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 13, 2017

Happy new year and updates from IDV

Thank you for being awesome!
Thank you for being awesome!

Thank you so much for helping me help my fellow disaster survivors.

Given the uncertainty that’s hung over IDV’s future since I sent my previous project report I’m also incredibly grateful for the continued confidence you’ve shown by maintaining your monthly donations. Thank you so much.

Since sending that last report IDV has been continuing its important work around the world. Over the recent holidays we’ve also been working hard raising funds to support the children at the HTDC orphanage in Haiti.

We first met the children in the summer of 2010, after that year’s earthquake. They were all living in one small room and a tent, which flooded almost daily. They were also constantly short of food, the kids were often sick, and the staff had no means to send the children to school.

Survival was a daily battle for the orphanage and all the children in its care. But thanks to IDV’s donors and volunteers, several of you included, we transformed their lives by providing a safe home, food and an education.

Today, the orphanage has a network of partners, but IDV’s donors still provide over 70% of the funding required to meet the kids basic needs on a monthly basis. We’ve also continued to pay the orphanage’s rent every year.

So, with IDV’s future under threat, we decided to focus our recent end of year fundraising on supporting the orphanage.

And, thanks to the amazing support of donors like you, we’ve secured an incredible $14,000 to meet the children’s needs in 2017. This is enough to pay the rent for the entire year, and also enough to provide the kids with food, an education, and everything else needed until around the end of July.

This takes into account projected income generated by the orphanage through hiring out a new bus. We’ve been raising funds to buy this bus for a number of years, and by pooling resources with another of the orphanage’s partners, we finally have enough to make the bus purchase a reality! We know some of you reading this report have also supported the bus project - so thanks for making that achievement possible as well.

Although there’s still work to be done to secure the long-term sustainability of the orphanage, our recent fundraising results and the bus purchase will move us a massive step in the right direction. I’ll return to our future plans for the orphanage in a moment, but before that I also want to share a few updates from our recent work in Banaba, near Manila, in the Philippines.

For all of last year we were focused on completing the community’s Livelihood and Evacuation centre. Sadly, the building’s original donor ran out of funds before construction was finished, and this left hundreds of Banaba’s residents without a safe refuge during typhoons and floods.  

So, in December 2015 we stepped up to finish the job. Our work meant that the building was finally made watertight last April, and we then turned our attention to rendering the centre’s brick walls.

This work will protect the building from the torrential rains that arrive every typhoon season, and I’m delighted to report that the last of the external rendering was completed just last month.

What’s more, we were also able to give the building’s three floors a final, and colourful, “screed coat” of concrete. This has finally given the centre smooth, level floors which can be much more easily cleaned and maintained. This will be vital for effective sanitation when evacuees later shelter in the building.

All in all, it’s been a busy and productive few months, and your support has been critical to making our work possible. Although the project work discussed was funded by others, your donations to this project have enabled me to support these vital efforts from the UK. Thank you so much once again for your generosity.

Sadly though, our overall UK funding situation is still unchanged from my previous report. Although your amazing donations make a big difference, we’re still running out of funds to keep me employed full time. As a result, we’ll be unable to continue with business as usual after March of this year.

However, we’ve been considering our options and we’re now discussing one which might avoid having to shut down IDV completely. Although hosting volunteers and starting new projects isn’t feasible without a full time UK staff member, we believe it might still be possible to continue supporting of some of our existing projects, albeit on a reduced level.

We’re still discussing the final details but, if we proceed with this plan then both the HTDC orphanage and our work in Banaba would be included on the list of ongoing projects. And, in this case, your ongoing donations to this project will continue to make our work possible.

I’ll update you again on our plans soon, and once again I remain incredibly grateful for your continued confidence and support. In the interim, if you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to email I would be delighted to hear from you.

The kids at HTDC orphanage have a bright 2017
The kids at HTDC orphanage have a bright 2017
The final rendering on the evacuation centre
The final rendering on the evacuation centre
The centre floors get a final "screed coat"
The centre floors get a final "screed coat"
Jan 9, 2017

School books and trucks: our final Tacloban report

We've recently distributed more school books

Thank you so much once again for supporting education in Tacloban.

In our last project report, we looked back on our work in Tacloban over the last three years, and described how your incredible support has enabled us to support the education of over 5,100 children. In that report, we also explained how we’d be retiring this project on GlobalGiving once we’d completed the distribution of another 20,000 books to typhoon-affected schools.

That work is now complete, and so we’re writing again today with this, our last project report from Tacloban. We asked our local project manager, Siggy, to describe the book distributions:

“After some months of waiting, finally the books arrived in Tacloban City airport through the aid of the Philippine Air force. IDV help in unloading and transporting the books to be sorted at a volunteer residence at Brgy Apitong, Tacloban City.

