What is ShelterBox all about?

Another great blog about our partnership with Rotary International …..

Service in Action

By Carla Sateriale, member of the Rotaract Clubs of Hampstead, Hendon and Golders Green in England and 2018-19 Communications Officer for Rotaract in Great Britain and Ireland  

ShelterBox delivers boxes of aid in disaster zones, right? That’s what I used to think. Since I got involved in Rotaract in 2014, I’ve heard various people sing the praises of ShelterBox, as it is a popular charity for clubs to fundraise for. However, it was not until I was invited to attend the “Understanding ShelterBox Operations” (USOps) course in 2019 that I really started to appreciate what a truly remarkable organisation ShelterBox is. It’s about supporting people with the tools they need to recover. And getting shelter can be the start of so much more – it can bring families back together, be a place to share meals and restart studies or work.

So, thus began my journey. On a mild…

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ShelterBox and Rotary celebrate the power of partnership

Emergency shelter charity ShelterBox is celebrating signing up for another 3 years as Rotary International’s Project Partner in Disaster Relief. For almost 20 years, this unique humanitarian alliance has supported families with a place to call home after disaster.

ShelterBox provides emergency shelters and other essential items to support families who have lost their homes in disaster. Rotary is a global network whose members take action to make a lasting difference in their communities – and worldwide.

Working with Rotary in the Philippines

What began as a local connection with one Cornish Rotary Club has led to an international movement that’s has responded to over 280 disasters in 95+ countries.

First adopted as a millennium project by the Rotary Club of Helston-Lizard in 2000, the support of Rotary members and clubs around the world saw ShelterBox become Rotary’s Project Partner in Disaster Relief in 2012. Since then, the partnership has helped transform ShelterBox into an internationally recognised disaster relief charity, supporting families with emergency shelter after disaster.

ShelterBox and Rotary in the Philippines

The partnership extends far beyond financial support. Around 1,000 Rotary members are involved in ShelterBox as volunteers, staff or response team members. And clubs worldwide offer valuable, practical assistance to help ShelterBox reach more families fleeing disaster or conflict.

This has recently included support for families in Malawi flooded from their homes by Cyclone Idai and communities in Lombok devastated by the 2018 earthquake and tsunami (quotes and details at the end of this release).

Caroline White, interim Chief Executive at ShelterBox, said: ‘Whenever disaster strikes, Rotary is beside us. From the earliest planning stages to final evaluations, Rotary members help ShelterBox make community contacts, organise logistics, and reach disaster-affected families in remote areas who might otherwise go without.

‘This partnership has helped ShelterBox become who we are today. Our global network of 17 ShelterBox affiliates, who raise funds and awareness worldwide, evolved from Rotary relationships.’

At the Rotary International Convention, Toronto 2017

Speaking about the partnership renewal, General Secretary of Rotary International John Hewko said:

ShelterBox has been Rotary’s Project Partner in Disaster Relief since 2012, and we are excited to renew the partnership for another three years.

Through this project partnership, Rotary members around the globe can collaborate with ShelterBox to support communities in desperate need of emergency temporary shelter and vital supplies following natural disasters. Additionally, Rotary and ShelterBox will continue to expand cooperation efforts through preparedness training and stockpiles of prepositioned aide in disaster-prone regions.’

Rotary club presidents around the world have also commented:

Ace Robin, President of the Mataram Rotary Club, Indonesia, was caught up in the deadly earthquakes that hit Lombok in 2018. Her home survived, but many around her were destroyed. Through an agreement with the government-led response, Ace’s club was central to bringing ShelterBox aid to Indonesia.

Thanks to their support, vulnerable members of the community received vital emergency shelter, including families with elderly relatives, pregnant women or new mothers.

Ace said: ‘Working with ShelterBox taught us a lot – they showed us how to build shelter and select families to help. It also gave us a chance to show what Rotary is to local people.’

Lombok 2018

After floods triggered by Cyclone Idai left tens of thousands homeless in Malawi this March, Rotary members connected ShelterBox with communities in the Blantyre region, helping them understand local needs and culture. Members helped deliver emergency shelter to almost 2,000 families. And ShelterBox supported the Rotary Club of Limbe to join the wider disaster response, enabling the club to deliver food to communities whose entire crops had been destroyed by the floods.

Rotary Club of Limbe President Eric Chinkanda said: ‘It was a great experience to work with ShelterBox. We have not only walked a mile in reaching out to the many Malawians who faced hardship, but we restored confidence in the displaced people that all was not lost!

ShelterBoxes collected by beneficiaries. The delivery lorry can be seen in the back ground.

James Kingston, Club President of the Rotary Club of Helston-Lizard, in Cornwall, said: ‘The members of Helston-Lizard Rotary are delighted that Rotary International continues to recognise ShelterBox.

I joined the club a few months before the Millennium Project began, and I’m so pleased we’re still involved. It has been wonderful to see the charity grow into an internationally recognised, professional disaster relief organisation.’

