Rotarian Helps ShelterBox Deliver Aid in North Korea

Operations Manager and SRT member Alf Evans (middle left) with beneficiaries, DPRK, January 2013.

Operations Manager and SRT member Alf Evans (middle left) with beneficiaries, DPRK, January 2013.

 

Shanghai Rotarian Randal Eastman assisted ShelterBox in helping homeless typhoon survivors in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), who have been living in winterised ShelterBox tents throughout the harsh winter, protecting them against the extreme subzero temperatures. 

In August 2012, Typhoon Bolaven caused downpours to sweep across east and west coastal areas of the East Asian country leaving around 51,600 hectares of land flooded, buried or washed away; 26,320 people displaced; 50 missing; and 59 dead. This further exacerbated damage caused earlier in the year by a similar storm.

Randal is a past president of the Rotary club of Shanghai in China and also part of the Korean Friendship Network, a non-for-profit network that has been supporting humanitarian projects through Rotary and Rotaract for over a decade. Through his contact with the Korea Committee for the Promotion of International Trade (KOMT), ShelterBox was able to send winterised emergency shelter and lifesaving supplies to North Korea where KOMT distributed it to the most vulnerable families in need.

Read more and view Alf’s informative video here: DPRK

You can donate here: DONATE

ShelterBox Busy on Three Fronts This Holiday Season

Devastation left behind by Super typhoon Bopha in Philippines, December 2012.

Devastation left behind by Super typhoon Bopha in Philippines, December 2012.

Flooding in the UK, a super typhoon in the Philippines and a cyclone in Fiji, ShelterBox continues to help families displaced by disaster all over the world this holiday season. 

After a week of heavy rains the skies continued to pour down on already-saturated ground over the weekend in Cornwall, a county in southwest England, causing rivers to burst their banks flooding many towns and villages.

ShelterBox assisted the Emergency Services with rescue efforts by coordinating evacuations in Lostwithiel, where over 200 residents were told by police to evacuate their homes. Response Team members Joe Cannon (UK), James Edgerley (UK), Ray Filbey (UK) and Phil Duloy (UK) matched the displaced families with persons willing to provide rooms in their homes in the area.

‘We got the call for assistance from St. Austell Gospel Trust on Saturday and headed to the town with a few tents to use as a transit area with refreshments while families waited to be transported to either a rescue centre or another home,’ said Phil. ‘We also brought with us water carriers, cooking sets and ropes. With Lostwithiel being so close to ShelterBox headquarters, we were able to respond immediately.’

Read more here: SHELTERBOX

 

Still ‘Tremendous Need’ in Nigeria Says Response Team

SRT member Jan Larsson (SE) talking with village leader in Nigeria, December 2012.

SRT member Jan Larsson (SE) talking with village leader in Nigeria, December 2012.

 

ShelterBox has been in Nigeria since the end of October responding to heavy flooding that has devastated Kogi State, leaving over two million people homeless according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. 

Jan Larsson (SE) is part of the fourth ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) delivering emergency shelter and other lifesaving supplies, including water filtration and carriers, mosquito nets, groundsheets and blankets, to families in need:

Enough aid has been distributed to bring shelter, warmth and dignity to almost 800 families. Another SRT will be returning in the New Year to continue with assessments and distributions.

 

 

ShelterBox Responds to Cyclone Evan in Fiji

Photograph by NASA - NASA’s Earth Observatory

Photograph by NASA – NASA’s Earth Observatory

 

A ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) has arrived in Fiji to assess the need for emergency shelter following Cyclone Evan, the biggest cyclone to strike the Pacific nation in two decades that has left western parts of the main island Viti Levu the hardest hit. 

To enable a rapid response to the disaster, the SRT members Owen Smith and Ross McKenzie are from New Zealand and were on standby to be flown out on the next available flight as soon as the storm passed over Fiji.

The category four storm with winds of over 200 kilometres per hour and heavy rains destroyed homes, caused flash floods and cut power. The Fiji times reported Lautoka, the nation’s second largest city, looking like a ‘war zone’.

Due to advanced government warnings, more than 8,000 people found safety during the cyclone by taking shelter across 137 evacuation centres, according to the Ministry of Information.

ShelterBoxes prepositioned 

There are ShelterBoxes prepositioned in Fiji with Rotarians that the disaster relief charity worked with on its previous response last April to heavy flooding in the same area. ShelterBox will therefore be able to quickly bring shelter and dignity to displaced families in need.

‘We are very concerned by media reports of the destruction in Fiji caused by Cyclone Evan,’ said Owen before the SRT flew out. ‘We are well prepared to respond, however, and will be doing everything we can to deploy ShelterBoxes quickly and effectively.’

Help From Rotary in the Field in The Philippines

Volunteer Alfrancis Verdida (far left) with SRT member John Cordell (US) (far right) talking to a typhoon survivor, Mindanao, Philippines, December 2012.

Volunteer Alfrancis Verdida (far left) with SRT member John Cordell (US) (far right) talking to a typhoon survivor, Mindanao, Philippines, December 2012.

 

33-year-old Rotarian Alfrancis Verdida is from Iligan City’s Lanao del Norte in the Northern Region of Mindanao Island, Philippines. He is a nurse by profession but is currently helping ShelterBox assist families who have lost everything to devastating Typhoon Bopha. 

Alfrancis first heard about ShelterBox when Mindanao’s Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro were devastated last year by Typhoon Washi in December. His Rotary Club was involved in the emergency shelter response and he was sent as Illigan City’s representative to help ShelterBox set up tents. ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) member Abner Tayco (PH) trained him.