Upon sorting we travelled 18 km south of Tacloban, to a second class municipality where most of the jobs [are] in agriculture and fishery. This town is called Tanuan, and there were five sites for the book distribution identified through the effort of two local volunteers.

The IDV truck was loaded with books from Tacloban to be delivered in the following schools; Tanuan School of Art & Trade, Our Lady of Assumption, Tanuan School of Craftsman and Home Industries, Tanuan National High School, and Kiling National High School. Together these schools teach around 3,130 students.

After Tanuan deliveries we also did few drops in Tacloban City, one is Tacloban City Night School with the population of more or less 130 students. This school was established after typhoon Haiyan battered the city, due to the demand of some students who want help in rebuilding their lives after the disaster. These student work in [the] day time and go to school at night.

Books were also delivered to Macalpi-ay National High school in Pastrana, Leyte with the population of 121 students. Most of the books were math, physics and chemistry since the previous delivery, dated Nov. 2015, was more on English and history.

The other distributions were done in parts of Leyte, and the rest of the books were delivered by IDV to the town of Balangiga, in Eastern Samar.”

Overall these book distributions will help support the education of thousands of students after typhoon Haiyan, and we can’t thank you enough for making this final work possible.

With these distributions complete all that now remains to be done is the handover of our two trusty multi-cab trucks.

The first of these we’ve decided to donate to our amazing local partners in Manila, a people’s organisation called Buklod Tao. This group, which has over 600 members, have been fighting to make their community stronger and more disaster resistant since 1996.

We’ve worked with Buklod Tao since 2012, and we’ve seen first-hand what an incredible impact their projects make. From building flood rescue boats, to managing an evacuation centre and providing hot meals after typhoons, our truck will help Buklod Tao continue protecting hundreds of families from disaster.

The second truck will remain in Tacloban where it will be used by a local radio group called ACCESS (Alternative Channel Coordinating Emergency Support Services). Siggy is also a volunteer for this group and he explained their plans for the truck as follows:

About the truck, I'm planning to make it into Emergency Response Communication Van with ACCESS.

Members of this group comes from all walk of life, from farmers, community leaders, private/small businessmen, government employees/public servants, young professionals and even young students. All united for one reason, to serve the greater public in times of emergencies and calamities by means of providing safe effective and stable communication systems.

Many people rely on pre-paid cellphone, and when the towers are down [after disasters] it takes them days or weeks in feeding information about the situation in their areas. Now ACCESS will use the truck to set up a mobile repeater system or a relay station. Then we can boost the transmission/propagation of local radio club member so they can directly contact the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Councils”.

Overall we can’t think of two better groups to handover our trucks to than Buklod Tao and ACCESS through Siggy. Have worked with both for so many years we know that these vehicles will continue to be put to great use in times of disaster.

One last time, thank you so much for supporting education in Tacloban. Siggy also had this to say about our work there coming to an end.

I'm very thankful and feel bliss for the help and effort you guys spent here in Leyte, I experience things that I haven't done before, and it a great learning experience in my side. Everything has an end but what comes next is a new beginning, so Damo nga salamat Han eyo bulig :-) (Millions of thanks to everyone for helping us)”

If you have any questions then please don’t hesitate to email I would be delighted to hear from you.

For more updates about our work please like us on Facebook or follow IDVExec on Twitter. You can also email Andy is you would like to be added to our direct mailing list. Note that IDV is also fundraising on GlobalGiving to increase its overall capacity to help disaster survivors.

Siggy distributing school books
Siggy distributing school books
Books being unloaded from one of our trucks
Books being unloaded from one of our trucks
A delivery to Tacloban City night school
A delivery to Tacloban City night school
Dec 20, 2016

Thanks for giving Stanley the gift of education

On behalf of Stanley, "Thanks!"
On behalf of Stanley, "Thanks!"

Thanks so much for supporting Stanley’s English Education.

Stanley enrolled at the English in Mind (EIM) Institute as an Intermediate student in August 2016. Although he’s never received any formal English education before, his impressive self study over the years meant he could leapfrog past the Beginners class. Stanley is clearly a man on a mission!

While Stanley needs your support right now your generosity means that, in future, he’ll be able to help himself even more. Thank you so much for choosing to spend your hard earned cash helping Stanley to learn English!

And remember, Stanley’s just one of around 200 students whose lives are being changed by the EIM Institute. In the last year alone 23 EIM students secured new employment because of their English and 2 received university scholarships.  And even more excitingly EIM is now trying to help its graduates take on the ultimate test - the TOEFL - to prove their skills to employers. Thanks to your support Stanley could one day be ready to take the ultimate test himself.

To let you know how your donation is changing lives, we’ll send you regular updates through GlobalGiving. If you ever have any questions about how we're using your donation, please email We’d love to hear from you!

Thanks again for making Stanley’s future bright, and our warmest regards!


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