Have you ever been in a disaster situation before? Or probably had someone; a friend or a relative that was once affected by one of such tragic incidents? If you have, then you would know the importance of organizations that partake in some of these emergencies and the provision of emergency relief materials to affected people. By receiving donations from people all over the world, or collaborating with other sister organizations, they work to make the world a better place. Let’s look at nine of such organizations;
United Nations (UN): In times of disaster or a catastrophic incident, the United Nations move out quickly to those affected areas with relief materials so as to provide assistance and support to the residents of those areas. These disasters could be as a result of internal conflicts, wars, natural causes, health issues and epidemics, etc. The UN helps in stabilizing the region by providing basic needs such as shelter, clean drinkable water, food and other necessary supplies. By working hand in hand with other organizations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations endeavors to provide food to disaster-hit countries all over the world.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF): In declared emergencies, the UNICEF is one of the first on ground to provide the necessary basic supplies to victims. This organization is in charge of the general welfare of children all over the world that have been displaced by disasters and conflicts. The UNICEF works to provide them with clothes, shelter and other relief supplies. The organization also collaborates with other bodies such as the International Save the Children Alliance to provide education for these displaced children. They also provide vaccines and supplements against diseases such as Polio, measles, tuberculosis, etc. to children and women especially all over the world.
The American Red Cross: A charter passed by the Congress requires the American Red Cross to take active part in disaster relief activities in order to reduce the sufferings of the affected victims to the barest minimum. Some of the relief assistance offered by this body includes first aid, food, emergency transportation, cleaning supplies, shelter, home repairs, medical supplies, mobile feeding stations, household items, etc. They could also provide long-term assistance wherever the need arises.
The Society of St. Vincent De. Paul (SVDP): Fondly known as SVDP by a lot of people, this organization makes the list of one of the top 9 organizations that provide general emergency relief to people all over the world. It was founded in 1833 by Frederic Ozanam and was christened “The Conference of History” at the time of its founding. In the USA, it was founded by Fr. Ambrose Heim who became its spiritual adviser and with the aim of attaining personal holiness through works of charity. The SVDP works with a lot of people and churches, receiving donations of money, clothes and other household items from them. These donated materials are then used in the care of those that have been hit by disasters. They also run homeless shelters, retail stores and feeding facilities from which they provide relief supplies to disaster victims.
The Volunteers of America (VOA): This organization is generally involved in the provision of manpower and resources in order to meet up with the needs of people affected by disaster. It was founded in 1896 by Maud and Ballington Booth with the aim of bringing people into active service of God. Over their years of existence, they have spread their tentacles all over the world and increased their range of services to provide relief materials to helpless individuals. They work like the SVDP, receiving donations from people and providing it to be used by those in need of them. The Volunteers of America are one of the first responders to any cases of disaster or conflicts.
Catholic Relief Services (CRS- USCC): In 1943, the Catholic Bishops of the United States of America came together with the aim of founding an organization that would work to provide aid in any form to the disadvantaged outside the country. The end product was the Catholic Relief Services. It currently operates in no less than 90 countries spread through 5 continents of the world. The CRS provides direct assistance to those at a disadvantage due to conflicts and disasters, while encouraging them to work so as to help hasten the rebuilding process.
The International Rescue Committee (IRC): The IRC was founded in 1933 and operates with the mission to provide global emergency relief, rescue services, resettlement assistance and rehabilitation for victims of internal strife and disasters. The IRC is also on ground in regions affected by a disaster to help rebuild shattered communities, lifesaving aid and medical supplies, water and toilet facilities, temporary health care centers, teachers and educational facilities, and care for children caught up in these conflicts. They have offices all across the country to assist new arrivals in getting settled down, adjust to the new realities of life, and acquire a few skills to help them become self-sufficient.
The Christian Disaster Response (CDR): The CDR works hand in hand with other partners to provide general assistance to disaster survivors all over the world. By working with other bodies such as the Red Cross, NOVAD, the Church World Service Disaster Response and the Salvation Army, they help to provide the needed manpower as volunteers for national disasters. They also provide feeding facilities and other relief supplies to victims of war all over the world.
Children’s Disaster Services (CDS): This organization’s forte is mainly in helping to provide childcare to children whose parents were killed in conflicts or are homeless. By providing them with care, shelter, education and other necessary supplies, the CDS works to meet the special needs of children, making sure to train them to become better people.
You would never want to be in a disaster situation. The experience is a horrific one. You can ask people recently hit by the Hurricane Matthew currently ravaging parts of the USA after killing no less than 900 people in Haiti. What can you do to help these organizations? Give both financial and material donations to them so that they can continue their good work. You could also join some of them as volunteers. An extra pair of hands would go a long way. Touch someone today!
Photo Credit: Plan International