Off-Grid Aid is facilitated by a group of deeply driven, holistic thinkers, ready to serve for the greater good. We implement a wide range aid programs, focusing on providing proactive and sustainable aid, rather than aid which is short-lived and temporary. Instead of “handing out” fish to feed for a day, we strive to teach man to fish and feed for a lifetime.
Off Grid Aid’s most significant project stands as the “Philippines Eco Housing Project”. Although Off-Grid Aid stemmed from this project, its roots have sprung from previous initiatives.
Prior to the creation of Off-Grid Aid, our volunteers were involved in a number of humanitarian relief projects. Examples include:
It was “$5 to Feed a Family”, and our direct involvement in the Philippines which led to the realisation of the enormity of the devastation caused by Typhoon Yolanda. In the small province of Capiz alone, 130,000 houses were damaged, 92,000 houses totally destroyed. In addition to losing shelter, these people lost access to critical services such as food, water, sewage and energy facilities. We saw the widespread fracturing impact of the Typhoon that devastated individuals, families and communities.
We felt there must be a way to provide more sustainable solutions to help those affected by the devastation. We saw how Filipinos were ready to help themselves. They had the ingenuity and drive, but lacked the capacity and funds required to re-build shelters which stood up to the test of time. We felt that there must be a way to empower the people to build shelter that can withstand up to 26 typhoons per year, a structure that is cost-effective to build, and ecologically friendly to the environment.
Off-Grid Aid started to explore effective solutions that could fit the Philippines setting. We studied a multitude of solutions. Not one seemed to cover all the bases. Having heard about Cal Earth’s Superadobe earth bag technology, Adrian Paech put forward this technique for further research. Potentially earth bag building could empower Filipinos to build cost-effective, typhoon resistant housing using local materials. Although earth bag building is labour intensive, unemployment rates are comparatively high and labour is plentiful in the area. What a perfect opportunity to implement a communal building approach which fosters the bayanihan (community) spirit. With earth-bag technology we could bring together those who struggle, enabling them to share their individual skills and strengths. Together they can create the capacity required to help themselves and their community.
Adrian Paech attended a Cal-Earth workshop in Melbourne Australia, where he met many of those who are key volunteers of Off-Grid Aid today. We came together to create a united team of independent thinkers, sharing common hopes and dreams. All of us realised that temporary handouts and reactive aid was not going to solve the massive housing problem faced by millions of Filipinos today. Handouts are great for temporary relief, however such aid can lack long-term benefit, resulting in many feeling helpless and frustrated. There was a definite need for sustainable housing, built by the people for the people. It was from this need that the “Philippines Eco Housing Project” was born. Read More About This Project…
As word got out, this common vision sparked interest from Filipinos and volunteers world wide. Our efforts continue to grow into something much larger than initially imagined. In order to expand the far-reaching potential of our service, we went forth to create our first not-for-profit charitable organisation…“Off-Grid Aid”.
Off-Grid Aid strives to create outcomes which truly serve the long-term needs of the people. We believe this is possible using a skills-sharing, education exchange approach. Here we foster acceptance, creating trust and forming friendships with those we hope to assist. We believe in training and education which leverages the COD-model. This model was originally coined by François Grin in 2003…
Off-Grid Aid is about empowering those in need by facilitating their “Desire”, and providing the “Opportunity” and “Capacity” to sustainably help themselves and each other.
Research has shown that all three components of the COD equation must be fulfilled to stimulate enough drive in the people to stand up, help themselves and take ownership of their situation.
As we continue to assist communities worldwide we shall leverage the COD-Model in order to…