Beginning in December 2010, Australians living in Queensland suffered the worst flooding the country has seen in 50 years. Pounding rains and swollen rivers submerged over 1,200 homes and damaged 11,000 more. At least 40 towns, with around 200,000 combined people, were affected and water covered an area nearly as large as all of Germany and France combined. Across the state of Queensland, 35 people were killed.
On January 11, 2011 as flooding throughout Queensland continued, Toowoomba, a mountain city with a population of 130,000 people, was submerged in a flash flood. In a matter of hours the water level rose 10 feet, sweeping away cars, homes, trees, and people. Ten people were killed.
As a result of the massive flooding many of Queensland’s industries shut down, including coal mining, cattle ranching and farming.
At the height of the Queensland floods, Give2Asia began identifying local needs and opportunities for response. Through the Give2Asia Australia Flood Response Fund, we raised $208,499.14 and funded three projects aimed at rebuilding Queensland’s industries and communities. Thank you to all the donors who contributed to the recovery of Australia’s second largest state.
The Salvation Army
The flood that descended on Queensland ravaged local farms by destroying crops, drowning livestock, and tearing apart fences and other infrastructure. Give2Asia has partnered with The Salvation Army to help restore agricultural livelihoods in rural regions of Queensland.
The first step to returning Queensland farmers to normal operations is to build fences. Without them, farmers cannot keep their livestock in, or predators out. Give2Asia and The Salvation Army are restarting agriculture in the area by mending fences with donated tools and materials.
Major disasters like the Queensland flooding are traumatic experiences for survivors, especially for children. Uniting Care has operated mental health programs for children in Queensland, called Peer Skills Workshops, since 2006. Following the disaster, Give2Asia helped expand Uniting Care to bring more mental health support to affected children.
Using a grant from Give2Asia, Uniting Care offered 60 peer skills workshops to children throughout Queensland to foster a supportive environment for youth. Uniting Care has also trained 100 workers in peer skills facilitation, to lead future workshops.
St. Vincent DePaul Society
St. Vincent de Paul (SVDP) was on the frontlines in providing assistance to flood victims who lost their homes, possessions and livelihoods. Based on their assessment, there were many survivors from low-income households that lost all their possessions. In addition, many insurance claims on homes were rejected because flood coverage was conditional.
SVDP used funds from Give2Asia to provide 25 families with essential household items that were lost in the flood. These household items included refrigerators, microwaves, kettles, mattresses and beds. Each family made a request to the local branch of the SVDP for the purchase of the household item. The families’ needs were assessed and reasonable purchases were made to replace necessities. SVDP has a thorough procedure in place to eliminate fraud, wastefulness, and to ensure that no purchases were extravagant or unnecessary.
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