Disaster Aid Australia began life in 2003 as a project of the Rotary Club of Endeavour Hills (D9820 Vic.)
Initially it was the Australian partner of 'Shelter Box' a UK based aid organisation.
We became more aware of the ongoing disaster of contaminated water which was evident before the disaster we aided, and long after the disaster response had been completed.
Our members decided that a greater concentration on water quality, and a locally based aid package would improve outcomes for aid recipients.
As a result we separated from the UK based aid organisation and commenced operating under the banner of 'Disaster Aid'
Our aid consisted of Water Filters and Family Survival Packs.
We installed the first SkyHydrant™ in the Philipines.
Started training local partners in Malaysia and the Philipines 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 are in this 'for the long haul' and consider the local people in disaster-affected communities to be our greatest resource.
Water: Our mutual aim is that no child will be without ready access to safe drinking water.
You can help us bring hope rebuilding communities … together.