EUROPEAN CIVIL PROTECTION AND HUMANITARIAN AID OPERATIONS

Resilience

Today in Cambodia

Towards the end of November, Pavla and Angela, the two volunteers sent by Diaconia ECCB to Cambodia, joined their host organization Life With Dignity (LWD) on a field trip to oversee its ongoing projects. During their visit to a community in the Aoral District, they learned about the diffrent aspects of the disaster risk reduction and climate change mitigation options implemented in the area and discussed the organisation’s action plan with the community leaders.

 

Being based in the LWD’s Phnom Penh office, field trips such as this provide a great apportunity to see the activities being implemented. In the case of the team’s trip to the communities in the Kampong Speu Province, this meant for example increased standards of living and improved diet of the most vulnerable – with a new water reservoir and canal built within the climate change adaptation plan, resilience is improved and the community’s daily diet could be enriched by a consistent supply of vegetables such as tomatoes, water melons, cucumbers and eggplants.

Story type: 
Organisation
About the Project: 
EU Aid Volunteers ACTing against disaster risks (EUAVACT) is an EU Aid Volunteers project. The project is implemented by a consortium of ACT Alliance organisations and involves 38 EU Aid Volunteer placements. The project aims at contributing to more effective (EU provided) humanitarian response, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and resilience in five countries (Ethiopia, Uganda, Nepal, Bangladesh and Cambodia) through strengthening local NGOs and vulnerable and disaster prone communities members.
Project: 
EU Aid Volunteers ACTing against disaster risks
Region:
Attribution: 
Third party: 
I confirm that if any third-party material, it has been reproduced with kind permission of the author(s)
Reusable pictures: 
I confirm that these pictures may be reused with attribution to the European Union
Quote: 
Life With Dignity
Images: 
Main image: 

Kathmandu sensory experience

We spoke to EU Aid Volunteer Pia about her impressions of Kathmandu:

 

-       When did you start your EU Aid Volunteers deployment and where are you deployed? 
I started my deployment with ICCO Nepal in Kathmandu in October 2017

 

-       What does it feel like to live where you’re living now? Is it what (or more than what) you expected? why (not)?
Life in Kathmandu is very enjoyable. Our neighborhood is kind of tucked away from the busy and noisy streets, filled with little restaurants and cafes to enjoy some Nepali tea and Momos, typically Nepali dumplings. Life in Kathmandu exceeds my expectations. People are very friendly and helpful. I really enjoy discovering new corners of the city week by week, learning about Nepali festivals and everyday life. During the week we often manage to escape busy city life to go on field trips, which allows us to also explore the surrounding districts of Kathmandu valley a bit further, and soak in some of Nepal’s beautiful nature. Next to work, Kathmandu offers a lot of activities for us from doing little hikes around the valley, to visiting ancient temples or joining bike events such as the critical mass to raise awareness on making Kathmandu more bike friendly.
One of the things that surprised me here was the way we were received in local communities that we have been visiting during several field visits. Community gatherings often had a ceremonial character with generous flower offerings to us guests.

 

-       My work day is filled with…
…research and supporting proposal writing in the area of disaster risk reduction and livelihoods recovery after the earthquake.
…on a typical day out of the office on a field trip my day is filled with bumpy roads, interesting project visits such as irrigation systems to support farming activities or visiting small-scale business owners such as tailors who were supported by ICCO in the start-up of their business. These visits also offer plenty of opportunities to engage with locals and increase an understanding of local living conditions and the Nepali context. 

 

-       What Disaster Risk Reduction/Disaster Risk Management/resilience challenges have you seen in the country or communities you work with?
Our current projects are mainly focused on earthquake recovery. People living in earthquake affected communities are often facing a major challenge in reconstructing their homes even 2.5 years after the massive earthquake of April 2015, hampering recovery and resilience. Lack of resources, access to materials and adequate information on earthquake proof building codes create further challenges for earthquake preparedness and risk reduction.  

