Rotary Club of Kiama

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Martin Pater spoke to us about the work of Disaster Aid Australia. He said the group started approx 6 years ago when they raised $175,000 of seed funding. They are not first responders, but send a team of people in when there has been a disaster to ask the people specifically what type of help they need, and tailor their assistance accordingly. Disaster Aid provides tents for shelter, or locally sourced building materials and labour, depending on the outcomes of their community consultation. The group stresses teamwork: rebuilding lives together, and provides training in disaster response as well as relief. In one particular village there were a number of large fallen trees following a weather disaster there and the people wanted to use the timber from the trees to rebuild their houses, so a portable saw mill was purchased and set up for them to use. They also have an ongoing goal to provide sustainable clean drinking water to communities throughout The Philippines with partner Balay Mindanaw, and are installing ’Skyhydrants’ into schools and birthing centres. These provide water for approx $1 per day and the special microfibre filter lasts for up to 10 years. More information about their wonderful work in many countries can be found on their web-site: www.disasteraidinternational.org Dave thanked Martin for his informative presentation.