‘My sister-in-law and her two children were one of the tens of thousands of people affected by Washi,’ said Alfrancis. ‘She totally lost her home when logs and debris in raging overflowing floodwaters hit it. Many people lost their lives but my sister’s family was lucky. They decided to stay over my house that night because of the heavy rain, a decision that saved their lives.’

When deadly Bopha struck, Alfrancis saw on the ShelterBox Philippines website that SRTs were to be deployed to assess the situation on the ground.

‘I contacted SRT member Sonny Ongkiko (PH), rearranged my schedule and told him I was free to help out in any way I can to help deliver ShelterBoxes to affected families.

Read more and view a video of the destruction here: PHILIPPINES

ShelterBox Responds to Cyclone in Samoa

ShelterBox responded to a tsunami that hit Samoa in 2009.

ShelterBox responded to a tsunami that hit Samoa in 2009.

 

Flattened homes, uprooted trees and flooded streets. This scene of destruction is being described in media reports about the South Pacific island nation of Samoa, where a powerful cyclone has just ripped through. 

Winds of up to 165 kilometres per hour lashed down and waves of water exploded over river banks washing homes away, flinging cars into trees, cutting out power across the country and leaving the capital city Apia in ruins.

‘The priority really is to repair the damage to infrastructure, electricity lines and the buildings,’ said Samoan prime minister Tuilera Sailele Malielegaoi.

Cyclone Evan is set to bear down on Fiji next, where Fijian Prime Minister Voreque Bainimarama has warned his people to stay at home and restrict their movements:

‘Fellow Fijians, I cannot stress enough how serious this is, as every Fijian will be affected, but we must take preventative steps now,’ said Bainimarama.

The storm is predicted to be Category Four strength by the time it hits Fiji.

ShelterBox is mobilising a Response Team to assess the need in Samoa and stands ready to respond to Fiji, where ShelterBoxes are prepositioned for rapid responses to both nations.

 

 

ShelterBox Response Team in the Philippines Told, ” Bopha the Worst Storm the Area Has Ever Seen”

Destruction left behind by Typhoon Bopha in Compostela Valley, Philippines, December 2012.

Destruction left behind by Typhoon Bopha in Compostela Valley, Philippines, December 2012.

 

‘As we were driving I saw miles and miles of people lined up on both sides of the road holding cardboard signs asking for donations of anything like food or water, eyes desperate and scared. I have never seen anything like it on previous deployments.’ 

ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) member John Cordell (US) describes his journey to Compostela Valley in Davao Oriental province, Philippines, one of the worst hit areas by super Typhoon Bopha on the island of Mindanao. He is part of a three-person team who has been assessing the need in the region.

Almost a quarter of the 4.1 million people affected by the destructive storm are in Compostela Valley, also known as Camval, with ninety per cent of the 7,200 totally destroyed homes being here. Out of the 800 people still missing, 500 are in Camval. Buildings have been washed away or buried by flash floods and mudslides. Food and water is scarce.

‘Worse storm ever’ 

‘We have been told that Bopha is the worst storm this area has ever seen,’ said John.

ShelterBox has aid pre-positioned in the Philippines (this is our 12th deployment to the disaster-prone country). SRT’s from ShelterBox Philippines responded immediately.

Read more here: PHILIPPINES

ShelterBox Update: Syria refugee crisis

Syrian refugee children at Domiz camp, Iraq Kurdistan, November 2012.

Syrian refugee children at Domiz camp, Iraq Kurdistan, November 2012.

 

Hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians are displaced from their homes due to unrest in the Syrian Arab Republic that has been mounting since March 2011. 

To date, over 411,000 people are estimated by the United Nations to have fled to neighbouring Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Lebanon, putting an increasing strain on the governments and host communities. Up to two million are displaced within Syria itself. Numbers are not going to ease.

ShelterBox has partnered with Solidarités International, a humanitarian organisation that provides aid and assistance to survivors of war or natural disaster, to bring ShelterBox aid to internally displaced families in Syria living along Turkey’s border.

A truck is en route to the affected area packed with ShelterBox kit including blankets, groundsheets, sets of hats, gloves and scarfs, water carriers, stoves and fuel bottles, as requested by Solidarités International. They stressed the urgency of the need for this winterised aid as families are becoming desperate with cold, wet winter conditions approaching.

‘Inadequate insulation’ 

‘Some people are living in basic, cold concrete structures, others in tents, that are both not winterised so therefore have inadequate insulation,’ said a representative from Solidarités International. ‘Many do not have proper cooking equipment either.’

Read more here: SYRIAN CRISIS

UK Daily Telegraph reports on ShelterBox and it’s work in Domiz

Syrian refugee make their ShelterBox their home in the Domiz camp, Iraq Kurdistan

Syrian refugee make their ShelterBox their home in the Domiz camp, Iraq Kurdistan

There’s a really good, in depth, article on ShelterBox and the work we are doing in the Domiz Refugee Camp in Iraq Kurdistan in the UK Daily Telegraph. ShelterBox has been selected as one of The Daily Telegraph’s Christmas charities and will benefit from their annual appeal.  Please click on the link below and share it with your friends.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/telegraphchristmasappeal/9726875/Shelterbox-bringing-emergency-relief-to-refugees-in-crisis.html

ShelterBox is working with The Barzani Foundation at the Domiz camp, Iraq Kurdistan

ShelterBox is working with The Barzani Foundation at the Domiz camp, Iraq Kurdistan