The ESA Humanitarian Relief Fund (HRF) aims to help people in distress by raising charitable donations for relief projects in developing countries. Your participation is much needed, particularly now that national relief aid is under pressure due to the current worldwide financial crisis.


What we do

The ESA Humanitarian Relief Fund was previously known as the Natural Disaster Fund. In 2009 the name and objectives of the fund were amended to allow us to support a broader scope of relief projects, such as HIV/AIDS prevention, educational programmes or housing projects, while maintaining the initial objective of providing immediate and direct funds to victims of natural disasters. The ESA Humanitarian Relief Fund is not part of the corporate organisation but is an initiative taken by ESA employees. The fund was founded in 1979 and is affiliated with the Social, Sport and Cultural Committee (SSCC) in ESTEC.

Benefits

One of the great benefits of participating to this ESA-wide initiative is that your contribution will not be anonymously left on the big pile of the larger charitable organisations. The ESA HRF has a committee of about ten ESA employees who have built long lasting relationships with small-scale local projects. The committee critically reviews and also follows up on donations to reputable, well-established relief organisations.

Sustainability and autonomy

We ensure that support to projects is sustainable and that autonomy of the affected groups is strongly encouraged. For instance, funds providing for medical equipment were committed last year to a small field hospital in Uganda, only once a maintenance contract and the associated budget was planned for.

Review and follow-up

Donations to larger organisations are made if a specific project can be associated with available funds. In this way, it is possible for the organisation to report back to the committee and explain how the money was used. Such reports are published in our newsletters to explain how contributors' donations were spent. Some of the well-known organisations that have received donations can be found in our Humanitarian Organisations list (see left navigation bar).


Photo of the clinic built in Guatemala with 7000€ participation from the HRF.

This is one of the examples showing where the HRF donations go. In Guatemala we have participated in several projects under the supervision of a retired ESA staff.