ShelterBox staff and Response Team volunteers from around the world are undertaking a familiarisation training course this weekend in the UK, delivered by shelter specialist the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) on their Shelter Kit.
Natural or manmade disasters typically result in damage or loss to housing, leaving hundreds of people homeless, displaced or without adequate shelter.
In the initial stages of a disaster shelter is critical to survival, and beyond that, security and safety are also important in sustaining family and community life.
Since ShelterBox’s inception in 2000, the international disaster relief charity has responded to over 220 disasters and has provided shelter in the form of a custom-designed disaster relief tent big enough for an extended family. Fourteen years on, it is looking to add other shelter solutions, and is now working with the IFRC to achieve this.
‘This weekend, staff and Response Team volunteers will be undertaking a familiarisation course, delivered by two trainers from the IFRC, on their Shelter Kit,’ said ShelterBox Academy Senior Trainer and Response team volunteer Mark Boeck, who will be one of the twelve candidates attending the course.
‘The Shelter Kit contains plastic sheeting or tarpaulins, as well as basic tools, rope and fixings, such as nails, and will enable households to rapidly provide their own shelter solutions or to make repairs to their damaged houses in the aftermath of a disaster.
‘Understanding the principals and different ways that these kits can be utilised will enable ShelterBox to provide an alternative shelter option to more people, more quickly rather than waiting for the provision of a tent or other temporary shelter.’
Corinne Treherne is the IFRC Senior Officer at the Shelter and Settlements department and is one of the course trainers:
‘Strengthen knowledge and capacity’
‘There are three main objectives of the course. Firstly to acknowledge the shelter response that the IFRC applies; secondly to strengthen knowledge and capacity as it applies to supplying adequate emergency shelters, to promote good practices, and to inform on the practice and utilisation of the Shelter Kit. Finally the course aims to train people in providing technical assistance of the shelter kits to beneficiaries, like a train-the-trainer programme.
‘By the end of the three-day course, all participants will know how to fix a tarpaulin the best way, build a temporary shelter and be aware of the standards. Their knowledge will be improved on how to reinforce a home and how to make recommendations on how to improve the shelter kit. They will also be able to assist other community members with the techniques to build a temporary shelter in the event of a disaster.’
The course is being held at ShelterBox’s training centre at Predannack in Cornwall in the UK, not far from ShelterBox headquarters.