Just a Drop, the global travel industry charity that helps provide clean water for children and their families where ever it is needed have made several significant contributions towards the initial needs of the tsunami victims.
ÊThe charity has so far raised £227,055 ($408,699) towards its disaster fund.
But, as Fiona Jeffery, founder and chairman of the Board of Trustees points out, the main concern is planning for the longer term - continuing to raise money and identify water-related projects in the worst effected regions, where the charity can make a real difference.
“It is critical that all those within the industry who donate money to our Disaster Fund can see where their money has gone.
“Just a Drop is an established and fully recognised charity and will monitor projects from start to finish to ensure that the money is spent wisely and efficiently.
“There are many communities in Asia where their whole sanitation system has been wiped out and they have no clean water for drinking, cooking or washing.
“Children under the age of five are at the most risk. Their immune systems are not fully developed which means they are more susceptible to water-borne diseases such as diarrhoea, dysentery and cholera.
“Even without this terrible disaster, a child dies every 15 seconds from dirty and polluted water somewhere in the world.”
Ms. Jeffery said that Just a Drop recognises the importance of transparency and responsibility.
She added: “Giving a donation or agreeing to hold a fund raising event for the Just a Drop Disaster Appeal means you are assured we will keep the industry informed about the projects we are working on as well as give up to date reports about how the work is going.”
Col. John Blashford-Snell OBE, the international explorer, founder of the worldwide youth movement Operation Raleigh and president of Just a Drop is responsible for identifying the projects in the disaster area in association with partners.
In an immediate response after the disaster, Just a Drop, working in association with many partners, has already:
Brokered an agreement for international philanthropist Eric Hotung, based in Hong Kong, to donate $200,000 to charter a DC8 freight plane, which leftÊ the UK for Sri Lanka on 18 January, laden with 50 tons of medical supplies, vehicles, tents and water purification equipment.
In conjunction with Just a Drop’s preferred water supplier in the Middle East, Santé organised an immediate shipment of 30,000 bottles of water, sponsored by the Emirates Bank in Dubai UAE for distribution in Sri Lanka and Indonesia by the UAE Red Crescent Society; a further shipment is due to leave shortly.
Launched an appeal with Travel Weekly UK encouraging travel agents to collect spare foreign currency change in their shops. Nine agents so far have signed up including: Thompson in Dorchester, Ulverston Travel, TQ3 Travel Solutions COOP Travel, Just Go, Midlands Co-op Travel and First Choice Travel in Plymouth
Raised £20,000 at the Travel Weekly UK’s Globe Awards.
Raised a further £7,500 from corporate donations from Southall Travel, Holiday Express and Hoseasons.
“There is no doubt that the heart rendering pictures on our television screens has affected the industry, even if they are not directly involved, “said Ms. Jeffery. “But it could take years to rebuild people’s homes, lives and infrastructure. It is vital that the work of Just a Drop continues for as long as necessary in the disaster area.
“More fund raising ideas and donations for the disaster fund are coming in every day and we would ask the industry to personally and corporately give as much as they are able. All assistance will be gratefully acknowledged and recognised in our own promotional material.
Log on to www.justadrop.org
for further details on the Just a Drop Disaster Fund. The website explains how to make a one-off donation, a monthly donation for six months, a year, or for ever or how to go about organizing a fund raising event.