Disaster Aid Australia began life in 2010 as a project of the Rotary Club of Endeavour Hills (District 9820 Victoria, Australia)
Initially it was involved in providing family aid packages and Sawyer water filters.
Following interst in our program from several other countries we became a founder member of Disaster Aid International.
We continued to build on or initial deployments working with Disaster Aid International partners whenever possible.
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.
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 developed the ‘Smart Aid’ approach which includes:
- Operating 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.
- 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 also become an increasingly important element of our aid.
Our experience of SkyHydrants showed us that the installation of a unit provides a huge improvement in the health of the community, particularly the children. (Reduction in illness of up to 80%)
As a consequence we launched the ‘Safe Water for Every Child’ program.
We also commenced the three year Bhutan 2020 project to deliver safe water to 120 major schools in Bhutan.
The Bhutan 2020 project has continued, although the COVID pandemic has caused some delays.
We do expect the 120 school installations to be completed by the end of 2021.
Although the COVID pandemic travel restrictions prevented travel from Australia from March 2020 we have continued to provide financial suppport to partners.
In 2020 the Rotary Club of Endeavour Hills merged with the Rotary Club of Greater Dandenoong to become the the Rotary Club of Greater Dandenong and Endeavour Hills.
Disaster Aid Australia is now a project of the new club.
DISASTERS: We continue with Smart Aid and consider the local people in disaster-affected communities to be our greatest resource.
SAFE WATER: Our aim based on ‘Safe Water for Every Child’ is; while continuing to support existing partners to also bring the program to new countries in the Asia Pacific region.