7th March 2019
The Aquabox Trustees are very grateful for the knitted goods our hardworking supporters have kindly donated over the years. These woollies have been included as a part of our humanitarian aid packages that have been despatched to countries across the world in the aftermath of man-made and natural disasters. However, feedback from our partners and other organisations ‘on the ground’ indicates that we now need to re-consider what goes into our aid boxes.
Ensuring that humanitarian aid gets to those who have the greatest need is a complex process. We work very closely with our delivery partners, and listen to what they tell us. Over the past year we have responded to disasters in India, Philippines, Indonesia, Cameroon and Yemen, and the main need has been for water filters, to keep people alive, and to reduce the spread of waterborne diseases.
We are also increasingly being advised by governments in disaster-hit countries that they only wish to receive humanitarian aid that cannot be produced and supplied from within their own country. The concern is that by sending goods which could be produced locally, and by distributing them free of charge, we may unintentionally be competing with local producers, and thus potentially harming local employment prospects.
Although there are still times when we are asked to send the full humanitarian aid package, it is increasingly clear that we need to focus on our core activity: ensuring people in disaster zones have access to safe drinking water.
AS A RESULT, OUR REQUIREMENT FOR KNITTED GOODS HAS REDUCED SIGNIFICANTLY.
We truly value our volunteers and supporters. It has been a tough decision to send out the word that Aquabox requires no more knitted items. However, as a charity whose primary mission is to provide safe drinking water to those most in need, we feel that we must listen and respond to the requests from our partners and those who receive our aid, and ensure that the goods we send following a disaster meet their needs.
We are conscious that stocks of knitted goods may be held by our supporters. The following groups are some potential outlets for these:
- Buddy Bag Foundation (www.buddybagfoundation.co.uk)
- Knit for Life (www.knitforlife.co.uk)
- Knit Aid (www.knitaid.org)
- Blankets for the Homeless (contact via their Facebook page)
- Mercy Ships (www.mercyships.org)
We very much hope that you can appreciate our position and hope that we can continue to count on your support, in the future. On behalf of Aquabox and all the people worldwide who we help, thank you for your continued support.
Aquabox Trustees, March 2019