International Disaster Volunteers

About

IDV is an England and Wales Registered Charity that helps disaster affected and at risk communities worldwide find sustainable solutions to the problems they face.

At IDV, we focus on long-term disaster recovery. This means that rather than focusing on the immediate after-effects of a disaster, we focus on recovery. We help make communities more able to meet their own needs in the long-term.

Our work focuses on education, rebuilding key infrastructures and, most importantly, giving survivors control of their own recovery.

When you join us in Nepal, you'll work along side disaster survivors and community leaders helping traumatised children cope with the disaster's effects, rebuilding schools and supporting community projects.

Founded
2009
Headquarters

11 Crowther Street
Bristol
BS3 3AJ
United Kingdom

Reviews

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David
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

If you want to experience another culture and really make a difference to the communities you are working in, then this is the ideal program for you. Because it operates at a grassroots level you are directly involved with the people who you are assisting and you can see straight away the difference you are making. The projects are well resourced, well managed and strive to work in partnership with local communities and local organizations. If you've got just a few weeks or a few months I definitely recommend volunteering with IDV.

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Anttoni
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Experience as a volunteer for IDV in Tacloban has definitely been a positive one. I've been staying at their base for five weeks now and IDV have been able to provide a variety of interesting projects to participate in, as well as three nutritious and tasty meals a day

The safety standards are also high at IDV, as volunteers are given proper training regarding projects as well as general health and safety related education on frequent basis

I can recommend IDV for anyone who's willing to spend some time abroad doing volunteer work for a disaster affected community

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Sofie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I have been in Banaba with EDV for 2 weeks now and I absolutly love it! I have had the oppurtunity to help out on the construcion sight even if I did not have any experience from it before and I have learnt a lot (like building a roof!). Its hard work but a lot of fun and the local organisation Buklod Tao, that we work with, is absolutly helpful and appreciate our help to 100%.

We have no started with IT-training for some of the members in Buklod Tao and the first lesson went great. To work with the EDV is a great adventure for me and I really hoped that I had more than 2 weeks left! If you want to volunteer I can strongly recomend EDV, here is something for everyone and you will not regret it!

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Nicole
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I arrived about three weeks ago to volunteer at EDV’s here in the Philippines. EDV is momentarily supporting a local organisation called Buklod Tao which is focused on helping people in areas vulnerable to flooding and disasters by running disaster risk reduction and prevention management.

From the very first moment I felt very welcomed and integrated in the EDV team. The atmosphere is comfortable and pleasant. We are working during the day either in the office or directly on site at Buklod Tao, and relaxing in the evening and just having a good time. But not only the EDV team makes me feel so comfortable here, it is as well the experience with the locals and the Filipinos as such. Always helpful and smiling, making your stay as much as pleasant as possible.

EDV is running different projects from capacity building to different programs, such as youth or IT programs. I am supporting right now the paralegal team from Buklod Tao by running a paralegal program in different areas, e.g. Violence against women and children, allocation of funds for disaster risk prevention and management as well as procedures against activities with negative environmental effects. Since Buklod Tao showed interest in these areas, and already had started to work on some of them, they were very pleased to have a lawyer to support them with their issues and help to enforce their interests and legal rights, as well as giving them advice and directions how to proceed on their own once I have to leave.

My experience working with them is just amazing. I have seldom seen so much commitment and enthusiasm, especially the variety of their ideas and their straightforward approach to tackle the problems impressed me massively. Besides, the people are so thankful for any help and support with their problems and issues - I was stunned how much they show their gratitude and it demonstrates me that it was definitely the right decision to join EDV in their project here.

This is one of these experiences you will never regret. Just do it.

What would you improve about this program?
If you are doing a specific program as I do in a shorter period of time, then of course you will not always have a chance to see the outcomes while you are here, which is a bit of a shame. Therefore, often it is worth considering to stay longer, especially because it could be a bigger support for the community of Bukod Tao. But on the other hand, it is always possible to keep in touch with the people and support them via Internet from abroad, so any support - either for a few weeks or for longer is always a help.
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scott
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

As i am a builder i worked on the evacuation centre site. We were welcomed by all the local community and i found the experience very rewarding. There are, however, other projects to contribute to. The local youth group is fun and dynamic, there are flood defences and erosion control measures to get stuck into and even boat building for rescue boats when the floods do come.

The EDV have a lovely house to live in, where you will be welcomed and very well looked after. The community you will live in is very safe and very friendly.

I am a firm believer in the EDV's approach to volunteer led programs with carefully placed funding where it is truly needed and has the longevity to make a real and sustainable difference to peoples lives.

What would you improve about this program?
only thing i would change.......air con

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Scott Hanson

Scott Hanson is a builder from Plymouth in the UK. He is 38 years old, loves to travel and spends his spare time seeing friends and going to see live music. He and a friend of his, Andrew Clingham, also form Plymouth, volunteered in the Philippines from the 7th April - 17th April. Scott and Andrew are currently partners in a property management company and hope that making the company successful will enable them to have more time to volunteer. Scott loves Thai food, but is now not so sure since the food in the Philippines was amazing.This was Scott's second volunteer trip. He helped rebuild a local village near Khao Lak for 8 months in 2005.

Why did you decide to volunteer abroad with European Disaster Volunteers in the Philippines?

Philippines Construction

Scott: I decided to volunteer with the EDV in the Philippines for various reasons really. I researched the proposed EDV projects and thought they were all achievable and well prioritized. Specifically, the building project of the evac centre for 100 families. I also believe in the EDV's approach to their work. They are a volunteer led charity who carry their work out in a very gentle way, by forging strong and very real ties, with local communities and partners. I talk about my past experiences volunteering in Thailand, and a friend at work was excited about trying it, so we decided to go help build. He loved it!! So from there I looked at the EDV because friends of mine are involved with them and another friend, whom I met in Thailand, was in the Philippines already on site. I hope to apply for a grant in August that may help me to return to the Philippines for longer. When you start volunteering it gets under your skin, and it will always lead to more really cool things.

If you could go back and do something different, what would it be?

Scott: If I could go back I would change how long I spent there. I wish I could have stayed as long as it took. If I had more time I would have liked to help on other projects too. It would've been good to help build a rescue boat. Andrew and I are trying to get the £500 needed to fund one though. I would have also loved to be part of the erosion control measures, the appeal being the scale of the work.We also went at the height of summer so it was really hot, which is fine, but a little cooler would have been perfect!

Do you feel like you made a significant impact on the local community? Why or why not?

Canoeing in the Philippines

Scott: Andrew and I were only on site for 10 days, so in that time it's difficult to make a big impact on the actual building, though we were proud of what we did achieve. We hope we made a real impact on the local workers, partners and all the people we met. We were among the first people on site for the EDV so hopefully we made a good first impression and helped ease the way for future volunteers.

How has this experience impacted your future?

Scott: This has only been my second volunteer experience, but I believe each experience will be different on many levels. Each and every one will be awesome as well as very humbling, rewarding and challenging. AND you get to meet lots of really cool people, some of whom will become your friends for life, and have some remarkable memories. Volunteering has definitely had an effect on me. It is currently, and I think will always be, something I strive to do. Thus, it inherently affects my life because it's a passion, and when life is not getting in the way, that is what I will be doing, somewhere.

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