ShelterBox provided aid for 478 families

Eyewitness Account of ShelterBox Aid In The Philippines

Thousands of people attended the recent ‘Eats & Beats’ festival organised by Logan City Council in SE Queensland. The festival brought together people from the local community to sample delicious street food from around the world whilst being entertained by a succession of local musical talent.

Thousands attended the 'Eats & Beats' Festival in Logan City

Thousands attended the ‘Eats & Beats’ Festival in Logan City ©MikeGreenslade/ShelterBox

 

Thanks to members of the Rotary Clubs of Beenleigh, Loganholme and Logan, ShelterBox was present, showing festival goers the type of aid we have distributed around the world to those left homeless by disaster. Members of the public showed great interest our substantial relief tent and the other essential items included in a ShelterBox, especially the ‘Luminaid’ solar light.

ShelterBox had a prime position just inside the entrance to the festival .... and opposite the ATM!

ShelterBox had a prime position just inside the entrance to the festival …. and opposite the ATM!

 

At such events, it’s not unusual to find people who are familiar with the work of ShelterBox but it’s rare to find people who have come across our work firsthand. Melanie and Anthony Roberts were on a relief trip to Bohol in the Philippines, following the earthquake of October 2013, delivering aid to family members and their community. ShelterBox had deployed to area immediately after the earthquake, distributing a total of 20 ShelterBox midi tents, 214 disaster relief tents and 214 ShelterBoxes, helping 478 families.

The destruction in Bohol left many families homeless

The destruction in Bohol left many families homeless ©MelanieRoberts

 

Melanie said, ”

We visited the small town of Tubigon, Bohol and saw the destruction both these events caused. I was so impressed with the ShelterBox tents at the time, that I took many pictures while I was there to show everyone back here in Australia. It was amazing to see these “instant Cities” pop up along the main highway and beside the town cemetery where people were able to go and seek refuge.”

ShelterBox provided aid for 478 families

ShelterBox provided aid for 478 families ©MelanieRoberts

 

Melanie and her husband, Anthony praised “the resilience of the Filipino people and the warmth they gave back to all the people that came to help them in their time of need. Such a humbling experience” and commended ShelterBox for our “invaluable relief work“.

Our thanks go to Melanie and Anthony for sharing their story and photos with us. It shows that we can make a real difference to people’s lives.

You can help by donating here: PLEASE DONATE

 

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‘Rice, Sugar and Salt’ – Lessons learned from seven months in the Philippines.

Typhoon Haiyan Remembered

 

Toby Ash is the Philippines country coordinator for ShelterBox and has, along with our four project partners, been working to help construct almost 1,700 shelters for families affected by Typhoon Haiyan, which struck one year ago this week. In this personal reflection from Toby we hear about the difference ShelterBox is making in the region thanks to the support of our donors from around the world. 

‘When are you moving in?’ I asked a beneficiary of one of our newly built shelters yesterday. ‘Not until we’ve brought good luck to our new home,’ she replied. ‘The first things we bring in are containers of sugar, rice and salt. Then we will plant a Kalipayan (‘happiness’) tree by the foundations. Only then can we move in’.

So, yesterday was much like every other day of the last seven months I have spent here in the Philippines – it was a day of learning. I arrived here at the tail end of the emergency phase, some five months after Typhoon Haiyan ripped through the country leaving more than 6,000 dead and a million homes destroyed. By April the basic needs of those affected had been largely met – most had access to some basic shelter to protect them from the elements. But travelling through the great swathe of the country that was affected, it was clear that the future of many of the Haiyan’s survivors remained precarious – the road to recovery would be long and difficult, and many would not be able to get there without further assistance.

ShelterBox was one of the leading international shelter agencies that responded to the typhoon last November. Over the course of more than five months we helped almost 7,000 households with more than 100 ShelterBox response team members distributing boxes, tents, shelter kits, solar lamps, water purification systems and other desperately needed equipment.

In many disasters, the provision of a tent and other household items are all that is required for those affected to start rebuilding their lives. But the scale of the damage wrought by Haiyan has made the process of recovery much more difficult. The typhoon destroyed millions of coconut trees, rice fields and thousands of fishing boats, leaving those who depend on them for their living without any income. And with no income there can be no rebuilding. Even those able to eke out a living are faced with the stark choice of having to put food on the table and sending their children to school or buying building materials. Then, of course there are society’s most vulnerable. How does a frail, elderly woman rebuild her home by herself?

