No home and no possessions in Fiji

Children play in the reamins of a house on the island of Ovalau, Fiji

Children play in the remains of a house on the island of Ovalau, Fiji

 

Ovalau is the sixth largest island in Fiji. When Cyclone Winston hit the country six weeks ago, it caused widespread destruction to Ovalau and many other islands. Massive trees lie on their sides. Leaves and branches are nowhere to be seen, but broken belongings and rubble lie tangled in the devastation.

When the cyclone swept through the Tokou, a village in Ovalau that is located below sea level, people sheltered in the community centre. As they waited for the storm to pass, they saw corrugated iron fly off roofs, possessions scattered and whole homes reduced to cement foundations.

There was no way to rest in the community centre, as the cyclone created such a big storm surge that the water came up to people’s chests. Parents had to hold their children up in the air in order to keep them safe.

While these communities are resilient to the extreme weather of the South Pacific, many families are still living in emergency accommodation such as schools and community centres.

 

Diane and baby Yokimi in front of their ShelterBox tent.

Diane and baby Yokimi in front of their ShelterBox tent.

 

Diane and her family have been living in the community centre since Cyclone Winston hit. Their home was destroyed and they lost all of their possessions. It was terrifying, especially for their three-month-old child Yokimi.

With your support our ShelterBox teams were able to provide Diane and her family with a ShelterBox. The box not only contains a tent that the family will be able to stay in until they start rebuilding their home, but all of the essential items needed to help them return to normal life such as kitchen utensils, solar lights and a water filter.

For Diane and her family, a ShelterBox means relief. She said: ‘I’m so happy to have a tent – to have a safe place of our own to sleep.’

Your donations enable us to provide ShelterBoxes, tents and tools to provide shelter and help people repair damaged homes. Despite rough terrain, remote islands and further storms, our ShelterBox response teams are going the extra mile to reach people in need.

We’re making a difference in Fiji, but there are families all over the world who are living without shelter. Please donate today so that no family goes without shelter.

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

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

ShelterBox Equipment Offered To Help Fight Ebola In West Africa

 

ShelterBox Relief Tents have been used in the past as isolation units and to house medical staff working in disaster areas

ShelterBox Relief Tents have been used in the past as isolation units and to house medical staff working in disaster areas

 

International disaster relief charity ShelterBox has offered equipment supplies to government and medical charities in the battle to contain Ebola

Emergency shelter specialist, ShelterBox is on standby to help the UK Government and international medical charities contain the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which has already claimed over 4,000 lives.

At the moment the most pressing shelter need is for large-scale medical tents to create field hospitals, but ShelterBox’s family tents have seen service over the years as recovery areas, such as after the Haiti earthquake in 2010 where there was a cholera outbreak.

ShelterBox’s Operations HQ  has contacted colleague charities, including Medicins Sans Frontieres, Save the Children and Care International, as well as the UK Government’s Department for International Development, to say it is available to help if required.

ShelterBox has pre-positioned stock, including tents, at Ghana on the African coast near to the worst affected areas of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Further stock could be airlifted from Dubai if needed.

ShelterBox Director of Operations John Leach says, ‘At present there is no call for our standard equipment, though there may well come a time when large-scale emergency shelter would meet a need. In addition to the medical emergency, we are now hearing of a growing humanitarian crisis involving the number of orphans created by the Ebola outbreak. As with any disaster, anywhere in the world, ShelterBox is quick to offer its resources and practical help. Obviously the medics are in the front line at the moment, but there may come a time when West Africa has to deal with numbers of displaced persons who are leaving the urban areas.’

You can help by donating here: PLEASE DONATE

 

World Malaria Day: Causes And Protection

SRI LANKA. 16 JUN 2009. An estimated 150,000 people were displaced as a result of the civil war being fought in Sri Lanka. After initial assessments ShelterBox sent aid to the region, including mosquito nets. (Mike Greenslade/ShelterBox)

SRI LANKA. 16 JUN 2009. An estimated 150,000 people were displaced as a result of the civil war being fought in Sri Lanka. After initial assessments ShelterBox sent aid to the region, including mosquito nets. (Mike Greenslade/ShelterBox)

 

World Malaria Day is marked across the globe on 25 April to acknowledge the remarkable progress that the global development community has made in combatting Malaria. But the fight against this terrible disease continues. 

