Twelve enthusiastic candidates from across the globe are currently on day five of the ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) pre-deployment training course at ShelterBox’s training centre in Cornwall, UK near its headquarters.
The international disaster relief charity uses highly-trained volunteers to deliver ShelterBox aid to survivors of disasters and humanitarian crises.
‘We only deploy volunteers who have been carefully selected to deliver our emergency aid and this course is the final part of their extensive training,’ said ShelterBox Development Manager Nicky Richardson.
‘Working in emergency response can be complex and requires significant skill and knowledge – everything from clearing customs and identifying those most in need to media liaison. Everyone here has different skills to bring to the table and come from all corners of the world. On this course we’ve people from India, Germany and UK.’
‘Not knowing what’s coming next’
Agnes Leder is one of the candidates and is from Hamburg, Germany. She reflects on the course:
‘It’s been amazing so far. It’s helped me develop myself but has also helped me understand how it is to be on deployment responding to disaster and humanitarian crisis. I have a greater awareness and understanding of how to act and the course has stretched me physically and mentally. The most challenging part is not knowing what’s coming next.’
Nicola Hinds has travelled from Northern Ireland to do the training and said: ‘We need to be prepared for the sights and sounds we’re going to experience in a disaster zone. Obviously to do the job well and bring shelter to the needy people we need to be prepared to help them in the best possible way and this training is doing exactly that.’
The SRT members mentoring the candidates have traveled from Canada, USA, New Zealand, Germany, Sweden and elsewhere in the UK to share their stories and experiences, assisting in their training.
Prospective Australian and New Zealand candidates will undergo a 4-day selection course in Brisbane at the beginning of May. Successful candidates will attend the 9-day pre-deployment course later in the year.