 

Philippines country coordinator, Toby Ash (pictured center) in the Philippines

Philippines country coordinator, Toby Ash (pictured center) in the Philippines

 

Once the frenzy of the emergency phase had calmed, we began to look at how we might be able to continue our assistance to help these survivors recover from this devastating and traumatic event. I travelled extensively across the typhoon hit areas in a bid to better understand the needs of those affected and to look at how we could assist the most vulnerable, building on our legacy from the emergency stage.

Given our limited operational resources in the country, a key goal has been to identify project partners to help us continue with our work. The initial ground work on this was done by Sam Hewett, one of our operational co-ordinators who oversaw the emergency response in the early part of the year. Myself and Jo Reid, our projects consultant at HQ, followed a strict and rigorous criteria for selecting our partners that examined every aspect of their proposals including the nature of the shelter project, its location, the partner’s track record and the likely speed of completion.

Over the course of the summer we signed partnership agreements with four large international aid organisations – ACTED, Handicap International, Islamic Relief and Catholic Relief Services. In total we will be building almost 1,700 transitional shelters built mainly of locally sourced materials in four separate locations badly affected by the typhoon. Although not permanent, they are designed and built to be resilient. Each will meet the ‘build back safer’ guidelines as recommended by the International Federation of the Red Cross’ (IRFC’s) shelter technical team here.

But in many ways these projects are bigger than the individual shelters themselves. We are working with our partners to create shelters that can serve as exemplars of safe building practice in the communities they are built in over the coming months and years. Moreover, we are directly training carpenters and engaging the wide community in safer building practices, with the goal of leaving them better prepared for natural disasters in the future.

I have been a ShelterBox response team member for six years now and have delivered ShelterBoxes to many far flung places across the world. The last few months has been a different ShelterBox experience, but one that has been equally rewarding. Last week we handed over a specially adapted shelter to Conchita Suamer, a frail 89 year old woman, that will allow her to live in dignity after months in a tiny shack cobbled together from rusty lengths of corrugated iron. At this stage in the disaster, almost a year after the typhoon struck, a tent would be not be the right shelter solution for her. But the shelter we have built for her and her family is.

ShelterBox’s response to the calamity that hit this part of the Philippines last year, has been its most complicated and multi-faceted to date. Institutionally it has been a learning process, but one which will hold us in good stead in tackling the complex shelter issues that will invariably be thrown our way in the future. And what I have learnt? Many, many things but first and foremost, what a wonderful country the Philippines is and how warm-natured and resilient its people are. And of course to have a container of rice, sugar and salt in my home, and a ‘happiness’ tree planted close to its foundations.

To donate to ShelterBox please click here: PLEASE DONATE

Keep an eye out for #GivingTuesday

Typhoon Haiyan Remembered – Partnerships & Innovation

Typhoon Haiyan RememberedWhen Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines almost a year ago, experts called it ‘a true one hundred year event.’ As other charities and the world’s media descended upon Tacloban, ShelterBox concentrated its efforts upon trying to reach the more remote islands, assisting families whose livelihoods had been destroyed by the storm and for whom there seemed little hope of help. 

As has been the case in the past, offers of assistance for logistics began to trickle in to ShelterBox’s operation team and before long the offer of freight from Dubai to the Philippines was made to the team. Upon consultation and examination of the situation, ShelterBox’s logistics experts decided that sending tents would be the more effective first response aid, which was then followed by ShelterBoxes and other aid items. Several teams were deployed at once and soon ShelterBox had established a vast network of response teams operating across several islands working to get aid to families as fast as was possible under the challenging conditions.

As the momentum of ShelterBox’s response grew, and as a result of our donors overwhelming support, we took great pride in reporting stories of beneficiaries moving into ShelterBox tents. However it quickly became clear to us that a longer-term commitment was needed to fully accomplish what donors had entrusted us to achieve.

After around three months the need for tents for emergency shelter in the region was diminishing, but there remained a need for humanitarian assistance for these communities left still reeling from the devastation of the disaster.

Families move into their new homes in the Philippines Photo: Toby Ash/ShelterBox.

Families move into their new homes in the Philippines Photo: Toby Ash/ShelterBox.