 

-        What challenges will you start to approach with your hosting organization and/or its partner(s)?
ICCO Nepal tries to create increased and diversified livelihoods opportunities for local communities in order to increase resilience in earthquake-affected vulnerable regions and to enable people to acquire the necessary resources to rebuild their homes and earn a sufficient living. As EU Aid Volunteers we are trying to support the ICCO Nepal team in all its efforts, from proposal writing activities to project monitoring and assessments. Further we intend to work more closely with some of ICCO Nepal’s partners to assess and strengthen capacities in the area of disaster preparedness and disaster risk reduction.  

Story type: 
Organisation
About the Project: 
EU Aid Volunteers ACTing against disaster risks (EUAVACT) is an EU Aid Volunteers project. The project is implemented by a consortium of ACT Alliance organisations and involves 38 EU Aid Volunteer placements. The project aims at contributing to more effective (EU provided) humanitarian response, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and resilience in five countries (Ethiopia, Uganda, Nepal, Bangladesh and Cambodia) through strengthening local NGOs and vulnerable and disaster prone communities members.
Project: 
EU Aid Volunteers ACTing against disaster risks
Region:
Attribution: 
Third party: 
I confirm that if any third-party material, it has been reproduced with kind permission of the author(s)
Reusable pictures: 
I confirm that these pictures may be reused with attribution to the European Union
Quote: 
assess and strengthen capacities in the area of disaster preparedness and disaster risk reduction
Main image: 

Hands, Mind and Heart are ready to start. Legs and Feet are eager to walk. And feel like Home.

I am Emanuela. And I am an EU Aid Volunteer.

 

Uganda will be my new home for the next 10 months. I am deployed in Kampala, working with ICCO-Cooperation. I have just arrived, so less than ten days it’s not enough to be aware of feelings. I can tell about impressions indeed. I can tell about the warm welcome, the smile of the people, the enthusiasm in starting doing my job, the beauty and grace of women carrying loads on their heads, the chaos and the traffic jam, the shape of African clouds, the smell of street food, the noise of the Nile flowing, the children singing and dancing around, my curiosity in what my sending organization is doing here and my certainty it will turn into passion and dedication from my side.

 

Every day I am facing challenges. In approaching people, in knowing more about my position here, in crossing the roads, in dealing with huge-winged noisy birds, in facing expectations, in being an expat, in defining my deployment plan, in meeting deadlines and requirements.

 

Every day is also a charming occasion to be surprised: details, small things, which make me feel alive and aware of what volunteering means to me.

 

Uganda has witnessed a number of natural and man-induced disasters that have culminated in loss of life and property and displacements. People have been affected by things like displacement as a result of civil unrest, famine as a result of drought, earthquakes, epidemics of disease, flooding, landslides, environmental degradation, crop pest infestation, livestock and wildlife disease epidemics.

 

These are the main challenges communities are facing. I am going to support ICCO in disaster risk management and disaster risk reduction activities and work with partners in strengthening the capacity of the local communities and refugees on Emergency Preparedness and Response Planning (EPRP).

 

Hands, Mind and Heart are ready to start. Legs and Feet are eager to walk. And feel like Home. 

Story type: 
Organisation
About the Project: 
EU Aid Volunteers ACTing against disaster risks (EUAVACT) is an EU Aid Volunteers project. The project is implemented by a consortium of ACT Alliance organisations and involves 38 EU Aid Volunteer placements. The project aims at contributing to more effective (EU provided) humanitarian response, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and resilience in five countries (Ethiopia, Uganda, Nepal, Bangladesh and Cambodia) through strengthening local NGOs and vulnerable and disaster prone communities members.
Project: 
EU Aid Volunteers ACTing against disaster risks
Region:
Attribution: 
Third party: 
I confirm that if any third-party material, it has been reproduced with kind permission of the author(s)
Reusable pictures: 
I confirm that these pictures may be reused with attribution to the European Union
Quote: 
Choices you make are always going to define you.
Main image: 

Kathmandu can be at the same time an amazing, exhausting and intoxicating place

We interviewed Sophie, an EU Aid Volunteer in Nepal:

 

  • When did you start your EU Aid Volunteers deployment and where are you deployed?

