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.
Dec 16, 2016

Thanks for keeping a roof over Wilkenson's head

On behalf of Wilkenson, "Thank You" so much!
On behalf of Wilkenson, "Thank You" so much!

Thanks so much for helping to provide a safe home for Wilkenson.

Twelve year old Wilkenson lost his parents in 2009. After his parents died Wilkenson lived with his grandmother, but she couldn't care for him or his brother. Sadly, she was forced to abandon them at the HTDC orphanage.

Wilkinson’s grandmother hoped the orphanage could keep a roof over their head, but safe houses large enough for all the kids are very expensive in Port-au-Prince. The orphanage can’t afford to pay it’s own rent and, without your help, Wilkenson was in danger of becoming a homeless street-kid.

But now, because of you, Wilkenson will continue to have a safe home. Your donations will help pay the rent and provide caregivers, water and electricity for Wilkenson for a year*.

Wilkenson has a bright future because you gave. There are so many things you could have spent your hard earned money on, but you chose Wilkenson. Thanks so much.

We’ll keep updating you about Wilkenson and all his friends at the Hands Together to Defend the Children Orphanage through this project’s parent page, Provide a Safe Home for Haitian Orphans. If you ever have any questions about how we're using your donation, please email Andy@IDVolunteers.org. We’d love to hear from you!

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

*Please note, that the orphanage is home to around thirty children. Your donations to this project will cover Wilkenson’s share of the costs over a year, but will be spent on all the children in parallel as we fundraise for each in turn.

 

Dec 13, 2016

The United Nations of Toilet Construction

International volunteers and community members
International volunteers and community members

Thanks so much for helping to Give the Gift of Education in Nepal.

In our last report we described how we were continuing to support the Shree Bal Shiksha school in Sindhupalchok. After first building five new permanent classrooms, we’d moved onto equipping those classrooms by providing forty new desks and benches.

Since that report we’ve continued to support the school by providing other essential infrastructure - this time school toilets.

The school’s original toilets were damaged in the 2015 earthquakes, and this means that there aren’t enough bathrooms for the school’s 600 children. They are many water-borne diseases in Nepal, including cholera, and this puts all the kids at risk of getting sick, or worse.

In fact, during any given week, multiple children are often absent from school due to stomach upsets and sickness. This is a problem in itself, but it also means that children often miss important lessons and get behind in class.

This undermines our work providing the classrooms and furniture and so, from the beginning of our time at the school, we knew we also wanted to provide new toilets once our other work was completed.

So, in late October we also began the construction of a brand new toilet block next to our new classrooms.

It’s a fairly substantial project because, as well as building the new toilets from the ground up, we’ve also had to build a septic tank large enough to handle all the waste material.

So, in addition to utilising our own volunteers and resident engineer, we’ve also employed a local contractor and an all female crew of labourers as well. As a result, this project is not only meeting a major need at the school, it’s also providing a vital income to families in the community as well. It’s a win-win situation.

At first we were a little worried that there might be a communications barrier between the local workers and international volunteers. But our own local staff and the school’s teachers were on hand to help translate and, after a just a few days, the combined construction team were on fire!

As a result, just seven weeks after breaking ground, the new toilets are now well on their way to completion.

After digging, and then pouring the concrete foundations - all by hand - work started on the brick walls for both the toilet building and the septic tank. Drainage pipes and door frames have been installed in the toilet block, and the septic tank walls were then rendered. Last week yet more concrete was poured for the toilet floors, and also the lid of the septic tank.

Looking ahead we’ll soon be adding the toilet building’s roof, and we’ll also turn our attention to tiling, painting and the actual bathroom fittings. We’ll also be providing a new water tank and pump so that the toilets have a constant water supply. This will ensure the toilets can be properly used and cleaned in the future.

All in all, we’re delighted with how smoothly this project is running. When complete these new toilets will help keep the school’s children healthy and, in turn, this will mean that they can make the most of the new classrooms and furniture we’ve also provided.

