We'd like to extend a huge thanks to everyone who voted during GlobalGiving's Photo Contest! While we didn't win, supporters like you put on a strong show of support on Facebook. Many of the families this project supports use Facebook, and your posts were an inspiration to them! Your donations are more important now than ever because the rainy season is picking up.
August has been a rude awakening for the staff of our charity. Most of us are spending our first rainy season in Banaba and had no idea how quickly the rivers could rise. There's a small creek behind our house that we can usually barely see from our roof. When we woke up on the morning of August 6th, we were gob-smacked to see the "small creek" full of fast flowing, brown water. We could see it clearly from our upstairs bedrooms.
Overnight, the creek turned into a raging torrent. All the rivers in Banaba rose as quickly as the creek did and it wasn't because of a typhoon - they rose after just a few hours of heavy rain. Luckily, on the 6th it stopped raining at 10 am and the river reached a maximum height for 15.5 meters - about 51 feet.
Evacuations start at 16 meters. That means were only half a meter - a foot and a half - from the first flood evacuation of the year.
For families like Mark's who live by the river and leave their homes when the river reaches 16 meters, evacuation means days in an evacuation centre. They are only a few meters from the river, so they're the first to leave and the last to return home.
During the biggest floods, they're away from home for a week or more. Donors like you give us the funds we need to invest in safe, well equipped evacuation centres, food, medical supplies, and other basic necessities to survive and recover from floods. The rainy season lasts until December, and before then there will likely be several evacuations. We'll need to provide supplies for dozens of kids like Mark for each and every one.
This is a big task, but happily, GlobalGiving is making it easier to support vulnerable families. In fact, your support could even win you fabulous prizes. From September 1st to 30th, all fundraisers who raise more than $500 for a GlobalGiving project will be entered in a raffle for prizes ranging from a flip cam to airline tickets. There are also financial awards for the project with the most fundraisers! That makes September a great month to cycle, bake, or walk for vulnerable families like Mark's!
If you'd like help organising your fundraising efforts please visit www.IDVolunteers.org/fundaise-idv or email Emma@IDVolunteers.org. Once you've decided how much you'd like to raise and how you want to raise it you can create your fundraising page here. Don't forget to add our project as the beneficiary of your efforts once you've created your page! Again, if you have any questions please email Emma@IDVolunteers.org.
Thanks so much, and our very warmest regards from Banaba!
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United Arab Emirates