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Posts Tagged ‘disaster management’

World Vision

Friday, February 20th, 2009

What do they do?
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome extreme poverty and injustice. World Vision New Zealand currently supports more than 70 projects in more than 25 countries.

How can I get involved?

  • Sponsoring a Child
  • Getting involved in a Charity Challenge (biking round Cambodia or climbing Mt Kilamanjaro are a few examples)
  • Volunteer to help run World Vision programmes in NZ
  • Participating in/running a 40-hour Famine
  • Donating directly
  • Getting involved in World Vision advocacy campaigns
  • Joining/starting a World Vision group at your school or university

UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund)

Friday, February 20th, 2009

What do they do?
UNICEF - the United Nations Children’s Fund - is the world’s leading agency for children. UNICEF works closely with children, women and communities as well as governments, other UN agencies, faith-based groups, non-government organisations and the private sector to create a better world for every child.

How can I get involved?

Fundraise – Put the ‘fun’ back into fundraising!  Take part in a run, cycle, or swim while raising money for UNICEF.  It’s easy to make your own fundraising web page!

Campaign for Change - Make some noise and help shape better policies and practices for children.  Whether you write to your local MP about an issue affecting children, fill out one of our surveys or sign a petition, you’re helping affect change for a new generation of kids.  Join UNICEF’s Campaigners for Change by emailing for further updates.

Buy an Inspired GiftDoes your Dad need another pair of socks?  Why not help girls in Ghana go to school instead?  Purchase a bicycle for a girl in Ghana from our online shop and help give a better future to children!

- Your donation will go further with UNICEF! For every dollar donated, we can leverage $10 for children who need your help.

Volunteer - There are a number of ways that you can get involved with UNICEF NZ as a volunteer:

  • You can help out in their Wellington office with administration duties
  • You can help them with fundraising events
  • If you think you have some specific skills and experience that will be of value to them then you can apply for an internship

Save the Children

Friday, February 20th, 2009


What do they do?
Save the Children are a humanitarian organization that fights for children’s rights, both in New Zealand and overseas. They desire to see a world which respects and values each child, a world which listens to children and learns, and a world where all children have hope and opportunity.
How can I get involved?
Sponsor a Child - Help transform the lives of vulnerable children. You can either sponsor a child in a region of your choice, or nominate the money to go to the area of greatest need.
Shop – there are 33 shops all across New Zealand, which all sell quality products for mums, dads, children, grandparents and friends at competitive prices. They are run by volunteers and the funds raised help with Save the Children’s work around the world.
Volunteer your time – You can help with a wide variety of fund-raising activites, such as advocacy and awareness raising, staffing a STC shop, or collecting during their Annual Appeal.
Apply for a Small Grants Fund - Save the Children will fund local initiatives that make lasting benefits for children and young people by building their capacity to reach their full potential. If you are under 18 you can still apply, but you are required to partner with a registered organisation for financial and other support.


Wednesday, January 14th, 2009


What do they do?

Caritas is the Catholic agency for justice, peace and development. Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is part of Caritas Internationalis, which is a confederation of 154 Catholic aid, development and social justice agencies from around the world. Caritas agencies work in over 198 countries: delivering aid, supporting development, and working for justice.

How can I be involved?


Campaigning – Caritas are involved in many campaigns, including Aid, Children, Cluster Munitions Crime and Punishment, Debt, Environmental Justice, HIV and AIDS, Human Rights Make Poverty History Millennium Development Goals, Submissions to NZ Government, and Trade. They offer excellent resources on their website to help you join with them to take action on these issues.


Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008


What do they do?

Oxfam is a Humanitarian organisation is dedicated to finding lasting solutions to poverty and injustice. Oxfam New Zealand was formed in1991, and has now developed an international reputation for its development work in the Pacific and East Asia, its focus on practical solutions to the emerging crisis in water and sanitation and its campaigning for rights.

How can I get involved?

  • Become an Oxfam campaigner - Campaign activities can range from spending two minutes on an email action through to fronting up to politicians to ask questions about their policies on aid, trade and debt.
  • Trailwalker Challenge - raise $2000 to help to overcome poverty and injustice by tackling 100km of tough NZ terrain
  • The Amazing Race - race other teams through Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand to raise money for Oxfam projects
  • Oxjam - a month of music with a message. NZ artists busk and throw concerts to raise awareness about Oxfam’s work. They are always looking for volunteers, organisers and fresh ideas and content.
  • ‘Good Books’ and gifts – Buy your books at the online store, and all profits go to Oxfam projects. You can also buy gifts for your friends and family that directly benefit poor communities.
  • Send them stamps – Yup, Oxfam will sort through your old stamps and sell them to collectors!
  • Volunteer – Oxfam are always on the lookout for help with their programmes.
  • Donate to Oxfam
  • Read a Publication – Oxfam produce high quality, up-to-date publications on Poverty and Development issues around the world. Expand your mind and read one today!

