Disaster Aid Australia began life in 2003 as a project of the Rotary Club of Endeavour Hills (District 9820 Victoria, Australia)
Initially it was involved in providing family aid packages.
We became more aware of the ongoing disaster of contaminated water which was evident before the disasters we responded to, and long after the disaster response had been completed.
Our members decided that a greater concentration on water quality was important.
Our aid consisted of Sawyer Water Filters and Family Survival Packs.
We installed the first SkyHydrant™ in the Philippines.
We started training local partners in Malaysia and the Philippines in the installation operation and maintenance of SkyHydrants.
Following a review of the the effectiveness of our aid provision we discovered that many of the items in the Family Survival Packs were not being used.
What the people we were aiding wanted was help in rebuilding their homes.
As many of the homes in developing countries are fairly basic compared with western standards it became apparent that we could provide materials so people could repair their homes for much less than the cost of a Family Survival Pack.
We have been changing our methods of providing aid by developing a ‘Smart Aid’ approach which includes:
- We effectively operate as project managers in disaster relief and rebuilding;
- Our volunteer ‘Disaster Aid Response Team’ (DARTs) members concentrate on working with local people (including Rotary clubs, government agencies and NGOs) to establish what they most need.
- We look at the affected people as partners, and a resource, not victims.
- By purchasing materials locally we help local economies, and employment, to recover faster.
- Helping communities to become more resilient in the face of disasters by planning and training.
Safe Water is also becoming increasingly important element of our aid.
Our experience of SkyHydrant™ system has shown that the installation of a unit provides a huge improvement in the health of the community, particularly the children.
And the future?
Disasters: We continue with Smart Aid and consider the local people in disaster-affected communities to be our greatest resource.
Water: Our aim is based on ‘Safe Water for Every Child’.
You can help us bring hope rebuilding communities … together.