KIRF - Disaster Relief & Sustanable Support through Education
Kirwin International Relief Foundation  
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WHAT WE DO
Disaster Relief
Sustainable Dev.
Education
Conservation

Over 90% of every dollar donated goes to those in need

Over 90% of each donation made to Kirwin International Relief Foundation goes directly to those in need.
 
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The Kirwin International Relief Foundation is a humanitarian organization dedicated to helping others help themselves in a respectful and environmentally sustainable manner.
DISASTER RELIEF

Whenever we can, we raise funds and pay for our own travel to disaster areas to help people who have been victimized by a natural or man-made disaster.

Most recently, KIRF sent a team of volunteers to Kathmandu, Nepal to assess earthquake needs and deliver needed supplies. Through the invaluable assistance of the local Rotary Club of Kathmandu, we were able to travel to communities not getting adequate help, interview residents there to assess their needs, and purchase and deliver what they needed quickly and efficiently with volunteer help. Our volunteers saw that the Nepalese busy re-building their homes by re-using bricks and materials as much as they could, but what they needed the most were sheets of corrugated aluminum to fashion roofs that can withstand the summer monsoon rains and later winter weather. They were very grateful for the donated tents and food and medical care from the international community of volunteers and humanitarians, but to survive the summer rains in their rural mountain towns and farms, what they desperately needed was new roofs for longterm recovery.

Before the Nepalese earthquake relief project, we provided disaster relief to local coastal communities directly hit by the "Super Typhoon" Haiyan on the island of Panay in the Philippines. Were able to do this with donor support in the Philippine American community and via an informal aid network of volunteers from the Central Philippine University. Again, and again, we have found that in disaster zones, it is the local residents who know best which communities need help the most. They also know how to get the needed supplies purchased (at low prices) and delivered quickly to those who need them. We make every dollar count! This is because as a small donor-supported volunteer organization we have too.

In 2010 we assisted with the first phase relief effort in Haiti after the devastaing earthquake in January of that year. In 2008 we assisted Typhoon Nargis survivors in Burma through an informal aid network of Buddist monestaries. We assisted with earthquake relief near Pisco, Peru in 2007. We sent a volunteer team to Mississippi to assist homeless survivors of Hurricane Katrina get needed living supplies and connections to local care networks in Fall 2005. Our volunteer and locally-connected disaster relief began in 2004. In December of that year, we were with our children on a family vacation on the coast of Thailand and narrowly missed the tsunami. Our first experience doing on-the-ground disaster relief with local people began then through the guidance of a local hospital administrator and off-duty police officers volunteering to help, in the port city of Ranong in southern Thailand. We have returned to Thailand many times and since 2004, we have helped local tsunami survivors regain their livelihoods by purchasing them fishing boats, re-building a fish farm, delivering medical supplies and culturally appropriate educational supplies and starting a scholarship fund for children who were orphaned by the tsunami's destruction.

In May 2005 we purchased and delivered new boats and fishing supplies to a coastal village a population of Moken (nationless sea gypsies of the Andaman Sea) who were stranded on one of the many small islands in the Andaman Sea with no food and water. We supplied them with everything from food staples, water, rain cachement barrels, mosquito nets, sarongs, cooking supplies and a fishing boat. through the assistance of a local Thai church based in Ranong. By 2006, we have also been able to set up an educational fund for 54 orphaned children who had lost one or both of their parents to the deadly tsunami. We did this through the locally and international respected non-profit Population & Community Development Association (PDA) of Thailand.

KIRF has assisted families with needed living supplies along the Gulf Coast of Mississippi after Hurricance Katrina in the fall of 2005. Angela Kirwin, Co-Founder, worked with a local school district and local volunteer humanitarians to help identify families and children in need and deliver relief.

At the beginning of 2006, Mark Kirwin, Director of KIRF travelled to India to help out with drought relief in the northern state of Bihar. With the assistance of local Indian humanitarians, KIRF was able to install seven new wells that continue to provide safe drinking water in rural villages after years of drought and a falling aquifer. In addition to the drought relief, KIRF has invested in micro-loan projects, has purchased school supplies such as curriculum text books and sports equipment as well as vocational training supplies such as sewing machines, textiles and sewing instruction.

KIRF assisted with drought relief in northern Tanzania with the assitance of local Roots & Shoots Youth Groups, a program of the Jane Goodall Insitute, during the summer of 2006.