Natural disasters

Wednesday, December 14th, 2005

Eva Lawrence

natural_photoWhen was the last time that you could pick up a paper or turn on the T.V. and not see images of yet another disaster to, more often that not, strike some poor area of the world?

In the last twelve months we have seen the earthquake and following tsunami in South Asia (Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar), the earthquake in South Asia (Pakistan, Kashmir, India & Afghanistan), droughts in Darfur, Northern Sudan as well as disasters with less casualties such as Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, USA, and then there are all the ones we don’t hear about.

So what’s up with them? Are they happening more often? Is this the end of the world, as predicted in the Hollywood block buster movie, The Day after Tomorrow? What can you do about what’s going on? Read on to find out.

OK, let’s get the definition of a disaster out of the way.
A natural disaster is when a natural hazard (such as an earthquake or hurricane) affects a vulnerable population. So, a tsunami in the middle of the ocean is a hazard, but when it crashes over land, killing people and destroying homes, it becomes a disaster.

Why do more people die from natural disasters in poorer countries?
Of every 100 people killed in a natural disaster, 96 live in the poorest countries of the world (Christian World Service).

Talk about bad luck!
bam iran girlThe fact is it is not a coincidence that poor people get hit with natural disasters. They are not more likely to experience an earthquake or hurricane, but because of poverty they are more vulnerable to the affects of the hazard. If a tsunami came crashing into Auckland, there would certainly be a huge mess and lots of deaths. But, most of the concrete buildings would stay strong and the government, army and civil defence would be in sorting stuff out ASAP.

Well, what about the USA? That’s not a poor country. True, but notice that is was one of the poorest regions of the country and the people that were most affected were the poor black population, without transport who couldn’t get out.

destroyed school FijiLong term effects
A disaster doesn’t stop when the shaking stops or when the cameras move on to a new story. People continue to suffer the effects and rebuild their lives and communities for months or years to come. At this later stage there may be threats of as many or more deaths from secondary causes due to poor hygiene, lack of clean water, food and shelter.

Reducing deaths from natural hazards is about time and money spent on prevention and building infrastructure to aid in recovery. It is also about reducing vulnerability to hazards through decreasing poverty.

Are these disasters increasing?
So are natural disasters increasing? There is some evidence that climate change is increasing weather-related hazards such as floods and hurricanes. While there is not an increase in the number of other hazards such as earthquakes, these more often become disasters due to the increasing world population and the number people living in poverty.

In the western (wealthy) world, the number of deaths from disasters is decreasing but the amount of money spent on prevention and recovery is going up. To what does this mean? In rich countries, hazards cost money; in poor countries hazards cost lives.

Media Coverage
The media also makes it look like disasters are everywhere. Natural disasters get a lot of coverage in the media because they are dramatic. They are sudden, graphic and seemingly blameless. And dramatic images sell.

And the more media coverage, the more money people donate to the cause. There was a huge out-pouring of sympathy and money in response to the tsunami — too much money in fact for many governments and aid agencies to cope with. In contrast, victims of the Pakistan earthquake have not received nearly enough aid and are in great danger as winter sets in.

As tragic as the tsunami was and other natural disasters are, there are other ongoing human disasters with greater numbers of casualties that get a lot less coverage. Compare the stats in the following estimates:

80 000 dead, 3.8 million homeless in the South Asia earthquake,
300 000 dead or missing in the South Asia earthquake and tsunami,

1 million people a year die from malaria
3.1 million people died from AIDS related illness in 2004 (that’s like 10 tsunamis a year!)


So, what can YOU do?

  • Read media more critically and widely.
  • Donate money or time (such as working in a call centre) for a charity that you support.
  • Become involved in development work and campaigns against poverty to reduce the vulnerability of countries to disasters.
  • Consider donating money regularly rather than just when there is a disaster.
  • Look after your environment so that we don’t increase the incidence of hazards.
  • Create your own home emergency kit.



Relief web

Red Cross

NZ Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management

Special thanks to Justin Kemp from Dev-Zone

This article was originally published in Jet Magazine and is reproduced here with their permission. Photo’s courtesy of Save the Children NZ.