Build Rescue Boats in Flood Prone Communities

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Oct 24, 2013

Your life-saving generosity

That means
That means 'Thank You!' in Filipino!

Thanks so much to everyone who took advantage of GlobalGiving’s most recent matching day. Your gifts on the 18th were a third more impactful then normal – and that has made all the difference for families like Sherwin’s.

If you’re like us, you’re starting to think about the holiday season. The holidays are a time of joy – but for many of us they’re also incredibly busy! Before the end of year rush starts, we wanted to pause for a moment and thank you for everything you’ve given over the last year.

Because of you, when disaster struck in August, 2013, Banaba was ready. Families like Sherwin’s were supported by community rescue teams who had the boats they needed to bring trapped families to safety.

Vulnerable families in Banaba face multiple floods every year. Parents always try to get their families to safety before the waters rise, but sometimes the floods come too quickly. In the past parents in Banaba have spent many sleepless nights listening to the rain and wondering if they would have time to get their kids to safety if the waters started to rise.

But since you funded rescue boats, Banaba’s parents have been sleeping easier because they know that, if the waters do catch them by surprise, there will be someone there to help them get their kids to safety.

Their peace of mind is only possible because of your generosity.

There have been so many times over the past year that you could have chosen to spend your hard earned money on something for yourself or your family, but you chose to support families like Sherwin’s. Thanks so much for your extraordinary generosity. 

As always, if you ever have any questions about how your donation is changing lives, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by emailing We’d love to hear from you!

Thanks again for your generosity, and our very warmest regards!

Oct 15, 2013

Boats in action!

They were rescued during the August floods
They were rescued during the August floods

As we canvas Banaba to understand how many more rescue boats are needed, more dramatic stories of families rescued during the August floods are emerging every day.

When floodwaters trapped Belanie on his second story with her two-year-old daughter, Chamsey, Belanie didn’t have many options. “If there hadn’t have been a boat I would have made a raft for Chamsey out of Styrofoam. The water was over my head, so she would have been on the raft with me swimming.”

The dangers of putting a baby on an improvised raft in fast-moving flood waters can hardly be overstated. Happily, thanks to donors like you the rescue team in Belanie’s area did have a rescue boat. They took Belanie and her little girl out a second story window and brought them to safety.

Belanie and Chamsey were just two out of hundreds of people rescued by donated boats during the August floods. Donors like you made those boats possible – thanks so much!

But there are still rescue teams that don’t have boats, and that means that dozens of families like Belanie’s face an uncertain future the next time floods come. We’re committed to building more boats so that all of Banaba can stay safe during flooding, and GlobalGiving is here to help!

Tomorrow, GlobalGiving will top up your donation by 30% to help us build rescue boats. That makes tomorrow a great day to give in support of families like Belanie’s.

We hope you’ll give what you can tomorrow and share this great opportunity with friends and family! 

Sep 12, 2013

Postcard from GlobalGiving's Visit

The following is an e-postcard from Zamil Akhtar, a GlobalGiving Representative in the Philippines:

When it floods, a boat can be the only hope for a stranded family. The rescue boats being built in Banaba are made of fiber glass – the best material for the situation. It costs about $800 to build a boat, far cheaper than if bought from another source. What really impressed me was the community wide effort to make these boats and be ready for the floods. International Disaster Volunteers provided the expertise and support, and the community members constructed. Boat making skills have been spread through this community as well, allowing them another source of livelihood. At $800, I’d buy a boat myself, but I don’t live near the shore.

Sep 3, 2013

A newborn saved by a boat you helped fund!

The boat which rescued a newborn baby during recent floods! .jpg
The boat which rescued a newborn baby during recent floods! .jpg

During the week starting August 18th, a nearby typhoon caused the
normal monsoon rains to go into overdrive. It rained for almost five
full days – more than a month’s worth of rain fell in August 19th

By the end of the day on August 19th, the rivers began to burst their
banks, and community rescue teams sprang into action. The boats you’ve
funded were in action all over Banaba rescuing dozens of families –
but the area of “North Libis” saw a particularly dramatic rescue.

North Libis is located under a bridge next to the area’s largest river
– the Marikina river. The river rose suddenly and more than 40
families became trapped by the floodwaters.
Among those trapped were a mom and her new-born baby. She had given
birth just a week before, so she was too weak to wade through the
deep, fast-flowing water with her baby. All she could do was wait in
her house hoping help would come.

Her neighbours were able to escape, and they alerted a community
rescue team. That team returned within minutes with their boat and
ferried mother and child to a safe evacuation centre. Without that
boat, she and her baby’s story could easily have turned into tragedy.

The same rescue team was also a lifeline for dozens of other families
when floodwaters rose – but they wouldn’t have been able to help
anyone without their rescue boat! By donating towards rescue boats
you’re helping to rescue families in their hour of need. Thanks so

August’s flood wasn’t a one-off – there are surely more floods coming
in the 2013 rainy season. Thanks to your generosity for each of those
floods community rescue teams with their boats boats will be there
ready to save lives. We’ll update you on how these boats are saving
lives as more floods come, so stay tuned!

As always, if you have any questions about how we’re using your
donation to change lives here in Banaba, don’t hesitate to email We’d love to hear from you!

Very kind regards,

Emma Taylor
Head of Media and Marketing
International Disaster Volunteers
England and Wales Registered Charity: 1132011

Supplying boats for teams like this one saves lives. .jpg
Supplying boats for teams like this one saves lives. .jpg
A view of North Libis during the floods.jpg
A view of North Libis during the floods.jpg
The Marikina River left 40 families trapped - they were rescued by rescue boats you helped fund!.jpg
The Marikina River left 40 families trapped - they were rescued by rescue boats you helped fund!.jpg
Aug 19, 2013

Rain Forces 1,000 People from their Homes

Safe in an evacuation centre
Safe in an evacuation centre

On August 18th, a typhoon passing to the northeast of the Philippines caused a phenomenon called “Enhanced Monsoon”. An enhanced monsoon occurs when the wet air from a nearby typhoon sends the Philippines’ monsoon rains into overdrive.

Here in Banaba, the enhanced monsoon brought rain for most of Saturday and all of Sunday. Rescue teams were put on alert on Sunday afternoon, and they spent Sunday night monitoring water levels thanks to texts from community group “Buklod Tao’s” leadership.

At about midnight, it became too dangerous to stay near the rivers and the rescue teams sprang into action. They spread the word that it was time to go and helped the community’s less able members get to safety. With the most vulnerable residents safe, they returned to their communities with their boats and checked that no one was trapped by floodwaters.

Thanks to the quick work of the rescue teams, evacuation went smoothly. The rain’s slowed for now, but we’re not out of the woods yet. At the time of writing, up to 30 mm of rain are expected in the next 24 hours, and the effects of the enhanced monsoon could last for up to four days. Unless the weather forecast changes, there will be more evacuation in the coming days.

During these evacuations, ensuring that rescue teams have boats is essential to saving lives. The teams with boats have proven themselves today – but without boats they can’t do their jobs. Any donation, whatever its size, bring us ever closer to delivering a boat to a rescue team leader like Romeo.

If you’re not in a position to give, please share this update with friends and family so that we can help evacuees ride out the enhanced monsoon!

Thanks so much, and very kind regards

Enjoying a hot meal thanks to the rescue teams
Enjoying a hot meal thanks to the rescue teams

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Project Leader

Emma Taylor

Bristol, Somerset United Kingdom

Where is this project located?

Map of Build Rescue Boats in Flood Prone Communities