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.
Jan 27, 2015

Exciting Developments at EIM Institute, Haiti

Students and teachers, excited about the new land!
Students and teachers, excited about the new land!

Thanks to your amazing support the English in Mind (EIM) Institute is thriving!

First of all, we’re delighted to announce that EIM has recently purchased it’s own land in Port-au-Prince.

EIM’s new mango tree-filled property is located on a quiet street not far from the airport. It’s the perfect location and with land secured the next step is to raise more funds, and to build the school that EIM’s students and teachers have always dreamed of.

EIM will still rent space at another school until these further funds have been raised, but we couldn’t be more thrilled that EIM now has a space to call its own.

Early construction planning has already begun and the land is already being used to hold outdoor conversation classes while gardening and clearing the site.

In other news, November’s exam retakes also yielded two more graduates for EIM! A huge congratulations goes out to Alex and Samuel. They will join our other graduates, Merove and Richardson, in taking the TOEFL exam in the summer of 2015.

Meanwhile, EIM’s hosting of international volunteer trips continues to go strongly. In 2014, nine different groups of volunteers from all over the world participated in 10-day programs through EIM.

Working closely with native English speakers and visitors from all over the globe has truly given our school an advantage and allowed its students to connect to the broader world through shared language.

With new students, new volunteer trips and new construction planning ahead, we’re very excited to see what 2015 will bring.

All of this success wouldn’t be possible without your support - thanks so much once again!

We still need more funds to keep EIM running, to fund construction and to sponsor our graduates through their TOEFL qualifications.  So, if you can, please consider donating to one of these needs today.

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

Fun conversations are enjoyed while gardening.
Fun conversations are enjoyed while gardening.
Jan 27, 2015

A Powerful End to a Year of Storms

Thank you for rescuing Marvien
Thank you for rescuing Marvien's family in 2014

In early December of 2014 Manila was threatened by the approach of typhoon Hagupit, known locally as typhoon Ruby.

As every year, the Philippines had already been hit by around twenty typhoons in 2014, but Ruby was shaping up to be the worst of the year.

Many people were scared about how Ruby would affect the center of the country, which is still struggling to recover from typhoon Haiyan in 2013.  But residents in the community of Banaba, just outside Manila, were also very scared for themselves.

In Manila over 500,000 people are forced to live along dangerous rivers which flood during typhoons.  Banaba itself is surrounded by three rivers and over 2,000 of its residents are in life-threatening danger during the worst storms.  As Ruby approached, Banaba’s residents followed the typhoon’s progress with mounting dread.

But thanks to your amazing support we were there to protect Banaba’s vulnerable families once again, and to help calm their fears.

Throughout 2014 community based rescue boats, funded by your donations, have stood ready to respond to floods.  During 2014 their crews, made up of local residents, also received training in the latest life-saving techniques thanks to your support.

In just one previous typhoon, last September, our boats and their crews rescued 185 people.  Those rescued during that typhoon included Marvien and her children Mico and Mary Ann.

Marvien had this to say about her previous rescue:

“I was so scared because the flood waters rose very ,very fast… [But] we knew we were being rescued together with my children; and we are very thankful that there is a boat always nearby”

Because of past experience Marvien was understandably scared about Ruby’s approach, and what it would mean for her family.  But also because of past experience, she knew she wasn’t alone should the worst happen.

In the end Banaba was spared the worst of Ruby.  The rains came and the rivers swelled, but they did not burst their banks.  The typhoon's passage was still scary, but Marvien, Mico and Mary Ann all breathed a little easier knowing help was nearby.

Thanks to your generosity we’ve helped Marvien’s family, and all of Banaba’s vulnerable families, to weather the worst typhoons of 2014.

This year will undoubtedly bring even more typhoons, but thanks to your kindness Banaba’s boats and crews will continue to stand ready.  As a result, thousands of people in Banaba will sleep a little more easily knowing help is at hand because of you.

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

Crews sharpen their skills by testing a new boat
Crews sharpen their skills by testing a new boat
Jan 27, 2015

The Kids at HTDC Orphanage Need You Now

The kids are thriving at their new school
The kids are thriving at their new school

Thanks to your incredible support the kids at the HTDC orphanage are continuing to thrive!

Because of your generosity all the kids are safe, enjoying nutritious meals and receiving the education they need to build bright futures.

But, owing to the current situation in Haiti, they need you now more than ever!

In our last project report we explained that we were planning to move the orphanage to the Bon Repos area of Port-au-Prince.  We’d identified several properties and our favorite choice seemed ideal.

Sadly, due to a worsening political crisis, the security situation now means that we’re not confident Bon Repos will be a safe enough area for the kids, at least not after night falls.

There are other houses available in other neighborhoods, including in Clercine, where the orphanage has been based for the last several years.  So, the kids will still have a safe new home.

But the kids are also already enrolled and settled in a new school in Bon Repos, which is still safe in the day.  While we could move them to another school, nearer their eventual new home, their school fees have already been paid and it would disrupt the kids’ education and friendships.

If we can, keeping the kids in their current school is definitely the best option for the remainder of the school year.

But the challenge the kids now face is being driven to school everyday until June.  This is expensive and it costs almost $450 a month to hire a vehicle.

We’d previously budgeted for only four months of school transport costs, so we’re very sorry to report that HTDC is now facing around $2,700 in additional, unforeseen costs over the next six months.

The cost to send each child to school for the year is now set to be $114 more than the $483 originally budgeted.  We are genuinely sorry to all those donors who have already funded a year of school for a specific child as there is now a shortfall for each child.

This is why the kids need you right now more than ever before.

We’re now asking you to consider helping the kids once again.  But this time, rather than asking you to just keep paying for the kids needs, we’re asking you to help the orphanage meet its own needs.

We’ve already begun fundraising on GlobalGiving to buy a vehicle for the orphanage.  The original goal of this effort was to “Give 30 Orphaned Children a Sustainable Income” by purchasing a vehicle the orphanage could rent out during the day to earn money.

But, if we’re able to buy this vehicle soon we can continue with these plans and, at the same time, the orphanage can also save money by driving the kids to school themselves.

So please consider contributing towards the vehicle costs today.

Once again, we’re sorry that the changing security situation in Port-au-Prince has affected our original budget.

If you have any questions about this issue, or in general, please don’t hesitate to email I would be delighted to hear from you.

The orphanage staff are looking for a new house
The orphanage staff are looking for a new house
The orphanage needs a vehicle like this one.
The orphanage needs a vehicle like this one.

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