 

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we have maintained our commitment to the Philippines and are extending the type of help we are able to offer these communities. As we strive to develop into a global leader in shelter provision, we are embracing new ways of responding to the needs of communities affected by disasters. And so it was that alongside tents, ShelterBox response teams also began to distribute Shelter Repair Kits containing tools, tarpaulins and fixings to help beneficiaries begin the process of rebuilding their homes.

Working in collaboration 

ShelterBox recognises that shelter is a process, not a product. So we began to investigate opportunities to collaborate with partners in the Philippines who could help us continue our commitment to helping families affected by Haiyan, several months after the Typhoon had first struck.

After a careful assessment process, we entered into four project partnerships with leading international agencies including ACTED (Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development), Handicap International, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) which will lead to the construction of nearly 1,700 ‘core transitional’ shelters.

Designed to house a single family, the shelters are being constructed using locally sourced materials, wherever possible, in areas that were in the path of Typhoon Haiyan: in Eastern Samar, where the typhoon first made landfall; in northern Leyte, close to the devastated city of Tacloban; and on the island of Bantayan, in northern Cebu. In each community, a rigorous beneficiary selection process has ensured that we prioritise the most vulnerable.

This will not only provide more than 8,000 vulnerable people with a safe, durable home but will also help to train the wider community in how to ‘build back safer’ as the shelters are designed to withstand further storms. The overall goal being to develop resilience in the region to future disasters.

‘How could we turn our backs when there is so much still to do to help these families rebuild their lives and their homes?’ said ShelterBox Chief Executive Alison Wallace. ‘Our generous donors have given ShelterBox the resources and the mandate to continue, so we are responding by adapting the practical help we offer.’

As we approach the one-year anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan we thank everyone who donated to our appeal and our thoughts are with everyone who was affected by the disaster.

Typhoon Haiyan Remembered

Typhoon Haiyan Remembered

 

It is almost a year since the most powerful storm ever recorded hit the island communities of the Philippines. Thanks to the support of our donors, ShelterBox launched one of its largest responses to date and is still today committed to assisting families that were affected by the storm. Throughout the coming week we will look back on Typhoon Haiyan as we remember the communities in the Philippines that suffered at the violence of the storm, and the communities around the world that rallied together in their support. 

Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines on 8 November 2013 claiming 6,200 lives and destroying a million homes. In the five months following the disaster, more than 100 ShelterBox response team volunteers have delivered emergency shelter to help over 7,200 families, including 1,513 ShelterBoxes. We distributed an additional 5,763 tents, but ShelterBox also provided other non-food items including 10,000 solar lights, 870 water filtration systems, 2,300 mosquito nets, 445 tool kits and 30 SchoolBoxes. On the day that Haiyan hit, a tropical storm expert speaking to the BBC said ‘Super Typhoon Haiyan really is a beast. One of the strongest storms ever recorded with sustained winds of 190 mph, gusting even higher.’

Prepositioned stock 

ShelterBox had already been responding to an earthquake in northern Bohol when the storm struck the region. Mark Dyer from the US and Paul Crudgington from the UK were two of the ShelterBox response team volunteers who sought shelter from the storm and who leapt into action once it had passed.

It was thanks to donors who had funded ShelterBox’s practice of prepositioning aid in key locations around the world that Paul and Mark, and later other additional response team members, were able to quickly release vitally needed aid from the former US air base at Clark on Luzon Island. Working with the operations team based in the UK, response teams sprang into action assessing where the need would be greatest. ShelterBox decided to focus its efforts on the areas that no other aid agencies had yet assisted, an approach which soon led the response teams to Bantayan island, off Cebu, where there was reported to be around 80% devastation.

 

The typhoon caused widespread damage throughout the Philippine archipelago

The typhoon caused widespread damage throughout the Philippine archipelago

Despite ShelterBox’s ability to mobilise a swift response the logistical challenges posed by the islands and the sheer number of boats and trucks that had been damaged by the storm, led to the decision to establish a team in Cebu. This team was tasked with ensuring the safe passage of aid and logistics, and several other teams then branched out onto other islands. The scale of devastation caused by Haiyan differed hugely from that of the earthquake which struck Haiti in 2010 and so our response had to be tailored appropriately. A major difference was that the main concentration of aid effort in Haiti was contained within one area located near the airport, allowing for the fast passage of aid. In contrast the teams in the Philippines were faced with weeks of island hopping aboard small boats and vehicles, significantly damaged communications infrastructure and drawn-out efforts to overcome transport challenges. Operations manager Alf Evans described the conditions as ‘the worst geography you could possibly come across for a natural disaster.’

