of the women who uses the sewing machines is 51 year old Marilyn. Marilyn has four children and she hopes they can all finish their studies. Marilyn also hopes that they can find a safer place to live.  But for these hopes to become a reality Marilyn needs a chance to earn an income.

Happily, thanks to the sewing machines you provided, Marilyn now has this opportunity.

Using these machines Marilyn, and the other women she shares them with, are currently earning around $7 a day making the cleaning rags. This may not sound like much but for Marilyn in Banaba, it makes a huge difference.

Working collectively also helps in other ways. Sometimes the women sew, and sometimes they cut and prepare the materials. The main thing is that they work together and share access to the machines so that they all benefit. This spirit of cooperation, developed during the calm, will provide the women with a support network when the next storm does hit.

Thanks so much for supporting Marilyn and her colleagues, even when the sun is shining.

As always, if you ever have any queries about how we’re using your donation, please don’t hesitate to email Andy@IDVolunteers.org. I would be delighted to hear from you.

Local women using the sewing machines you provided
Local women using the sewing machines you provided
The cleaning rags the women are selling right now!
The cleaning rags the women are selling right now!

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