Rebuilding Community International provides disaster-stricken communities with volunteer building professionals to help restore structures, build capacity, and create an improving quality of life. RCI’s holistic sustainable-redevelopment program integrates the best practices of disaster relief, including: collaboration to ensure efficient, appropriate solutions that produce economic growth, ecological balance, and social progress; cash-for-work and training programs that accelerate recovery and give hope to those who’ve lost livelihoods; sustainable planning and infrastructure development that safeguards natural resources; cost-effective mitigation that creates disaster resilience; green building to restore and protect the environment; new sustainable-business facilities to diversify and strengthen local economies and foster self-reliance; service-learning projects to help college students develop social responsibility and leadership skills; and accountability and transparency to enhance our effectiveness at translating good intentions into good results.
Given the considerable criticism of conventional disaster relief and the enormity of destruction in South Asia, UN Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery Bill Clinton has appealed to relief agencies to innovate and “build back better.” Rebuilding Community International’s pioneering approach could be the model for the future that the international community envisions.
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