How to get involved
Formerly known as ShelterBox Canada, the charity has been renamed Disaster Aid Canada and retains exactly the same Board of Directors and management team. It is now on an exciting path providing aid to disaster victims on a global basis. International partners from Australia and the USA have joined with us to form Disaster Aid International and already there are several international DARTs.
DAC will be providing its own especially developed form of humanitarian aid packages that will comply with international humanitarian SPHERE standards. Additional modules with water purification sufficient for whole villages, first aid stations and school rooms will be available.
DAC highly values the DARTs and places great importance on their selection and training. Without them of course, we cannot effectively deliver vital aid to disaster victims on behalf of our donors.
Becoming a DART requires a significant personal commitment. DARTs are not paid and must be prepared to give of their time not only on deployments, but also be actively involved in fundraising and give presentations about their experiences to various groups as required. The fundraising is one of the key components of being a DART as you will be able to share your stories first hand with our donors and support groups.
You will also be required to purchase some of your own gear because each DART usually personalises their own to suit their requirements. Some gear will be provided by DAC.
Other expenses include vaccinations which will be required as determined by your physician. A list of recommended vaccinations will be provided after pre-selection. Door to door deployment expenses are paid by DAC.
You will be required to submit a comprehensive medical statement from your doctor before your application can proceed. DARTs need to have a reasonably high level of physical fitness to cope with often very difficult environmental conditions such as extremes of heat and cold and high altitudes and be able to live and work in remote areas and primitive conditions, often with poor sanitary, hygiene and medical facilities. There are risks of disease, accidents, injury, and even death.
You should therefore consider very carefully before you apply and discuss your intention in becoming a DART with your family. However you can be assured that the training we provide is focussed very heavily on safety and you will not be required to operate in situations you feel are dangerous. We intend engaging professionals who consult on security issues for NGOs on a world basis in the training. Nonetheless risks of accidents, injury and conflict dangers exist.
Because DAC prides itself on a rapid response to disasters, you may also wish to discuss with your employer the ability to be released at short notice – often with only 1 – 2 days notice. We recognise family and work obligations and you are under no obligation to accept a deployment. However considerable time and effort will be expended on your selection and training and we would expect every effort to be deployable at least once a year for a period of up to two weeks.
If your initial application is successful, you will be required to attend a 3 day, Phase 1, pre selection course at your own expense.
If you are successful in Phase 1, you will be invited to undergo our Phase 2, comprehensive training course, again at your own expense.
If you have any questions concerning becoming a DART, the application process or the selection process, please direct these to Don Ohlgren, Executive Director of Disaster Aid Canada, or phone me directly at 1 800 677 0990.