Jolkona donors are supporting Peace Winds America for our holiday campaign, Standing with the Philippines. As part of our Partner Spotlight series, we asked PWA representatives some questions about their organization and their goals:
What’s your mission and why? What inspires your organization?
Our mission is to reduce the impact of natural disasters in the Asia-Pacific through effective, collaborative disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. Peace Winds America aims to promote durable partnerships and to focus on the areas of greatest need. Among the many inspirations driving our organization is the collective response to the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. In that disaster, organizations from every facet of society banded together to render assistance. We saw the potential for a truly “whole of society” response that integrates government assistance agencies, military units, local and international NGOs, multilateral organizations, and private businesses. Following that model PWA promotes training and interaction that strengthens these bonds.
What can you tell us about your project to help Typhoon Haiyan survivors in the Philippines?
PWA has been working with the Manila-based Citizens’ Disaster Response Center (CDRC) since the middle of 2012. We responded together to Typhoons Saola and Bopha and PWA staff assisted in country with relief efforts. In this current relief mission, PWA is funding CDRC efforts in Busuanga Island, which is in the Palawan region of western Philippines. Our relief will target 1,000 families and bring them essential food and non-food items including hygiene and bedding supplies. We are actively monitoring the relief efforts and have already begun discussions with our partner on how to fund recovery. We know the most heavily affected individuals were fishermen and rice farmers, and we’ll be exploring ways to aid their short and long-term recovery.
What’s the impact of every $30 raised by Jolkona’s donors?
We’ve calculated that $30 will provide a sleeping mat, utensils, and food for roughly one week to an affected family.
In a nutshell, why should a donor support your project?
PWA’s relief program quickly gets donated funds to our partner on the ground, with a minimum of delays, red tape, or overhead (generally equal to or under 10%). We are a small organization and can move quickly, speedily approving relief proposals and without any need to spend time looking for new partners on the ground. We have enjoyed success in this particular arrangement in past disasters and are highly confident in the impact of our work. In addition, donated funds always remain restricted — donors who give to the Philippines will not suddenly find their contribution being used in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, or anywhere else.
We love impact stories at Jolkona. Can you tell us about how your organization has changed someone’s life?
We’re presently awaiting reports from this current disaster, but I can give you an example from Japan. Our friend and partner Yachi Onodera owned several coffee shops in and around Kesennuma, Japan. Most were completely destroyed in the tsunami. PWA provided a grant for him to obtain a new coffee roaster, allowing him to restart his business. Today, his coffee shops are thriving and expanding.
Anything else you would like to add?
We look forward to remaining involved in the Philippines. Other relief organizations tend to pull out after the emergency phase, but PWA stays on.
Photo Credits: CDRC Support PWA, and donate to our holiday campaign, Standing with the Philippines. Your donation will make a huge impact, and will be a great way to celebrate the season of giving.
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