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.
Jun 8, 2015

The Privilege of Providing Aid in Rural Nepal

The tent frame with rubble and mountains behind
The tent frame with rubble and mountains behind

As IDV’s CEO I recently flew to Nepal to support our team and see the situation on the ground for myself. As part of this trip I was fortunate enough to travel to Arukharka, in Nuwakot district, in order to deliver and help set up a temporary classroom for the community’s high school.

Arukharka is only about 40 miles from Kathmandu but it’s remote, mountainous location means that the journey takes about 4 hours. The first 2 hours are easy enough as the roads are in relatively good condition. But then you have to leave the main road and start along a bone-jarring, rocky track up the mountain itself.

Happily I don’t suffer from vertigo as the track is incredibly narrow and at times the 4x4 we hired for the trip had to squeeze between large boulders and the steep drop down into the valley below.

It’s a tiring journey but once we arrived in Arukharka it all became worth it as the villagers warmly welcomed us with a delicious lunch of “Dal Bhat”, which consists of steamed rice and lentil soup.

After lunch, and a refreshing cup of local tea, or “Chai”, we set to work on the temporary classroom. As school was supposed to start last week we wanted to get a classroom set up as soon as possible and so in this case we’d decided to use a 6m by 14m military tent.

The tent canvas alone weighs more than 60kg and so rather than also transport its large, heavy metal frame up the mountain we’d asked the villagers to cut down and dry bamboo we could use instead.

We immediately got to work setting out fourteen bamboo posts for the classroom’s main skeleton. It was hard work digging holes and hand mixing concrete for the posts but by working alongside the school teachers and kids’ parents we got this important work done by the end of the day.

We then ate more Dal Bhat for dinner and pitched our tents for the night. We woke just after dawn the next day, partly because the village always rises early to make the most of the daylight, but also because we were keen to finish the work we’d started.

On this second day we were joined by some skilled local builders to undertake the more complicated job of framing the classroom roof.  Bamboo is a traditional building material in Nepal and it was amazing to learn from the local builders as they selected, cut and shaped the bamboo as needed.

It was another long day but by dusk the tent canvas was lifted over the frame and the job was pretty much done. There’s definitely more help still needed at the school but we were all delighted to have set the tent up as this will allow at least 50 of the village kids to start class again.

What’s more it was an incredible privilege to be welcomed into the village and to work hand in hand with such beautiful, strong people.

This was the fifth tent our team has provided in the last two weeks and we’re looking forward to building many more classrooms in the weeks and months ahead.

This work is only possible because of your amazing support and we hope some of the photos in this report also show what your generosity is making possible.  Thank you so much!

As always, if you ever have any queries about how we’re using your donation, please don’t hesitate to email I would be delighted to hear from you.

Architect Ruth with kids and damaged school behind
Architect Ruth with kids and damaged school behind
Modern tools meet traditional materials
Modern tools meet traditional materials
The finished tent at dusk
The finished tent at dusk
Jun 1, 2015

Your Amazing Support

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

We can’t believe that you’ve paid for Omene’s education for a year!

Omene only joined the English in Mind (EIM) Institute recently, But her dedication and active participation in class have already been noticed by her teachers and classmates. Omene is definitely a “go-getter” and is determined to succeed.

Omene has a job as a secretary but she wants her family to have the best life they possibly can. So Omene joined EIM to improve her English skills and start a career in Haiti’s growing hotel and tourism industry. But she couldn’t have done that on her own.

Thanks to you, Omene will be able to study English for free at EIM. This will give her the means to support herself and her family into the future. This will let her escape poverty for good.

There are so many ways that you could have spent your hard earned money, but you chose to support Omene. Thanks so much!

To let you know how your donation is changing lives, we’ll send you regular updates through this project’s parent project “Change Lives with English Education”. 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 Omene’s future bright, and our warmest regards!

May 26, 2015

Your Amazing Support

On behalf of Basanti, Thank you so Much!
On behalf of Basanti, Thank you so Much!

Thanks so much for supporting Nepal earthquake survivors like Basanti.

Basanti is 17 years old and lives with her parents, her grandmother, two brothers, and a younger sister. Their home was destroyed in the first Nepal earthquake and since then they’ve been trying to build a new shelter.  But while they’ve been able to build a frame from bamboo they’ve lacked the materials needed to finish the job.

But now because of your generosity, we’ll be able to provide a Shelter Repair Kit for Basanti, her family, and for other families like theirs.

These kits will provide the missing materials these families need to finish putting a roof over their own heads. This will protect them from the fast approaching monsoon and help them to avoid exposure and resulting poor health.

We’ll send you updates about how your gift is changing the lives of Basanti, her family, and families like theirs right here on GlobalGiving. Should you ever have any questions about how we’re using your donation, please don’t hesitate to email We’d love to hear from you!

One last time, thanks so much for helping to put a roof over the heads of Basanti and her family.

Very kind regards,


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