Student Volunteer Army

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What is ‘Youth Engagement’?

What is ‘Youth Engagement’?

Wednesday, 16 October 2013 11:11 a.m. by TheConcert

 

What the year may bring

What the year may bring

Thursday, 4 April 2013 4:49 p.m. by TheConcert

And after another 2 months that have screamed past in what felt a matter of minutes, the team is growing and flourishing. In one month from yesterday, the countdown for the pre-pledge will be up, and The Concert 2012 season will officially end. Fortunately, the systems will continue.

2013

2013

Friday, 8 February 2013 5:43 p.m. by TheConcert

With things finally starting to settle down for 2013, We thought it was about time to updated you all on what the Volunteer Army Foundation is going to be up to in 2013!

Win

Win

Monday, 3 December 2012 10:52 a.m. by TheConcert

So it’s our second to last day in NYC and it is looking like things have finally fallen into place.

What does cooperation look like?

What does cooperation look like?

Saturday, 1 December 2012 6:23 a.m. by TheConcert

When various goals, plans, and actions align, cooperation is likely. At last, cooperation looks likely.

Points on maps, and points about each map

Points on maps, and points about each map

Tuesday, 27 November 2012 1:26 p.m. by TheConcert

It’s an interesting thing, discussing regions and sizes in a place you find wholly unfamiliar. The last few days our efforts and discussions have centred largely around mapping, accessibility of information, and the delicate balance between detail and ease of understanding.

Times Square!

Times Square!

Monday, 26 November 2012 5:53 p.m. by TheConcert

It’s Sunday night here in NY so we thought we’d head to a near by bar to watch some Sunday Night Football (Green Bay Packers vs New York Giants for those interested, Giants smashed them 38-10). Went for a quick walk into Times Square and took this panorama – look closely to see what takes up one of the main billboards…

A snapshot of what we’ve been doing

A snapshot of what we’ve been doing

Sunday, 25 November 2012 10:15 a.m. by TheConcert

I just realised none of our updates have properly explained what we’re spending our days doing over here. As we’ve mentioned, one of the barriers to an efficient clean up following the hurricane has been a lack of communication and coordination between the countless organisations which are volunteering to help with the clean up. This was noticed a couple of weeks ago and we were asked to come over here in the hope that we can find a solution… I

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, 23 November 2012 12:26 p.m. by TheConcert

Yep, it’s that holiday that we all hear about in NZ but never really understand. To be honest I still don’t really understand it but I can tell you one thing, the food is epic! Turkey left right and centre, pies (of the dessert kind, not steak & cheese) galore, and people who are thankful for what they have (no matter how little it is, especially in current circumstances). A pretty cool occasion on all accounts.

How technology makes disaster response fast (this one is shorter – Day 5)

How technology makes disaster response fast (this one is shorter – Day 5)

Wednesday, 21 November 2012 11:39 a.m. by TheConcert

The thing about disasters is that people want to help. In a city of 25 million people (or thereabouts), that’s a lot of help. Some of this help is from people who own businesses – big ones.

About Student Volunteer Army

Welcome to the Student Volunteer Army. Here you can check out everything about volunteering in Christchurch, sign up to be volunteer or propose a project for our volunteers.

You don't have to be a student to volunteer, we welcome all.

On September 4th 2010 Christchurch was struck with a 7.1 magnitude earthquake. The Student Volunteer Army was created via a Facebook page and served as a platform where people could find the necessary information about how to volunteer. Over the next two weeks we provided safe and organised volunteer placement, transport, food and support for over 2500 students. We focused on low risk areas during the immediate response period and as a result the SVA cleared over 65,000 tonnes of liquefaction.

Far greater damage was sustained on the 22nd of February where the 6.3 earthquake took place. Many lives were lost, homes and businesses destroyed and the thousands in our communities continued to face emotional hardships. In overcoming the challenges after the first earthquake, we became more efficient and effective. As an example we used everyday technology to improve communication to successfully dispatch thousands of volunteers within a three week period.

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While the central task was the mass-deployment of volunteers to shovel liquefaction from properties, a strong focus was put on the wellbeing of residents; showing a presence in the streets offering hot meals, clean water and guidance to professional assistance. The SVA also supplied and managed operations for various organizations including multiple government departments, Civil Defence, and city council. Our objective was to increase the efficiency in specific services, for example delivering chemical toilets and information pamphlets, laying sandbags, staffing data entry and manning call centres.

One of the greatest challenges we faced after both earthquakes was to locate the areas where volunteers were most needed. With the help of Geoop.com, we designed a mobile management system whereby residents could register their need for assistance via a free call number, text message service or website. Each job was examined and prioritised by our call centre. In delegating team leaders to guide small crews to these sites the SVA cleared over 360,000 tonnes of liquefaction in over 75,000 volunteer working hours. The Facebook page had over 26,000 followers after March 2011 and continued to act as a platform to organise and coordinate volunteers and non-skilled labourers in Christchurch communities throughout 2011.

This year, the Student Volunteer Army is establishing itself as an organisation to assist with volunteering in Christchurch. It is an incorporated society registered with the charities commission, and is governed by an elected committee. It is an affiliated club to the University of Canterbury Students Association, though it is not exclusively for UC students.

The Founders of the Earthquake clean up also established the Volunteer Army Foundation Trust. This trust is the support vehicle of the SVA and provides continuity to the club. The Trust will be working in collaboration with other groups, and seeking to further the development of Volunteering in New Zealand, and youth involvement in natural disasters. 

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