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.
May 5, 2015

Emergency Shelter and Food Relief in Nepal

Diksani lost her home and needs emergency shelter
Diksani lost her home and needs emergency shelter

Thanks to the amazing support of donors like you IDV is now responding to the Nepal earthquake and providing immediate relief to survivors.

The earthquake, which struck on April 25, 2015, is now reported to have killed more than 7,300 people.  Millions of survivors are affected and are in need of relief items, including food and emergency shelter.  We are now working to meet these needs.

Tri Clay, IDV’s first representative in Nepal, arrived on May 5.  Tri arrived in country with 120Kg of tarpaulins (approximately 60 units).

This was a change to our original plan of providing tents as fresh information revealed that tarps would be easier to transport inside Nepal, and would also better meet the needs of our immediate beneficiaries. So we spent a few more days adjusting our plans so that we could make the biggest immediate impact.

More tarps, and our original tents, will follow Tri to Nepal by cargo transport shortly, but for now our immediate focus is on providing relief to the village of Arukharka, in Nuwakot district.

Around 500 people live in Arukharka, which is about 65km north of Kathmandu.

We wanted to ensure Tri brought the most useful items to Arukharka. So, over the past few days we have worked with a local trekking company, called Mountain Quests, to conduct initial assessments even before Tri’s arrival in Nepal.

These assessments revealed major housing damage in the village and led us to switching from tents to tarps for our first delivery of relief items.

Before the earthquake there were 109 homes in the village, but 97 of these have been destroyed and 9 more are damaged. With monsoon season rapidly approaching families urgently need robust temporary shelter.

The villagers are already working to build such shelter but there are limited to what materials they can salvage from their homes.

Now in Nepal, Tri will transport our tarps to Arukharka for use as shelter materials. Once in the village Tri will assess how we can further support the urgent need for temporary shelter.

Tri will be soon be supported by IDV’s next team member, Ruth Heyes, who will arrive in Nepal on May 7.  Ruth is an architect and previously led IDV’s work renovating and repairing Lun Tad school in Tacloban, following typhoon Haiyan.

While assessing longer-term needs Tri and Ruth will also continue to provide other relief in Arukharka.

For example, our initial assessments have also revealed that 10 families in the village have lost all of their crops and will require around $1,200 worth of food aid to meet their basic needs in the medium term. IDV has already committed to meeting this need.

Our immediate work in Arukharka, and our ability to support this and other communities in the longer-term is dependent on the amount of funds we are able to raise. So, if you can, please consider donating today.

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.

Packing tarps which are now on the way to Diksani
Packing tarps which are now on the way to Diksani
We'll also provide food aid to families like these
Apr 28, 2015

Helping Haitian Earthquake Survivors Learn English

You've helped earthquake survivors like Pierre

It’s now almost May and all is well at the English in Mind (EIM) Institute in Haiti.

Unlike at many schools the EIM year follows the calendar, and runs from January to December. This means the students are just finishing the first third of the 2015 year. For the new students, or those who moved up a level in January, the first few months can be tough as they get used to learning in a new class.

However, as we approach May the students have fully settled in to their new classes and are now all progressing really well.

Although attendance fluctuates a little, the EIM Institute teaches English as a vocational skill to around 150 adults in Port-au-Prince.  With each week that passes the students are improving their English, a skill which is highly sought after in a country which has otherwise chronically high unemployment.

Take 26 year old Pierre for example. His house was destroyed in the 2010 earthquake. Although things were difficult for Pierre after the earthquake he’s worked hard at EIM to improve his English and, through English, to improve his life.

Pierre had this to say about EIM.

“EIM gives the community access to learn English.  With the donors help I am able to learn English, and teach it.  Without EIM I would not be a teacher at Secondary [School] today”

But there’s more to EIM than just it’s “bread and butter” of teaching English.

In our last project report we announced that EIM had just purchased its own land. While construction of a building on this land is still in planning, this doesn’t mean the land has been sitting idle.

Instead the students have planted a vegetable garden and EIM has made arrangements to sell its produce to nearby organisations as a way to meet some of the school’s running costs.

The school’s leaders are also keen to expand their new property so that they can eventually start offering wider vocational training to complement the English skills the students are gaining.

All in all, we’re delighted that EIM continues to go from strength to strength.

It’s only because of your support over the years that we’ve been able to develop EIM from a small group of earthquake survivors who wanted to learn English, into a formal school managed by local leaders. Thanks 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.

Apr 24, 2015

Saving for the Future, While Cherishing the Moment

You're giving Fritz a future, and a childhood!

Since our last project report an amazing twenty donors have given an incredible $800 towards buying a vehicle for the HTDC orphanage.

Thanks so much to all of you, including those who donated before our last report.

While we’re still short of our overall target we’re continuing to set this money aside and moving ever closer to the day when we can buy the truck the orphanage dreams of.

Although our primary goal in buying the truck is still to provide the orphanage its own income, there are many other ways the vehicle will improve life for the kids.

As we discussed in our last report the vehicle will provide school transport for the kids. This will save the orphanage money, which they can spend on other essentials like food.

But the vehicle will be about providing fun as well.  After all, there are 27 kids involved!

This year the orphanage directors have really wanted the kids to have some fun outside the orphanage.  All the kids had rough starts in life and these day trips are a great way of giving them back some of the joy of being kids.

In March for example there was an amazing trip to the beach. The kids always love getting out of the house, but to leave the city and visit the sea is a very special treat indeed! On the beach the kids had food and drinks and above all, a great time.

Next month Haiti will celebrate its agriculture and the kids will also get involved here. The orphanage directors are planning to take the kids outside the city again, but this time to help plant trees. This will teach the kids about deforestation and protecting the environment, while giving them much needed fresh air.

Hiring vehicles for these trips isn’t cheap however. By saving your donations to buy the orphanage its own vehicle we’ll not only help them earn an income, we’ll also be to give the kids more fun, joyful trips. In many ways the vehicle will provide for the kids futures, while also giving them back their childhoods.

Thanks so much for these amazing gifts!

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.

Thanks to ALM Photography for these latest photos

A vehicle will give the kids more beach trips
A vehicle will give the kids more beach trips

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