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SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Whenver possible (for example, when we have sufficient funds and a favorable exchange rate) KIRF incorporates sustainable development in disaster relief once immediate survival needs are met. In Thailand we purchased fishing boats and supplies for fisherman who had lost their source of livelihood when the tsunami destroyed their boats. Also, in Thailand we funded the building of a fish farm and ecological preserve guesthouse that now supports a co-operative of about 32 families.

In Peru, KIRF purchased and delivered school supplies to the Andean Village Huantan as well as textiles and food staples and toiletries needed by a battered women's shelter and sewing cooperative in Lima.

Sustainable development is very important in areas of chronic poverty and we strive to help people have a healthier and happier future by investing in captial good for small businesses and offering free literacy education at the local community supported Shekhwara Village School. We also have funded a micro-loan co-operative for woman in nearby rural villages through a local micro-loan program and have drilled (and continue to maintain) seven wells in this region suffering from drought.

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EDUCATION

Kirwin International Relief Foundation is dedicated to education for the people in need to build capasity and aleviate suffering caused by chronic poverty. KIRF works with donors and local humanitarians to support the Shekhwara Village School. The school provides an Indian national-standards based primary school education (including textbooks, sports equipment, and school uniforms) that is without violence and is free for local lowest caste rural village children who can't afford school fees or transportation. Each year we ensure that in addition to school supplies, a nutritious lunches are provided for the children because a child can't learn if she or he is weak with hunger. We also support the on-campus KIRF Sewing Centre with sewing machines, textiles and quality instruction for local young women. KIRF helps support the maintenance of the wells which provide the school's safe drinking water.
KIRF has begun a university scholarship program in Thailand that aids tsunami orphans in Ranong Province. The program is administered by the Population & Community Development Association (PDA).

In Mississippi, USA, KIRF helped school children and their families who had lost their homes to Hurricane Katrina. We worked with school teachers and administrators in the Picayune School District in southern Mississippi to identify needs and to deliver living supplies and educational supplies and sports equipement directly to families who were living outside, in trailers or in an empty rental when we found them.

In Peru, KIRF assisted homeless survivors of the devastating August earthquake disaster near Pisco with living supplies. We also ended up supplying a Kindergarten through High School, village school with culturally and academically appropriate textbooks and other school supplies in the remote Andean village of Huantan.


In Cambodia, Mark Kirwin, KIRF's Director, purchased building materials, doors and desks for an orphanage called the Lighthouse outside of Phenm Phen.

KIRF purchased and delivered supplies for a rain cachement system for an elementary school serving rural Maasai that had a dry well and no water for its students nor staff in a village near Arusha, Tanzania in the summer of 2006.

Beginning in 2008, KIRF has been supporting with school supplies an IDP ("Internally Displaced People") educational center in southern Burma near the Thail border.

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CONSERVATION

We won't have a society if we destroy the environment.

– Margaret Mead
Conservation and environmental preservation are core values of the Kirwin International Relief Foundation. KIRF founder Mark Kirwin has been attending the UN Climate Change Talks since 2009 including COP15 in Copenhagen. We work directly with conservation groups such as Roots & Shoots (a youth service program of the Jane Goodall Institute) and also initiate our own conservation programs and sustainable practices whenever possible during our disaster relief efforts. One of our goals is to help allieviate suffering of living beings – not just human beings. Helping the disadvantaged or survivors of a natural disaster benefit by protecting their natural resources and non-human creatures is part of our "KIRF work".

KIRF assisted with drought relief in northern Tanzania with the assitance of local Roots & Shoots Youth Groups, a program of the Jane Goodall Insitute, during the summer of 2006. KIRF supported the local Arusha office of Roots & Shoots with two donated used laptops in working order and participated in a tree seedling planting re-forestation project to prevent further soil erosion.
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  We have a choice to use the gift of our lives to make the world a better place.

– Dr. Jane Goodall

    KIRF IS EFFICIENT
  • 100% volunteer
  • Grass roots: we deliver relief ourselves
  • We partner with locals
  • Volunteers pay their own travel to afflicted areas
  • We help people help themselves
  • Humanitarian aid and disaster relief
  • Local beliefs are respected
  • Sustainability and environmentalism are core values
  • For kindness and compassion