Disaster Response 

Indonesia Earthquake & Tsunami

Indonesia has just suffered two serious earthquakes in a month.   The second hit the Island Sulawesi and was accompanied by a Tsunami which destroyed much of the City of Palu and killed over 1000 people.

 Lions Clubs International has launched an appeal for support for the people of Indonesia and our own club has responded to that appeal with an immediate donation of £500 – (using our ‘Fast Track’ process which allows us to respond  to such appeals without waiting 1 month to our next business meeting).

As Lions we need to continue to actively demonstrate our support towards the worldwide response to such natural disasters and recently LCIF (Lions Clubs International Foundation) Disaster relief funds totalling over $500,000 have been sent to Kerala for Flood relief, Indonesia for Earthquake relief and Japan for Flood Relief.

How does our response differ from others?

With a global club structure, we are perhaps, unusual amongst organisations which can assist in responding to emergencies as we will often have members actually 'on the ground' living in the very area/country most affected by natural disasters and consequently our response to emergencies is more aimed at the long term recovery rather than immediate relief.

The immediate concern is not ignored, however, but we realise that the immediate outpouring of concern and funds will be channelled through charities and non-government bodies who will mobilise resources to deal with the aftermath.These organisations are frequently better equipped to deal with the immediate effects of say, a Tsunami, earthquake or major natural disaster and they can bring together the funds, life saving equipment and emergency manpower response necessary in the early days of such events, but how effective are they in the longer term?

The Lions response, however,  is quite different but no less important.

Funds are raised from two main sources. 

LCIF, our charitable foundation will create a designated emergency fund to provide financial support for each specific event.  This will provide initial funding during the early phase of disaster relief.

Local Lions clubs throughout the world will then add their own donations to that specific fund, often over a number of years which helps ensure that those affected by the disaster have ongoing support to help rebuild communities and assist the recovery process long after the major emergency support has left the area.

Unlike many disaster response organisations, there are no administration costs associated with donations via Lions and with our funds being totally administered by the Local Lions club under the guidance of LCIF, the long term recovery is often better handled as it is the people directly involved who are organising the rebuilding of communities.

By channelling funds via the Local Lions club, much of the longer term recovery is being done within the very area of the disaster helping to bring work, financial stability and purpose to people whose lives have been shattered by events well outside of their control.

With major disasters occurring with increasing regularity, this is one other aspect of being a Lion.   You never know where a disaster could appear and recent events have shown that it is not confined to 'foreign lands'

Lions have responded to many disasters in recent years, Haiti Earthquake, Pakistan Flood relief, Cumbria Floods to name only a few and as you can see, some are closer to home than you may have thought.


 

Some recent examples of LCIF disaster relief 
     
Sudan Drought  Phillipines - Typhoon Tembin Haiti Tornado