Rotary Response to Disasters
Rotary International in Australia sees its major role in disasters as a “second line ” approach. Rotary will normally leave first response to the emergency authorities.
Our role is seen to be in the recovery process. With Rotary clubs spread throughout most areas that experience disasters, we are well equipped to support recovery initiatives after the immediate disaster has passed.
Examples of this are Rotary District 9830, Tasmania’s response to the following:
- New South Wales Bushfires 2013,
- Tasmanian Bushfires 2013
- Queensland 2011 Floods
- Victorian 2009 Bushfires
There are two Rotary endorsed organisations that do support immediate emergency relief:
DISASTER AID AUSTRALIA
An Australian Rotary club project delivering humanitarian aid to people around the world affected by disasters (either natural or man made) on behalf of Australians.
Disaster Aid helping Ecuador
In April 2016 , Ecuador was struck by a 7.8 earthquake that left a trail of loss and ruin along its usually placid Pacific Ocean coast.
More than 500 people were killed, thousands made homeless and, according to UNESCO reports, damage to schools has impacted over 120,000 children.
“Disaster Aid International is directing its aid efforts towards providing new housing for the community of Three Crosses in Bahía de Caráquez in Rotary D4400”.
Rotary in Ecuador wants this to be a model village that showcases what Rotary and Rotarians can do.
Coordinating Club in Tasmania: Rotary Club of Youngtown
Rotarian Ted Burton Ph: 6343 0639 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
PP George Lockwood (H): 6334 9886 (M): 0407 393 446
News from Haiti
Firstly, having returned in November from deployment in Haiti with ShelterBox, I am keen to talk to any interested Rotary Clubs in Tasmania about my experience there to show how the funds raised are being used to help beneficiaries and to provide insight into how SB operates in country. Haiti is a desperate country with the majority of the population surviving on less than $2/day and an ineffective government that provides almost no assistance to its people. In early October Hurricane Matthew badly damaged most houses in its path and destroyed crops and livestock. In turn these communities are showing great resilience in the face of adversity, and within them the churches play a very important role, as they provide structure and focus.
Over my 3 weeks in Haiti I got to know our local translator (spoken languages in Haiti are French and Creole) Jackson very well – he is training to be a doctor but is also very involved in an ongoing project through his own church in Port au Prince. His project has been running for several years and is aimed at helping a small group of young Haitians complete their education. Education is perhaps the only real hope for Haiti to change things for the better and there is no state school provision, so student families fund their own education. I was so moved by the work that Jackson was doing that I asked him to give me a list of the young people that he is currently trying to help, so that I could see what I could do to help when I got home. My aim is to contact Rotary Clubs and Community Groups in Tasmania in the hope that they may agree to sponsor individual students.
Tarremah Steiner School, Kingston
Shelterbox responds instantly to natural and man made disasters by delivering boxes of aid to those who are most in need. Each box supplies an extended family of up to 10 people with a tent and essential equipment to use while they are displaced or homeless.
From Shelterbox Australia – Response to Nepal Earthquake
A letter from Bill Dobson, Shelterbox Australia’s Tasmanian Rep. Download here...
Response to Vanuatu Cyclone Emergency
News Release July 2015 (pdf)
Coordinating Club: Rotary Club of Launceston
Rtn Bill Dobson (M): 0414 410 206
8 Oct 2017 RT