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May 28, 2010

Moving on to New Challenges

Hello all,

We hope you’re well!

Most of you have already received an email with the information contained here, so if this message seems redundant to you we offer our apologies. We're intentionally repeating some information here just to be sure that all of our donors are up to date with the latest EDV developments.

After almost three months of assessment, more meetings with government and local NGOs than we can count, and more than fifteen visits to disaster affected communities in two countries, it became clear that EDV was not going to be able to deploy in Asia.

Despite all of our past experience, the nature of the disasters in Asia presented us with countless delays and challenges that we did not anticipate. While any deployment will involve difficulties, in this case the challenges formed a situation that left us unable to affect positive, long-term change in the lives of disaster survivors.

These challenges included a combination of our limited funds, politics, and the nature of the disasters which struck the Philippines and Vietnam. While for many weeks we thought we would find a way to overcome the challenges we faced, in the end it became clear that deploying in Asia was simply not possible without more funding. Since returning to the UK we have prepared a full assessment report so that everyone can have access to all the information regarding what happened on our assessment and why we were eventually forced to leave Asia. This report is quite long, as it includes as much detail as possible, so we recommend that you start by reading our assessment report summary. Both documents have been included with this update. This is obviously a disappointing turn of events - being unable to work in Asia was incredibly frustrating. But, while Asia was difficult, it also presented us with the opportunity to learn about responding to typhoons. We've spent the past few weeks reflecting on these lessons, the positives we can take away from our time in Asia and how to make EDV stronger in the future. We've also spent many hours considering EDV's next move.

Our current plan is to reallocate funding for a possible deployment in Haiti. We’ll be sending a small team to meet with an established partner on the ground, GrassRoots United, and discuss what our work in Haiti will entail.

Before launching into this new endeavour, we want to be sure that you, our donors and supporters understand and are comfortable with of our plan to reallocate funds. To this end, should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email executive@europeandisastervolunteers.org. We’d be happy to discuss your concerns.

As always, we appreciate the support you’ve already given, and we look forward to working with you as we move in a new and exciting direction.


Attachments:
Apr 12, 2010

EDV's Asia Assessment: Partnering with Disaster Survivors to Meet Community Needs

Executive Director Andrew Chaggar on assessment
Executive Director Andrew Chaggar on assessment

Since our last update, EDV has been busy in Vietnam and the Philippines assessing the need for long term reconstruction and community regeneration aid.

Typhoons Ketsana and Parma slammed into Vietnam and the Philippines more than five months ago, but there is still a huge amount of work remaining. While the initial response phase is over, long term support is needed to ensure that Asian disaster survivors can rebuild vibrant communities which will be able to withstand the yearly storms that affect the region.

We’ve met survivors who have spent the last five months living in tents. These tent cities were only meant to house survivors in the immediate aftermath of the typhoons, but with their communities completely devastated and funds limited for reconstruction, survivors have no choice but to stay in the tents. 25,000 people remain displaced in the Philippines alone.

Where people aren’t displaced, huge challenges still remain. In the mountains on the island of Luzon in the Philippines, survivors of the countless landslides which affected the region were quick to tell us that they want to relocate away to safer ground, but they have no money and nowhere to go.

In the coming weeks we’ll use the information we’ve gathered during our assessment to set up projects ranging from the construction of typhoon resistant houses to flood control measures. These projects will be carried out by volunteers, both local and international, working hand in hand with survivors.

None of the projects we’re setting up would be even conceivable without your donation. Thanks so much for your contribution, and we look forward to updating you on our projects as they grow. Stay tuned!

One of the children living in an evacuation center
One of the children living in an evacuation center
One example of the devastation caused by landslide
One example of the devastation caused by landslide
Talking to a landslide survivor about recovery
Talking to a landslide survivor about recovery

Links:

Dec 28, 2009

EDV Now has a Permanent Spot on Global Giving!

We're beyond excited to announce that thanks to all our amazing supporters EDV has succeeded in Global Giving's Open Challenge and won a permanent spot on the website.

The money we raised during the challenge will be added to our Asia-Pacific Disaster Recovery fund in mid January, just in time for our project leaders to fly to Asia and begin our deployment. We plan to be on the ground by early Febuary.

As soon as we're on the ground we'll be updating this page with photos of the community we'll be working with and the early stages of our project. So keep checking back, and thanks so much for your support!

 
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