I started my deployment with ICCO-Cooperation in Nepal in October 2017.

 

  • What does it feel like to live where you’re living now?

Having lived in Asia before, I did not feel like I was arriving in totally unchartered territory when I moved to Nepal. Yet, I found it very interesting to compare my new Nepalese with my previous Laotian home.

 

Nepal is the only country in the world that does not have a rectangular flag. But for me, what really makes the country a unique place on the planet is its topography. As a result of the altitude, living conditions can be a bit harsh in winter and not having indoor heating is probably the biggest challenge I am currently facing.  

 

The one thing I did not expect before being deployed is how much I would enjoy the local food which combines a range of ingredients from the Indian and Tibetan culinary tradition with its own gastronomic history. Nepalese cuisine offers subtle flavours with, in my humble opinion, the exact right level of spices, neither too much nor too little.

 

Kathmandu can be at the same time an amazing, exhausting and intoxicating place. It is indeed a quite vibrant and hectic city, full of life but also of dust and pollution. Despite the hustle and bustle of the daily life, people in the capital city remain however refreshingly friendly.

 

Sadly, the effects of the earthquake that struck the country in April 2015 are still visible in many parts of the city. But Nepal is slowly bouncing back from the disaster. In my view the charm of Kathmandu lies in its narrow streets that hide a blend of ancient Hindu and Buddhist architecture, little Newari houses with their heavy carved windows and courtyards full of drying chillies and rice.

 

  • Things you do:

Although based in Kathmandu, my work involves frequent missions to rural areas. Over the past few weeks, I visited three different districts for project monitoring as well as a rapid context assessment.

 

  • My days are filled with…

Bumpy roads… and, more importantly, encounters and sharing experiences with the people involved in ICCO-Cooperation’s projects, be they beneficiaries, co-implementing partners or representatives of local authorities.

 

  • What Disaster Risk Reduction/Disaster Risk Management/resilience challenges have you seen in the country or communities you work with?

In line with the provisions of Nepal’s new constitution, local elections were carried out in September 2017 and provincial and national parliamentary elections are curretntly being held. The challenge now is how to work within the new structure and how to share responsibilities, funds, and functionaries.

 

Nepal is among the most multi-hazard prone countries in the world with high vulnerability to climate change, earthquake and flood risks. As Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) is expected to become a local competence, newly elected local authorities will be required to prepare vulnerability assessments and related action plans to prevent and mitigate disaster risks. Yet, in terms of resources and capacities, all municipalities are not on an equal footing and some gaps need to be addressed.  

 

  • What challenges will you start to approach with your hosting organization and/or its partner(s)?

Given the above, making sure that capacities are available locally to allow stakeholders to play an active role in disaster risk reduction is essential for creating more effective preparation and management of disasters risks. To support this, we have been requested to assess the capacity building needs of some of ICCO-Cooperation's local partners and then design capacity building plans based on the needs that we identify. 

Story type: 
Organisation
About the Project: 
EU Aid Volunteers ACTing against disaster risks (EUAVACT) is an EU Aid Volunteers project. The project is implemented by a consortium of ACT Alliance organisations and involves 38 EU Aid Volunteer placements. The project aims at contributing to more effective (EU provided) humanitarian response, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and resilience in five countries (Ethiopia, Uganda, Nepal, Bangladesh and Cambodia) through strengthening local NGOs and vulnerable and disaster prone communities members.
Project: 
EU Aid Volunteers ACTing against disaster risks
Region:
Attribution: 
Third party: 
I confirm that if any third-party material, it has been reproduced with kind permission of the author(s)
Reusable pictures: 
I confirm that these pictures may be reused with attribution to the European Union
Quote: 
Making sure that local capacities are there.
Main image: 

Group together beside the streets of Uganda

My name is Georgia, and I am deployed as an EU Aid Volunteer by Finn Church Aid at Rural Action Based Organisation (RACOBAO), a community based organisation that operates in the Lyantonde District of Southern Uganda. I live just a 20-minute walk outside of the town, a very friendly place. People stop constantly to greet each other and me, and excited children group together beside the streets to call out and wave to me as I pass. The market ladies already know how much I love passion fruit and mangos.

