With DAA passing its 10th Birthday in 2020 its worth reflecting on our journey, and all those who have helped the organisation over the years.
It was back in May 2010 the members of the Rotary Club of Endeavour Hills got together to discuss forming an international aid organisation.
At that first meeting the members of the club raised $170,000 to provide DAA with working capital for the launch.
Shortly afterwards the DAA Board met with representatives of Rotary Clubs in the USA and Canada to form Disaster Aid International (DAI)
It was not long before the first deployment to floods in India and Pakistan during the period August through to October 2020.
This resulted in the delivery of Family Survival Packs and the first two SkyHydrants.
Other early deployments were to; the Sudan, Haiti, the Horn of Africa, and the Philippines.
As the organisation gained experience follow up reviews of aid delivery revealed that many of the components of the Family Survival Boxes were not being used.
Our new SmartAid approach changed our aid delivery from ‘Shipping Boxes’ to our Disaster Aid Response Team (DARTs) travelling to devastated areas and asking communities what they wanted.
Generally the answer was they wanted help rebuilding their homes and clean safe drinking water.
The DARTs then found suppliers of building materials as close as possible to the disaster and arranged delivery.
The only materials brought into country were water filters carried by the DARTs as checked luggage.
With little delay in being able to start rebuilding Smart Aid has proved to have the advantages of being faster and at lower cost than the boxes.
Other benefits included the local purchasing helped the local economies recover and the home owners participation in the building gave them more of a sense or ownership.
Safe Water for Every Child
At the organisation continued to monitor aid outcomes it became apparent that the SkyHydrant Filters provided for the disasters provided a long term health improvement to communities.
Illnesses dropped by over 80% particularly among children who were the most affected by contaminated water.
With sponsorship of individual installations, we have now completed over 200 SkyHydrant installations and well over a hundred thousand children protected.
Aid Delivery Continues
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has placed some hurdles in our path, DAA have not stopped delivering aid.
75% of the 120 SkyHydrants for our Bhutan 2020 project have been delivered and over 45,000 children have been protected since 2018.
Installations, with a local team from the Bhutan Education Department, are continuing with an expected completion in mid 2021.
We are also financially supporting trusted partners in Nepal, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Beirut and Guatemala.
With a recent merger DAA is now a project of the Rotary Club of Greater Dandenong & Endeavour Hills
You can help Disaster Aid Australia continue to provide aid during the worldwide pandemic, and beyond, by making a donation at the link below:
Charity donations of $2 or more to Disaster Aid Australia are tax-deductible in Australia.