Thank you so much for helping to make this project such a success.

As always if you ever have any questions about our work or how we use your donations please don’t hesitate to email Andy@IDVolunteers.org. We 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.

Working together to dig the septic tank
Working together to dig the septic tank
The septic with new toilets and classrooms behind
The septic with new toilets and classrooms behind
The septic tank
The septic tank's concrete lid is poured
Dec 6, 2016

Another great year at the EIM Institute in Haiti

Thanks for helping to make 2016 a great year
Thanks for helping to make 2016 a great year

Thanks to your amazing generosity 2016 has been another great year for the English in Mind (EIM) Institute in Haiti.

The school’s existing students have all continued to progress well in their English education, and this was reflected by the majority passing their official Cambridge exams back in the summer.

These results are a testament to the hard work of the students, and also the amazing Haitian teachers too. Many of the teachers at EIM started as students themselves, or are still studying in EIM’s higher level classes. So, they’re all passionate about the subject, and also about passing on their knowledge to others at the school.

The teachers all remember their own nervousness and questions when they first arrived at EIM, and this translates into a supportive, encouraging environment for newly admitted students.

And the admission process itself is also critical to the school’s continued success.

Earlier this year over 200 people poured into EIM in the hope of gaining a place in class. The school would love to be able to admit everyone, but limited resources means this sadly isn’t possible. So, great care has to be taken during the enrollment process.

Potential students take a series of past exams, which test their level of speaking, listening, reading and writing. This helps to ensure that those admitted start at the right level, and also have the aptitude and motivation needed to succeed.

This year, after much hard work and thought, EIM admitted 80 new students, including two completely new beginner classes - one for men and one for women. This separation by gender is also important, especially in the beginning, as it allows the school’s new female students to better encourage and support each other during the daunting early weeks of class.

This careful admission process has continued to contribute to EIM’s success this year.

In past years there used to be a fair amount of drop outs in the early months, with some students deciding the commitment was too much. But we’re now a few months into the 2016-17 school year, and ongoing attendance has never been higher!

This is a great result and again shows how well the school’s staff understand their work, and the challenges faced by new arrivals.

And there’s more great news too.

As well as running the school on a day to day basis the EIM team are also very focused on its overall sustainability. After all, it would be a shame for all the knowledge accumulated over the years to be lost due to a lack of funding.

So, earlier this year the school launched its own social enterprise called EIMAdventures. As a result, in 2016, EIM has been able to welcome seven different groups of international volunteers to work with the school, before then enjoying some of Haiti’s beauty.

Profits from these trips have been folded back into the school to help meet running costs, and participants' rave reviews mean that EIM are already making plans to expand the trips next year. Two further students will soon be hired as guides, giving them some vital income and yet another chance to practice their English skills with native speakers.

Although EIM is well on the way to self-sustainability your support has continued to be vital throughout 2016. Your amazing generosity not only helps keep EIM running, but it also gives the staff some crucial extra time to think about future sustainability as well.

For example, after EIM purchased its own land back in January 2015 the school has just recently finished planning the construction of its own building. The plans include six classrooms, a computer lab, a library, an office and a meeting space for all 200 students!

It’s a very ambitious project and EIM recently launched a year long capital appeal to raise the needed funds.

Overall, it’s been another great year for EIM, and your generous donations have helped to make this possible. Thank you so much!

With your help EIM will not just continue survive in 2017, it will also thrive and continue to grow!

As always, if you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email Andy@IDVolunteers.org or Steph@Englishinmind.org, both of us are always happy to provide direct updates.

For more updates about IDV’s 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.

 

Students dress to impress on their first day
Students dress to impress on their first day
Laughs are often shared in class
Laughs are often shared in class
Volunteer trips continue to earn rave reviews
Volunteer trips continue to earn rave reviews
 
   

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