Despite this the response effort continued, now growing to include teams operating across Tacloban, Panay, Cebu and Bantayan. As the operational commitment grew so too did the outpouring of support from supporters around the world.

A groundswell of support 

‘Reading about the Philippines. The typhoon has claimed the lives of 10,000 or more people. Never a better time to donate to ShelterBox.’ Tweet by acclaimed American author, Maureen Johnson. 

Even before ShelterBox had launched the Typhoon Haiyan emergency appeal, before we had received such magnificent outpourings of support from celebrities, authors, musicians and bloggers. Before all that we had learned of supporters mobilising their own fundraising efforts for ShelterBox across the globe in the hours after the disaster. Collections were held at local supermarkets, online fundraising pages were setup overnight, eBay auctions sprang to life and children even endured sponsored silences. Volunteers flocked to our warehouse in Cornwall to help pack ShelterBoxes and staff and volunteers worked around the clock to help get aid to the families in need. It was this groundswell of support that enabled ShelterBox to commit to helping communities in the Philippines and is the reason we continue to do so now, some 12 months on.

‘You have to remember that a lot of the more remote communities that were affected were previously dependent upon the fishing industry. Many of their boats and equipment were destroyed by the storm. Other communities made their living as coconut farmers and suffered similar loss of income too. Many of the coconut trees had taken ten years to grow and as a result of the storm they faced losing their entire income for the next ten years, overnight’ says Operations manager Alf Evans.

‘It was really important we did all we could to reach these communities and offer our support. The ShelterBox tents and non-food items meant that these communities could build shelter next to their destroyed houses, boats and farms and live there whilst they began rebuilding their livelihoods.’

Our thoughts are with everyone who was affected by the disaster. 

As ShelterBox’s response to Haiyan crept into week two it was heart-warming to hear stories from our response teams, of families on remote islands moving into ShelterBox tents.

 

Chip-chip is thankful to be safe and sheltered with his family again thanks to the aid from ShelterBox, November 2013.

Chip-chip is thankful to be safe and sheltered with his family again thanks to the aid from ShelterBox, November 2013.

 

On one such island, in the village of Machumben, lived one of the estimated five million children who were affected by Typhoon Haiyan. His name was Chip Chip. He was, at the time of writing, five years old and was one of 18 in his family. Chip Chip’s mum was seven months pregnant. Thanks to the support of our donors, he and his family received a ShelterBox tent and other aid items allowing them to continue farming their land and beginning to rebuild their destroyed home.

Everyone at ShelterBox would like to thank our donors who expressed such immense generosity and allowed us to work to assist families following Typhoon Haiyan. As we approach the one-year anniversary of this response we thank everyone who donated to our appeal and our thoughts are with everyone who was affected by the disaster.

Ground-Breaking Projects For ShelterBox In The Philippines

Christine Mae Ofiasa and her (then) fourteen-day old baby, Rona Mae, were among some of the early recipients of a ShelterBox aid after Haiyan first struck, Bantayan, Philippines, December 2013.

Christine Mae Ofiasa and her (then) fourteen-day old baby, Rona Mae, were among some of the early recipients of a ShelterBox aid after Haiyan first struck, Bantayan, Philippines, December 2013.

 

ShelterBox continues to develop new shelter solutions to meet the needs of communities affected by disasters 

Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the Philippines in November 2013, was the most powerful storm ever to make landfall, claiming 6,200 lives and destroying a million homes. In the five months following the disaster, more than 100 ShelterBox Response Team members delivered 7,000 tents, 10,000 solar lights, 870 water filtration systems, 2,300 mosquito nets, 445 tool kits and 30 SchoolBoxes.

But our assistance has not stopped there. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we have maintained our commitment to the Philippines and are extending the type of help we are able to offer. The ShelterBox is still at the heart of what we do, and our distinctive family relief tent remains a key part of most deployments. However, as we strive to develop into a global leader in shelter provision, we are embracing new ways of responding to the needs of communities affected by disasters.

