When floods struck Banaba in August 2013, Argee and family were among hundreds who found themselves sheltering for days in an evacuation centre. Their home was damaged, and they lost many of their possessions.
But, thanks to you, we were there to help. Argee and his family evacuated safely thanks to the warning systems you helped fund. They also had hot meals in the evacuation centre, and received emergency relief once waters receded. If it hadn’t been for you, they wouldn’t have received the support they needed to survive and recover.
As families around the US gather to give thanks, we wanted to let you know that Argee and hundreds of others like him are thankful for you this year.
We wish you a very happy Thanksgiving from Banaba and our staff at IDV!
Thanks so much to everyone who took advantage of GlobalGiving’s most recent matching day. Your gifts on October 18th were a third more valuable– 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. Thanks to your investments in preparedness, families like Sherwin’s knew that flooding was on the way and were able to evacuate before the waters rose.
Without your investments in disaster preparedness, Sherwin’s story could have been very different. Other floods have seen families trapped on roof tops waiting for the water to recede, or worse.
Sherwin’s was among hundreds of families who have weathered 2013’s floods with a minimum of disruption because of your gifts. There have been so many times over the past year that you could have chosen to spend your hard earned money on something other than supporting Sherwin, but you made the incredibly generous choice to give. Thanks so much!
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 Emma@IDVolunteers.org. We’d love to hear from you!
Thanks again for your generosity, and our very warmest regards!
In August, an enhanced monsoon caused the first evacuation of the 2013 rainy season in Banana. Because of your generosity, we were prepared for those floods, and not a single life was lost. Thanks so much!
While we’re happy to report that our risk reduction measures performed well in August, it’s not time to rest on our laurels. The rainy season lasts until November, and floods are not uncommon into December. This means that we need to continue to invest in preventative measures like water safety training, communications systems, and rescue equipment so we’re ready for the next flood.
One immediate need is more phone credit. Here in the Philippines, most people use a prepaid phone system where they load credit on their phones, and each text or call deducts from that credit. During floods, phone credit allows community leaders to update rescue teams and lets rescue teams send out urgent messages. Phone credit is the key to ensuring that the most vulnerable receive life-saving flood updates.
To ensure that every member of the community has access to life-saving information about when they need to evacuate, we need to buy phone credit.
Happily, GlobalGiving is here to make the credit you fund go further. Tomorrow, GlobalGiving will match any gift you make by 30%.
That means that tomorrow, when you give $10, we’ll be able to fund the sending of 576 instead of 443 messages.
We hope that you’ll take advantage of GlobalGiving’s generosity by giving $10 tomorrow, and please share this great opportunity with friends and family.
Thanks so much for all you’ve given, and very kind regards!
The following is an e-postcard from Zamil Akhtar, a GlobalGiving Representative in the Philippines:
Banaba is as scenic as it gets – hills and trees and rivers aplenty. But when the rivers overflow, this beautiful place turns into a disaster zone. International Disaster Volunteers has been helping in a variety of ways, including the construction of an evacuation building. Walls are being built as well to help contain rising water levels. IDV brings in the expertise, and the passionate community goes to work protecting their homes and livelihoods. Disaster preparedness brings the people together and gives them hope that they can control their lives against the forces of nature.
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 alone.
Rivers were already at bursting point on August 19th, and as rains continued thousands of residents were forced to leave their homes. In Banaba alone 2,300 people found themselves in overcrowded evacuation centers.
When the waters began to rise and forced families to evacuate, the systems you’ve funded sprang into action. The mothers of Buklod Tao assessed the needs of families in the evacuation centres and opened their community kitchen to feed evacuees.
Meanwhile, Buklod Tao’s flood warning system was activated. This simple but effective system was devised by community leaders and streamlined by your generosity. Basically, designated river waters check on the river’s height and then text that information to the president of a local people’s organisation named “Noli”.
Noli then uses the FrontlineSMS system to text-blast community response teams to let them know how severe the floods are and where help is needed. Those teams then alert their designated areas about water levels and the need to evacuate. The teams also respond to any emergencies.
Your donations made the setup and use of the FrontlineSMS system possible. Previously messages could only be sent to a few people – now each message is received by hundreds of people in parallel, allowing much faster and wider dissemination of life-saving flood warnings.
Thanks to these investments in helping Banaba prepare for disaster, not a single life was lost during the most recent floods! We’ve now seen the disaster risk reduction measures you made possible in action first hand – and they work.
The rains are gone for now, but they’re sure to return. As we keep working hard to get Banaba ready for the next floods, we wanted to thank you for making these investments possible! Without you, the last flood would have been so much worse for thousands of people.
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 Emma@IDVolunteers.org. We’d love to hear from you!
Thanks again for all you’ve done, and very kind regards!
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