Last year ShelterBox Australia received support from 279 Rotary Clubs throughout Australia

Rotary and ShelterBox inspire young volunteers to take action

Here’s another great blog about Rotary and ShelterBox working together, featuring our very own Katelyn Winkworth ………

Service in Action

By James Bolton, Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland in collaboration with ShelterBox

Organizations such as Rotary and our project partners ShelterBox may have an adult profile, but the momentum is growing among a younger generation to create the next big humanitarian wave. ShelterBox had its origins in the Rotary movement 18 years ago, and now is Rotary’s project partner in disaster relief. Rotary members leave a lasting legacy on the lives of young people, with a number of programs and activities to support them in unlocking their potential. ShelterBox also provides young professionals an opportunity to make a lasting impact on communities.

‘Do it! I would encourage any young person to look further into this.’ That is the rallying cry from Katelyn Winkworth, a young Australian who trained as a ShelterBox Response Team Volunteer to help families caught up in war or natural disaster.

Katelyn shares her experience training to…

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Inspiring Women of Action

Great story here about ShelterBox and Rotary working in partnership ……..

Service in Action

By ShelterBox

Local Rotarians in countries affected by disasters often contribute vital support to ShelterBox responses, providing valuable points of contact for Response Teams through first-hand knowledge, introductions, logistical assistance, and vital links into communities.

Throughout August 2018, a series of earthquakes struck the Island of Lombok in Indonesia killing more than 460 people and displacing around 400,000. Rotarian Ace Robin, the current president of The Rotary Club of Mataram in Lombok discussed how her club could help affected families. Through pre-existing contacts in Indonesia, ShelterBox was put in touch with Ace.

Ace’s house was largely undamaged, but many of her friends’ and neighbors’ homes were destroyed. Ace and the Club of Mataram were instrumental in helping bring ShelterBoxes from Jakarta, liaising with heads of local communities to identify the most affected regions and distributing aid to families. Ace reflected that ”working with the ShelterBox Response Team taught us a…

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A new Chair at ShelterBox Trust

The trustees of disaster relief charity ShelterBox have appointed James Sinclair Taylor as their new Chair.

James Sinclair Taylor

Formerly Vice Chair, James succeeded Dr Rob John OBE in December, having served on the trustee board since mid-2014.

Charity law specialist James is a partner at Russell-Cooke Solicitors LLP, where he heads the firm’s charity and social business team. He is responsible for developing the work of the team and supporting a variety of charities, their boards and chief executives.

Among many roles advising the third sector, James works as a consultant on governance mergers and other issues, and is the Chair of a housing association, trustee at several charities, and the Protector of the innovation fund Nesta.

Speaking on his appointment, James said: ‘I was first drawn to support ShelterBox because it has a strikingly clear and effective vision – a world where no family is without shelter.

‘During a visit to Ecuador after the 2016 earthquake, I saw the evolving ShelterBox operations model in action. The earthquake had left many people in a state of profound shock and anxiety about the safety of their homes. I met two women who’d been sleeping on the ground outside their houses for two weeks, in fear of aftershocks. They didn’t dare go back inside. ShelterBox provided tarpaulins and tools, giving them a space to call home while they repaired their heavily damaged houses.

Photo of James Sinclair Taylor meeting earthquake survivors in Ecuador.

James Sinclair Taylor meeting earthquake survivors in Ecuador.

‘Our teams really listen to families to find out what they need – and we offer an adaptable range of shelter and household essentials to meet those needs.

‘I would like to thank Dr Rob John for his years of service to the board, guiding ShelterBox through a phase of significant growth. Under his stewardship in 2018, we provided 210,000 people with shelter and other essentials after their lives were devastated by disaster.

‘I’m excited to take on the role of Chair and contribute to the ongoing professionalisation and growth of our organisation. ShelterBox has wonderful supporters who have continued to give generously in a difficult financial climate. As Rotary International’s project partner in disaster relief, and with ShelterBox affiliates in 17 countries, we have a unique network that helps our response teams to go further, to reach the most vulnerable, overlooked communities.’

For more information contact phillybyrde@shelterbox.org

Shelterbox and Rotary extend our partnership in the Philippines

Another great story about our partnership with Rotary International ……

Service in Action

By Rotary Service and Engagement 

ShelterBox and Rotary International are Project Partners in Disaster Relief.  By working together, we are ensuring that no family is left without shelter after disaster.  Not only do Rotary and Rotaract clubs around the world support ShelterBox financially, but on many of ShelterBox’s deployments local Rotarians, Rotaractors and Response Teams work closely together at an operational level. Rotarians often have great connections with communities and authorities that can help response teams understand the situation and respond better together.

Recently, in the Philippines, ShelterBox and Rotary have taken this partnership to the next level. ShelterBox has deployed disaster responses in the Philippines on twenty-five separate occasions. To innovate our responses, ShelterBox Operations Philippines was set-up as an in-country organization with aid stored locally so that we can respond more effectively.

Dave Ray, Horizon’s Lead at ShelterBox said:

“Rotary has been involved in the creation of the…

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