This is critical because all disasters are different and there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. As ShelterBox CEO Alison Wallace explains: ‘We must constantly evolve as a charity and develop our aid, because different disasters need different responses.’

We have been growing our aid offering for some time now. In the response to Typhoon Haiyan, for example, alongside tents we also distributed Shelter Repair Kits containing tools, tarpaulins and fixings to help beneficiaries begin the process of rebuilding their homes.

We are now taking this process to the next level in the Philippines. After a careful assessment process, we have entered into four project partnerships with leading international agencies including ACTED (Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development), Handicap International, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) which will lead to the construction of nearly 1,700 ‘core transitional’ shelters.

Designed to house a single family, the shelters will be constructed using locally sourced materials, wherever possible, in areas that were in the path of Typhoon Haiyan: in Eastern Samar, where the typhoon first made landfall; in northern Leyte, close to the devastated city of Tacloban; and on the island of Bantayan, in northern Cebu. In each community, a rigorous beneficiary selection process ensures that we prioritise the most vulnerable.

This will not only provide more than 8,000 vulnerable people with a safe, durable home but will also help to train the wider community in how to ‘build back safer’ as the shelters are designed to withstand further storms. The goal is to develop resilience to future disasters.

As CEO Alison Wallace puts it: ‘How much better to rebuild in ways that will make communities more resilient to the next storms, and what better opportunity for ShelterBox to fulfill its commitment to be a real team player in meeting humanitarian shelter needs?’

ShelterBox recognises that shelter is a process, not a product. So we will continue to refine and develop the range of tools at our disposal to meet the specific shelter needs of communities affected by a disaster. And we will collaborate with an ever-increasing range of partners – from aid agencies to freight companies, and from government bodies to the UN Global Shelter Cluster that coordinates the efforts of the leading humanitarian shelter specialists.

This is all part of ShelterBox’s evolution into a flexible supplier of emergency shelter tailored to the needs of those whom we seek to help.

More Than Shelter In The Philippines

Response Team volunteers Eric DeLuca and Peter Pearce help fix some fishing boats on Kinatarcan island to enable fishermen to return to work quickly to earn money to buy materials to rebuild their homes well, January 2014, Philippines.

Response Team volunteers Eric DeLuca and Peter Pearce help fix some fishing boats on Kinatarcan island to enable fishermen to return to work quickly to earn money to buy materials to rebuild their homes well, January 2014, Philippines.

 

ShelterBox is helping in more ways than providing shelter for Typhoon Haiyan survivors in the Philippines. The international disaster relief charity is also helping communities to rebuild their livelihoods, particularly the fishing industry, according to Response Team volunteer Anne Seuren, who was in the Asian country earlier this year.
‘On Kinatarcan island we met Jeresita Piamonte, a young mother with her three children. Her husband is a fisherman. He spends all night at sea while Jeresita looks after the children. They explained that fishermen have more success at night because they hang their kerosene lanterns over the side of the boat, which attracts the fish, making it easier to catch them by net.
‘Many of the fishing boats in these communities were destroyed during the storm, and as fishing is practically the only economy on the island, many families were forced to spend the first few months trying to rebuild their boats. Most are using the materials aid agencies had given them before they could start earning money to purchase materials for their houses.
Jeresita with her three young children, including her youngest Elzed holding the hammer who is trying to help rebuild their house that is pictured behind them, which was damaged by Typhoon Haiyan, Kinatarcan island, Philippines, January 2014.

Jeresita with her three young children, including her youngest Elzed holding the hammer who is trying to help rebuild their house that is pictured behind them, which was damaged by Typhoon Haiyan, Kinatarcan island, Philippines, January 2014.

 

‘Whilst Jeresita’s husband spent the time rebuilding his boat, Jeresita was trying to rebuild their house in the spare time that she had, after taking care of the children, cleaning and cooking. She was using gathered wood and used pieces of corrugated tin when we went to visit. Her youngest son Elzed was also doing his best to try and help, swinging a hammer in the air with no avail.
‘Overwhelmed’
‘She told me how bad she felt that her young children were having to live in a house that didn’t protect them from the rain, even though she was trying to fix the roof as quickly as she could. Therefore she was overwhelmed when we told her we were giving her and her family a ShelterBox tent the next day.
‘She was speechless and said: ‘Thank you miss.’ I explained to her that it wasn’t just me giving them that tent but it was also thanks to many people worldwide who have helped by donating money. She was amazed that so many people cared.
Response Team volunteer Peter Pearce helps fix some more fishing boats on Kinatarcan island, January 2014, Philippines.

