Disaster Relief – A Rotarian Action Group
Also see the Disaster Alert Newsletters and DRRAG membership information
Purpose and Goals
Disaster relief has been an elusive goal of individual Rotarians, clubs and districts for many years. The problem has been that there has been little coherent coordination. There has been no commitment from Rotary international to the corporate nature of this undertaking. There has been difficulty within the Rotary Foundation in knowing how to respond to funding that comes in and creating an environment in which appropriate and consistent response can be provided to any natural disaster. That is not to say that R.I. has not recognized and followed the lead of individual clubs and districts that are in fact responding as circumstances demand. The Foundation has indeed recognized the generosity of Rotary by establishing, for example, the South Asia fund. Donor Advised Funds had been created to support individual district and so initiatives.
Though there are government offices set up in every country to handle disaster management, we know those hands are not enough when a disaster really strikes. When disaster does strike, one can never gauge how bad it will be and how the people in the office will react. Some may want to sit back and help the people while some may want to help their families. No one can be found fault with here.
This is why we are trying to contribute to this much needed venue, so as to save lives when it matters the most. Though our camps and projects are saving lives on a regular basis and helping people live better, saving a life when it is in danger is a whole different responsibility.
The funds we do receive for such situations have to be sorted out and used properly. We will need volunteers to move around, buy the basic necessities and reach it to the people n need, at the right time. The money will be used for this purpose.
The biggest challenge faced in such situations is the target area. One will not know which area to target. There are many companies that are getting conscious about their social responsibility and start sending things and money for the affected people. Care must be taken that it reaches only those who need it and not those who aim to make a profit out of it.
When there a disaster to be handled, ensuring such petty behavior doesn’t grow is difficult yet very important. There is no software like the Millionaire Blueprint in trading, to take care of it all without human interference. Here the people will have to think and execute properly without wasting resources and time.
Rotary International is now on the verge of formally embarking upon the service activities associated with disaster response through a Global Networking program entity known as a Rotarian Action Group.
In 2006, an application was submitted to Rotary International for recognition. Approval was given by the RI Board of Directors in November, 2007. The following is a tentative description of the organizational initiatives to December, 2007. It is a work in progress. At the first annual general meeting of the Rotarian Action Group to be help in June, 2008, a clear direction will be provided to Rotarians around the world as to how clubs can participate in this worthy vehicle for community and international service.