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Our Story

IDV was founded in September 2008 by a group of experienced disaster responders led by Andy Chaggar. Andy is a survivor of the 2004 Asian tsunami who holds a Master's degree in social development policy and development with a focus on disasters.

Our founding members started IDV after working with several other organisations set up to challenge the notion that ordinary citizens can't be disaster response volunteers. Their experiences as volunteers showed our founders that, with the guidance of knowledgeable leaders, 'ordinary' citizens can make an extraordinary difference in the lives of those affected by or vulnerable to disaster.

The founders decided that they would build on their collective years of experience to create an organisation which would have several key focuses including:

  • Committing to long-term sustainable recovery
  • Improving the resilience of vulnerable communities both before and after disaster
  • Filling the gaps that are often left behind when more traditional groups withdraw
  • Working in close partnership with survivors and local NGOS
  • Charging volunteers a low fee which would keep volunteering accessible without burdening donors
  • Raising awareness about how the everyday actions we take at home every day affect disaster survivors around the world.

Today, IDV is the organisation which our founders envisioned. From June 2010 to December 2011, IDV worked in Haiti and exceeded all expectations for a new charity launched in a recession.

We're still supporting our education programmes in Haiti, working in the Philippines on Disaster Risk Reduction, and responding to Typhoon Haiyan.