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

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 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'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 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!
Apr 24, 2015

Meeting Immediate and Long Term Needs in Tacloban

You've helped us feed these nursing mums !

Thanks to your amazing support we recently worked with our partner Mobile Soup Kitchen for Kids (MSKK) to provide hundreds of hot, nutritious meals in Tacloban’s Barangay 88.

This is one of Tacloban’s coastal communities and it was devastated by typhoon Haiyan and the accompanying storm surge. All the houses were destroyed and environmental damage meant that families, who mainly relied on fishing to survive, also lost their livelihoods.

Families living in Barangay 88 have received temporary houses but life is still very tough. People in the community work hard but when they try to fish the catch is usually poor. What they do catch they have to share with the actual owners of the fishing boats, which they just “rent”. Some people look for construction work, but this can only be found occasionally. As a result of all this it’s a daily struggle to put food on the table.

Our recent work providing hot meals in the community offered a few days relief from this struggle and gave families, still struggling to recover from typhoon Haiyan, an important lifeline.

The meals we provided saved families from having to use precious savings to pay for food. It also meant that kids didn’t have to go to school hungry. By placing a special focus on young children and mums with nursing infants these meals also helped keep some of the most vulnerable residents well nourished and healthier.

Of course, while important in providing relief, feedings like these aren’t a long-term solution to food insecurity and full recovery from the typhoon. What Haiyan survivors really need are increased livelihoods opportunities so that they can provide for themselves once again.

We realised this soon after arriving in Tacloban and in response we’ve previously helped communities to grow their own food through vegetable gardens. We’ve also provided sewing machines to enable women to make products to sell.

But we wanted to do more to help families with their long-term recovery. So, we’re delighted to have recently partnered with Oxfam to help lift 150 fishing families out of the poverty caused by Haiyan. We’ve done this largely by providing a sixty foot fishing boat to a local fisherfolk association in another of Tacloban’s coastal communities.

The city’s coastal waters were damaged by Haiyan and have since been heavily over-fished due to many small boats being provided. However, our boat is large enough to travel into deeper waters where fishing is more productive and sustainable.

The boat is also communally owned by members of the fisherfolk association. This means that they don’t have to provide a share of their catch to boat owners.

Finally, while the fishing crews are still predominantly male, many women are actively involved in the process of drying and selling the catch. This means that families are now working together, both as households and as a community, to recover from typhoon Haiyan.

Thanks so much for helping us to meet both immediate and long-term needs after the typhoon.

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

This boat will help families feed themselves
This boat will help families feed themselves
The boat
The boat's size means it can fish in deeper water

donate now:

A generous donor is matching all new monthly recurring donations for Nepal earthquake relief. Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Reviews of International Disaster Volunteers (IDV)

Great Nonprofits
Read and write reviews about International Disaster Volunteers (IDV) on