 

My coworkers at RACOBAO have also been friendly and inviting. The organization is almost completely new to disaster risk reduction programming, so myself and my fellow EU Aid Volunteer have our work cut out for us. So far, we have developed a work plan for the next year that will build local disaster risk reduction capacity and allow RACOBAO staff to “learn by doing”, with the EU Aid Volunteers as resources and guides. We are also currently delivering a series of workshops with staff and partners on disaster risk reduction concepts and methodologies in order to get everyone ready to begin with programming in January 2018. I look forward to watching RACOBAO become a local leader in disaster risk reduction.

Story type: 
Organisation
About the Project: 
EU Aid Volunteers ACTing against disaster risks (EUAVACT) is an EU Aid Volunteers project. The project is implemented by a consortium of ACT Alliance organisations and will have 38 EU Aid Volunteer placements. The project aims at contributing to more effective (EU provided) humanitarian response, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and resilience in five countries (Ethiopia, Uganda, Nepal, Bangladesh and Cambodia) through strengthening local NGOs and vulnerable and disaster prone communities members.
Project: 
EU Aid Volunteers ACTing against disaster risks
Region:
Attribution: 
Third party: 
I confirm that if any third-party material, it has been reproduced with kind permission of the author(s)
Reusable pictures: 
I confirm that these pictures may be reused with attribution to the European Union
Quote: 
Learn by doing.
Images: 
Main image: 
FCA Volunteer in Uganda at RACOBAO

Active European citizens in response to humanitarian challenges: EU Aid Volunteers strengthening capacities and resilience of communities affected by humanitarian crises in third countries

The project Active European citizens in response to humanitarian challenges: EU Aid Volunteers strengthening capacities and resilience of communities affected by humanitarian crises in third countries is part of the EUAV initiative. Its goal is to complement ongoing humanitarian aid operations with the support of 61 volunteers supported by 30 online volunteers, in eight countries (Bolivia, Cambodia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Lebanon, Senegal), strengthening the capacities of local organizations and EU partners, and developing a communication strategy to ensure dissemination and awareness-raising on the part played by in EUAV strengthening the role of the active European citizenship.

Partners: 
Fundación Alianza por los Derechos, la Igualdad y la Solidaridad - Colombia
Fundación Alianza por los Derechos, la Igualdad y la Solidaridad - Ecuador
Fundación Alianza por los Derechos, la Igualdad y la Solidaridad Internacional - Senegal
Actionaid Hellas (Greece)
Fundación Ecuasol
Fundación Alianza por los Derechos, la Igualdad y la Solidaridad Internacional - Haiti
GVC - Gruppo di Volontariato Civile
Guilde Europeenne du Raid (The European Guild)
Gruppo di Volontariato Civile (GVC) - Cambodia
Gruppo di Volontariato Civile (GVC) - Lebanon
Gruppo di Volontariato Civile - Bolivia
Gruppo di Volontariato Civile - Guatemala
Date: 
-
Project picture: 
Photograph showing project beneficiary
Type: 
Deployment
EU Contribution: 
1399957€
Activities: 
Disaster risk management, preparedness and response as well as linking relief, rehabilitation and development
Volunteer management according to the standards and procedures for the management of the candidate volunteers and the EU Aid Volunteers
Communicating the Union's humanitarian aid principles agreed in the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid and raising awareness levels and visibility of its humanitarian aid
Number of volunteers: 
61
Team visibility: 
Public - accessible to all site users
This project is a placeholder: 
no

EU Aid Volunteers complementing humanitarian aid: strengthening the link through deployment, capacity building and technical assistance

The project aims at creating an opportunity of cooperation between European volunteers and organisations working in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. European citizens will be involved in local projects for preparedness and response to humanitarian crises. Europeans and locals will work together to strengthen the resilience capacity of vulnerable communities in extra-European countries.

