GAiN (Global Aid Network) is a worldwide humanitarian relief and development organization dedicated to bringing hope and tangible help to the poor and the suffering. Our mission is to demonstrate the love of God, in word and deed, to hurting and needy people around the world through relief and development projects. GAiN is an independent non-profit organization. We help every person in need, regardless of race, religion, or nationality.
All GAiN offices and projects are financed through private donations or grants. From our humble beginnings we have grown to become a diverse, global network with offices in Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Spain, South Korea, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. Working in more than 50 countries worldwide and having established distribution networks throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas, our compassionate reach is truly global in scale.
Next to long-term development projects, the work of GAiN has always included aiding those affected by disasters and it has been a desire of the GAiN leadership to develop a concept that will allow GAiN to help even more effectively when disasters strike. After the massive tsunami in Southeast Asia in 2004, GAiN USA took the lead on behalf of the global GAiN Council in developing a first draft of an “Emergency Response Team.”
After the lessons learned from the response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010, where several GAiN offices joined hands in order to provide help to thousands of people, the initial concept of the “Emergency Response Team” was picked up and further advanced. A task force from GAiN Austria, Netherlands and Germany expanded the initial concept, making the training and involvement of volunteers a decisive part of the new “Disaster Assistance and Response Team” (DART). The aim of DART is to complement the regular work of GAiN by providing quick and flexible help in disaster areas through trained volunteers.
In 2012, the first training took place on the outskirts of Riga, Latvia. Combining theory with practical exercises and real humanitarian interventions, the participants learned about the concept of DART. The majority of the training participants qualified and became DART members.
The first mission took place in 2014. With the rise of the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the forced displacement of thousands of people, a DART team was deployed to the autonomous Kurdish Region of Iraq (KR-I) to aid those who had lost everything. The team was able to set up a working system of distributing relief goods, which was turned over and is now successfully used by our local partner.
The team spent 15 weeks in the field. A total of nine DART members from five countries were serving to aid the people of Iraq. Together, they spent over 5.000 hours working in the field, sorting and distributing relief goods, spending time with the IDP’s (Internally Displaced People), listening to their stories and bringing comfort and peace in their time of desperate need. As many thousands are still displaced within the Kurdish region, the cooperation with the local partner is now continuing on a long-term basis.
DART continues to grow, as more people are added to the database as a result of ongoing trainings for volunteers, as well as now having four part-time DART staff. We are thankful that we can be part of bringing hope to those who have lost so much!
Though working together on many different projects such as sponsorships or well drilling, each GAiN office has a variety of projects with unique foci. To find out more about the work of each individual office, you can visit them online.