this is what KUSH means – headed by Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar Belkys Lopez, our in-country partner in South Sudan. The devastation and displacement of families, especially female and children-headed families in South Sudan is go great, we returned with another 400 Family Survival tents and additional 800 mosquito nets. KUSH were so impressed with the way we go about our humanitarian aid delivery, they are now fundraising within the Sudanese communities around the world for 1,000s of our Disaster Aid Australia Family Survival tents.
Belkys Lopez said of our assistance to the people of South Sudan, “you guys provided the first help to the Dinka’s in Abyei. No other NGO has made it there. Now they will follow.”
Our first Disaster Aid Response Team (DART) members to arrive in Abyei and Agok were Larry Agee and Tore Knos from DA USA setting all logistical strategies in place in readiness for the second team to arrive.
Howard Bradfield from the Rotary Club of Woodend (Vic), on his first deployment as a volunteer DART formed part of the second team together with DAI Head of Training & Deployment Ed Cox and another first-timer in Nick Robinson from the UK.
On returning from South Sudan, Howard said, “this was probably the hardest three weeks of my life – physically and emotionally. We delivered the first Disaster Aid tent to a lady who lost her husband and she and her children had lived under a tree since last May, only eating berries for food. It was gratifying to see her and her children now safe and secure in one of our tents – you would have thought we had given her a Ferrari, she smiled so much!”
“I was proud as an Australian Rotarian to be a part of this deployment – rebuilding this community,” he said.
Following personal meetings with the Abyei Government and other non-government organisations, Disaster Aid was praised for not only our humanitarian aid, but also for the adaptability and range of product.
We continue to serve … all in the name of our fellow Australian Rotarians.