Partners: 
Fundación Alianza por los Derechos, la Igualdad y la Solidaridad Internacional
Guilde Europeenne du Raid (The European Guild)
Association Villageoise d'Entraide et de Développement Communautaire : AVEDEC
Mouvement Paisan Papaye - MPP
Fundación Ecuasol
Fundación Alianza por los Derechos, la Igualdad y la Solidaridad Internacional - Jordan
Fundación Alianza por los Derechos, la Igualdad y la Solidaridad Internacional - Nicaragua
Fundación Alianza por los Derechos, la Igualdad y la Solidaridad Internacional - Haiti
Gruppo di Volontariato Civile (GVC) - Cambodia
Gruppo di Volontariato Civile (GVC) - Haiti
Gruppo di Volontariato Civile (GVC) - Lebanon
Gruppo di Volontariato Civile (GVC) - Nicaragua
Gruppo di Volontariato Civile (GVC) - Tunisia
Needs: 

On the basis of the need assessment, countries have been chosen as they were identified to be the most appropriate for the following reasons: meets the project and EU Initiative’s priority needs, goals and mission; conveys a powerful message of community impact; hosting organizations have the required features to be certified hosting organizations; safety, risk management and liability issues are in a standard basis; the amount of travel, commitment or training required for volunteers to perform the task is reasonable; in the chosen countries, volunteers make staff more effective.
Before starting the phase of selection of volunteers, all tasks and profiles of volunteers will be confirmed with hosting organization, due to the fact that the deployment is foreseen at the end of 2016. This will allow to identify all the specific gaps to be fulfilled with the support of volunteers. During the volunteers training and upon its completion, candidate volunteers will be assessed for their preparedness for deployment based on the competence framework. 
Beneficiaries have be chosen according to a systematic consultation by hosting organizations, thanks to the experience they have in the field, undertaking systematic listening of stakeholders to give voice to their priorities and concerns.

 

Date: 
-
Project picture: 
GVC EU Aid Volunteers
Type: 
Deployment
EU Contribution: 
697994€
Objectives: 
To contribute to promote the European identity and strengthen the participation and solidarity of European citizenship complementing and supporting the European Humanitarian Aid in terms of capacity and resilience of vulnerable third countries communities
To involve the EU citizens in Humanitarian Aid operations through the deployment of 30 volunteers in the selected third countries .
To build the capacities of hosting organizations to enhance local preparedness and response to humanitarian crises and to ensure effective and sustainable impact of the EU Aid Volunteers work.
To build partnerships and strengthen consortium capacities in the view of the joint EU aid Volunteers projects.
Activities: 
Needs assessment at a local level along the disaster risk management cycle
Disaster risk management, preparedness and response as well as linking relief, rehabilitation and development
Volunteer management according to the standards and procedures for the management of the candidate volunteers and the EU Aid Volunteers
Capacities to undergo certification including administrative capacity
Communicating the Union's humanitarian aid principles agreed in the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid and raising awareness levels and visibility of its humanitarian aid
Number of volunteers: 
30
Team visibility: 
Public - accessible to all site users
This project is a placeholder: 
no
Objectives: 
To contribute to promote the European identity and strengthen the participation and solidarity of European citizenship complementing and supporting the European Humanitarian Aid in terms of capacity and resilience of vulnerable third countries communities
To involve the EU citizens in Humanitarian Aid operations through the deployment of 30 volunteers in the selected third countries .
To build the capacities of hosting organizations to enhance local preparedness and response to humanitarian crises and to ensure effective and sustainable impact of the EU Aid Volunteers work.
To build partnerships and strengthen consortium capacities in the view of the joint EU aid Volunteers projects.
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