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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 Management with a focus on disasters.

Our founding members started IDV after working with several other organisations set up to challenge the notion that ordinary people can't be disaster response volunteers.

Their experiences as volunteers showed our founders that, with the guidance of knowledgeable leaders, 'ordinary' people can make an extraordinary difference in the lives of those affected by or vulnerable to disaster.

Our 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. Since June 2010 we've deployed hundreds of volunteers who have directly helped almost 23,000 disaster survivors.

We’re currently active in four locations in three countries.

  • In Nepal we are responding to the 2015 earthquakes.
  • In Tacloban we are continuing to support recovery from typhoon Haiyan.
  • In Manila we are helping to protect families from frequent disasters.
  • In Haiti we are supporting long-term earthquake recovery