Malaria causes an estimated 627,000 people to lose their lives every year, mainly children under five years of age in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2013, 97 countries had an ongoing malaria transmission. 

Parasites cause the life-threatening disease, which are transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes that bite mainly between dusk and dawn. 

Transmission is more intense in places where the mosquito prefers to bite humans rather than other animals and where the mosquito lifespan is longer. In the latter case, the parasite has time to complete its development inside the mosquito. For example, the long lifespan and strong human-biting habit of the African vector species is the main reason why about 90% of the world’s malaria deaths are in Africa. 

Climatic conditions may affect the number and survival of mosquitoes, such as rainfall patterns, temperature and humidity. In many places, transmission is seasonal, with the peak during and just after the rainy season, which is why they can be rife during storms and flooding. Malaria epidemics can occur when climate and other conditions suddenly favour transmission in areas where people have little or no immunity to malaria. They can also occur when people with low immunity move into areas with intense malaria transmission, for instance to find work, or as refugees.

ZIMBABWE. 12 APR 2014. ShelterBox Response Team member, Phil Wheeler (UK), helps to set up a disaster relief tent in the Chingwizi camp. (Sharon Donald/ShelterBox).

ZIMBABWE. 12 APR 2014. ShelterBox Response Team member, Phil Wheeler (UK), helps to set up a disaster relief tent in the Chingwizi camp. (Sharon Donald/ShelterBox).

Human immunity is another important factor, especially among adults in areas of moderate or intense transmission conditions. Partial immunity is developed over years of exposure, and while it never provides complete protection, it does reduce the risk that malaria infection will cause severe disease. For this reason, most malaria deaths in Africa occur in young children, whereas in areas with less transmission and low immunity, all age groups are at risk. 

Malaria is preventable and curable 

Malaria is preventable and curable. Increased malaria prevention and control measures are dramatically reducing the malaria burden in many places such as insecticide-treated mosquito nets. 

‘In areas where protection is needed, ShelterBox provides Olyset Nets, an award winning long-lasting insecticidal net that uses hybrid polymer and controlled insecticide release technology to repel, kill and prevent mosquitos from biting for up to five years,’ said ShelterBox Supply Chain Manager Shane Revill. 

‘Put more simply, the net works to protect people sleeping under the Olyset Nets from mosquitos as liquid permethrin slowly releases into polyethylene fibres, a tough material and substantial physical barrier.’ 

Mosquito nets help protect and offer comfort 

The contact with the insecticide causes mosquitoes to leave without taking a blood meal and cause them to be knockdown or die. Families affected by disaster or humanitarian crisis are not only protected but also have a greater level of comfort. The Olyset Net has protected nearly 800 million people since it received the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation in 2001. 

ShelterBox tents can also protect people against mosquito bites and disease, an example being in Zimbabwe recently.

ZIMBABWE. 12 APR 2014. The ShelterBox disaster relief tents help to reduce the risk of malaria. (Sharon Donald/ShelterBox).

ZIMBABWE. 12 APR 2014. The ShelterBox disaster relief tents help to reduce the risk of malaria. (Sharon Donald/ShelterBox).

‘ShelterBox tents themselves are mosquito nets and it’s really important to emphasise this to people who will be living in the tent,’ said Response Team member Phil Wheeler who was overseeing distributions in Zimbabwe, where Malaria is rife. ‘The inner door is netted and the windows are also netted. At first many people don’t realise this feature of the tent, but the moment they learn that they can better protect their children is often the same moment that parents express their most admiration for their new home. 

