Over the past week, Team Rubicon UK and Serve On volunteers based in Tortola, British Virgin Islands (BVI) have been working closely with the Rotary Family of BVI to assist with the arrival, coordination, delivery and distribution of aid to affected communities.
This aid has come from a variety of sources, from other Rotary Clubs around the globe to private groups such as the Puerto Rican Navy and Banco Popular, as well as ShelterBox, who donated 44 boxes for BVI. Flights have also been donated by Ameriflight, with thanks to Kyle Rannachan for orchestrating this.
The Rotary Family of BVI has been instrumental in coordinating the delivery of these donations, including arranging their shipment and flights to Tortola and setting up a central distribution centre where the donations are carefully processed, logged, and monitored.
Team Rubicon UK was pleased to be able to assist with facilitating the arrival and landing of these flights, including two out-of-hours landings at Beef Island, which ensured the aid made it to the Rotary distribution centre in time for distribution before Hurricane Maria hit.
The Rotary Family of BVI, Team Rubicon UK, Serve On, and the British military all worked together to unload the aid from these flights, and Team Rubicon UK was able to assist with organising storage and onwards transport to the distribution centre, where Serve On members also helped to unload over 10 tonnes of donations for sorting.
The coordination and detailed logging of the aid by the Rotary Family, led by Joseph Ryan, is extremely important as it allows the movement, uptake and use of the aid to be monitored and analysed. For example, it is important to know how the needs of different communities vary depending on the numbers of vulnerable, elderly or children, and the system currently being run by Joseph and his team allows this to be done with a high level of accuracy. This means future demand can be predicted and further aid can be distributed more efficiently going forwards.
More recently, Team Rubicon UK and Serve On have also been working with the Rotary Family of BVI to secure two major shelters, run by the Rotary Family, to house many residents whose homes have been lost during Irma. Team Rubicon was able to source materials and labour to help the local community with rebuilding the damaged roof of the main shelter, which was completed this morning. The teams were working through the wind and rain to finish securing these shelters to make them ready again, this time for Maria.
Team Rubicon UK is incredibly grateful for the donations from Rotary Clubs in the UK to support our relief effort.