Response Team volunteer Peter Pearce helps fix some more fishing boats on Kinatarcan island, January 2014, Philippines.

 

‘For me it was heartbreaking to see how grateful the Philippine people are. On the other hand it was so good to see they are starting to rebuild their lives. Even knowing how hard it is to have her children sleep in a shack, Jeresita and her husband decided it was the wise thing to do to use the little money they had for materials to first fix their boat.
‘Dry warm place to sleep’
‘It feels good that we can help this family, giving them a dry warm place to sleep until they have saved enough money to repair their house.’
Thank you.

 

 

 

In Pictures: Philippines 3 Months On

Much of Tacloban is still in the clear up stages, Leyte, Philippines, January 2014

Much of Tacloban is still in the clear up stages, Leyte, Philippines, January 2014

 

‘The closer you get to the path of the typhoon the greater the destruction. This can happen within 20 kilometres. Within that short distance you can go from little or no destruction to 95 percent of everything being completely obliterated. It is this amount of destruction we are expecting from the worst hit areas.’ 
ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) volunteer John Cordell was part of one of the first SRTs to arrive in the devastating aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines to assess the need for emergency shelter and other vital aid. From his description, it’s no wonder that three months on rebuilding efforts continue, particularly in Tacloban, where around ten percent of houses were left standing.
This latest slideshow is a collection of photos highlighting some of ShelterBox’s relief efforts in the country:

ShelterBox has helped nearly 5,000 families in total across various Philippine islands, some more remote than others. Thanks for helping us make a difference to the lives of other in need. 

 

Australian SRT Member Returns From The Philippines

 

Australian SRT Member and Rotarian, Greg Moran from Inverell, NSW with a thankful family in Bantayan, Philippines

Australian SRT Member and Rotarian, Greg Moran from Inverell, NSW with a thankful family in Bantayan, Philippines

Australian SRT member and Rotarian, Greg Moran has recently returned from deployment in the Philippines, helping house victims of Super-Typhoon Haiyan. Greg, a civil engineer from Inverell NSW, has previously deployed to the Philippines as well responding to disasters in Indonesia, Turkey and Tasmania.

Greg worked with an SRT in and around Leyte and Bantayan, conducting needs assessments and distributing ShelterBox aid. Greg said of their work in Batayan,

“The eastern side of the island took the brunt of the damaging winds, so much of the aid was deployed there. There was a total of about 1300 tents and boxes that had been distributed mainly in the south and east of the island …… Sometimes the distance between locations or the distance to walk and carry the tents or boxes was quite long and it was hard work as most wanted their tents near their houses ……. It was very hot and humid and placing tents in individual locations was slow and time-consuming with lots of walking, and we really appreciated our work teams’ assistance, they were great workers and we told them so. They were long days, leaving early and always arriving home at our accommodation after dark. Our teams worked well together and with local teams and we left Bantayan on a positive note.”

ShelterBox continues to work in the affected areas of the Philippines and at present we have a further 2 Australian SRT members deployed there. We look forward to hearing from Peter Pearce and Anthony Keating when they return

Video: Happy New Year!

Thank you all for your kind and generous support throughout 2013

Thank you all for your kind and generous support throughout 2013

 

It’s been another busy twelve months for us at ShelterBox. Thanks to all of your generous support we have been able to send ShelterBox aid to help displaced families on over 30 deployments across nearly 20 different countries, responding to typhoons, cyclones, hurricanes, fires, flooding, earthquakes and conflict.

Looking back at a couple of our successes this year, we were the first international aid organisations to distribute relief tents in Lebanon. We are continuing to work with implementing partners to help people displaced inside Syria itself. Currently we are continuing to bring shelter and other vital aid to communities in the Philippines affected by Typhoon Haiyan. A few weeks ago there were five ShelterBox Response Teams (SRTs) in the Asian country. Never before have so many SRT members been deployed at the same time to the same disaster. Together we have helped bring shelter and other vital aid to nearly 13,000 families this year. 
Thank you for giving up your time once again to help communities in desperate need. This video looks back at our disaster relief work throughout 2013:

Happy Holidays everybody and we wish you a very happy new year! Thank you!