‘Sense of security and relief’ 

‘Malaria has been prevalent in Chingwizi camp, and with the dry season approaching, malaria cases increase. This means that countless families will be much safer in ShelterBox tents than anywhere else in the camp, and our equipment will help contain the spread of the disease. As someone who has had malaria, I know full well the sense of security and relief that being in a net brings every night.’

Slideshow: ShelterBox Working In Cold Climates

White Christmas graphic

 

Even though the majority of disasters that ShelterBox responds to are in tropical climates, the disaster relief charity also has the capacity to assist in countries with cold climates and, at times, extreme wintry conditions.
The difference lies in the contents of each ShelterBox. More blankets and thermal groundsheets are sent and sometimes sets of hats, gloves and scarfs, bringing more comfort to the family who has lost everything in the disaster.
However it is the thermal liner that makes all the difference to the living conditions in this harsh climate. It is a third layer to the tent that lies between the inner and outer flysheets that helps insulate more heat, keeping the family safe, warm and protected from the freezing elements.
This slideshow depicts some of the colder countries where ShelterBox has helped families made homeless by disaster:
A massive thank you for helping us bring shelter and warmth to these communities affected by humanitarian crises.

ShelterBox Gains From Research and Development

Researchers Chris Hale and Rob Dooley with ShelterBox Operations Coordinator Dave Ray setting up a ShelterBox tent, UK, July 2013.

Researchers Chris Hale and Rob Dooley with ShelterBox Operations Coordinator Dave Ray setting up a ShelterBox tent, UK, July 2013.

 

ShelterBox has teamed up with independent university-based researchers to investigate the thermal properties of its disaster relief tent, looking at the heat lost and heat gained in comparison to other tents.
Comparative testing will be undertaken on ShelterBox’s tent without its thermal liner as well as with a variety of other liners offered in the humanitarian sector. The disaster relief tent manufactured by camping company Vango will also be compared to a standard dome tent made by another leading tent manufacturer, to see where it sits alongside a competitor. This study will help ShelterBox move forward with future procurements of aid items such as thermal liners, which have been used in our winterised aid kits over the past year in Iraq, Lebanon and North Korea.
‘Two of ShelterBox’s core values are innovation and accountability,’ said Logistics Manager Shane Revill who is managing this study. ‘Not only are we always looking to improve the quality of our aid package but we are also dedicated to delivering the best aid package that represents value for money while being accountable to our supporters, partners and every person who receives support from ShelterBox.’
Chris Hale (left) and Rob Dooley (right) at ShelterBox headquarters, Cornwall, UK, July 2013.

Chris Hale (left) and Rob Dooley (right) at ShelterBox headquarters, Cornwall, UK, July 2013.

 

Chris Hale is an undergraduate student in Renewable Engineering with 15 years experience in the mechanical engineering industry. He is from Cornwall where ShelterBox headquarters is based and where the research is being undertaken.
‘I wanted to be involved’
‘I have wanted to be involved with ShelterBox’s work for a while now so it’s great being part of this project and using my skillset to assist in the research,’ said Chris.
‘I am heading up the scientific side of things doing the quantitative data, comparing different tents by taking various readings as well as being aware of the numerous climate conditions ShelterBox works in compared to the UK.  Over 60% of the locations the disaster relief charity works in have warmer climates than here.’
Rob Dooley not only is a student in Sustainable Product Design but also Creative Director at an industrial design firm in Cornwall where he works with consumer product design for businesses and organisations including charities.
‘My part in this study focuses on the qualitative research, the people side of things,’ commented Rob. ‘I have been holding focus groups with staff and ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) members, who I have all received interesting feedback from. My findings will then be compared to Chris’s quantitative findings which can lead us to more results.’
‘Plan for the future’
Chris and Rob’s research and development (R&D) efforts will help develop the tent and anything related to the tent including other ShelterBox aid.
‘R&D is vital to our success and will help develop our plan for the future,’ continued Shane. ‘It will help with everything to do with the kit we provide as aid and we should eventually end up with the best kit that is most appropriate to what we are trying to achieve – helping people worldwide made homeless by disasters as efficiently and effectively as we can.’