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Foundation for Development Action

Foundation for Development Action is an NGO based in Kerala that works across all fourteen districts in Kerala. FDA's focus areas include Disaster Risk Reduction, Child Protection, Livelihood Security and Capacity Building. The organization is working with people living in most vulnerable locations by strengthening individual, community as well as institutional capacity in reducing disaster risks; helping children enjoy childhood thus enabling them to lead a dignified life and facilitate youths to engage in sustainable livelihoods for economic and social transformation.

Over the past few years the South Indian coastal state of Kerala has faced many natural disasters, upending the lives and livelihoods of thousands of people.

Foundation for Development Action (FDA) began with a focus on disaster risk reduction, school and child safety, rehabilitation of children who have experienced sexual abuse, and disaster response activities.

FDA conducts community awareness and sensitisation meetings and maps risk zones so that the more vulnerable communities are better prepared. After forming Search and Rescue, First Aid, and Shelter Management teams, training is provided to them.

FDA has developed a novel module to train first responders to aid people with disabilities, keeping their unique needs in mind. This training also extends to civil defence personnel, who play a major role in rescue operations during disasters.

One of the key components of the training is teaching the rescue workers sign language to be able to better aid those who are deaf or hearing-impaired.

Varghese Daniel has a speech impairment and uses sign language to communicate. During the 2018 floods, he had difficulty communicating with rescue workers because they did not understand sign language. The FDA training introduced him to many techniques for dealing with disasters. After being a part of the training, Varghese feels that he is able to communicate his needs better to others and also feels better equipped to help others.

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