No Ordinary Books. No Ordinary Book Club.

Book Club-2

These are tough times for everyone. We hope you and your familiy are keeping well, both physically and mentally, as you rise to meet the challenges of social isolation.

Could you do with a distraction from the news? Are you stuck at home with time on your hands? Bored with endless TV and Netflix?

Introducing ShelterBox Book Club – a unique community membership designed for Australians who share the love of a quality read.

Each member can vote on the next book – a shortlist of 3 books carefully selected by our Head Bookworm, who is always on the lookout for compelling stories from around the world; and strong characters with depth.

Join the ShelterBox Book Club community today with a monthly payment to ShelterBox, and you can look forward to delving into a new, exciting book every 6 weeks. Read along at your own pace and join the discussion online, via our private Facebook group.

And with every story you read, you’ll be transforming the lives of disaster-hit families around the world.

 

  • Join today with a monthly payment – we recommend at least $10 to support our work around the world
  • Receive a welcome email from our Head Bookworm
  • Join our Facebook group where you will get to vote on the next shortlist of 3 books – chosen by our Head Bookworm
  • Purchase your copy of the winning book, or take it out on loan from your local library. – receive exclusive member discounts from our partner book shop

 

The Book Room

 

 

  • Read along at your own pace – whenever suits you best.
  • Take part in the online discussions held on our Book Club Facebook Group – no spoilers!
  • Receive regular news and, updates on how your membership is helping the lives of disaster hit families.

 

Unique Sories3

 

Join today to vote on our first book ……

Coronavirus – A Deadly New Threat

FIVE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CORONAVIRUS AND FAMILIES LIVING THROUGH DISASTER

1. When you lose your home after a or in a conflict, your ability to stay safe and healthy is already compromised.

2. 84% of the 70.7 million people driven from their homes by conflict live in the least developed countries in the world where support is already limited.

3. Coronavirus will impact the hospitals and health care systems in less developed countries far more severely than in developed countries like Australia.

4. Providing emergency shelter and other essential items after disaster not only helps families recover but can also offer a place where families can be together away from others in the midst of a Coronavirus outbreak.

5. The Coronavirus pandemic is a global crisis affecting all of us. Now imagine the nightmare of living in one of the least developed countries and dealing with a disaster or conflict on top of Coronavirus… without the support you need.

 

People in a refugee camp in Syria
Our partners working in already difficult conditions in Syria.

Like you, the team here at ShelterBox are concerned about the impact Coronavirus is having on our lives and the world around us.

We are lucky to be living in a country with robust health services and significant medical resources. Most of us are able to self-isolate in our own homes and care for ourselves and each other.

Yet for people who are homeless because of conflict or other disaster, Coronavirus is a new and deadly threat. Millions of families around the world have had resources stripped from them and have nothing no way of protecting themselves and their children. And they have no access to healthcare.

Syria-corona

 

Coronavirus is shining a spotlight on the fundamental importance of home to our health and wellbeing, and our ability to deal with the serious problems that life can bring. Whilst we are adapting to new routines, working from home or self-isolating, we can all appreciate how important our home is for our physical and mental health.

All of our lives are being affected by Coronavirus in some way, but those living in refugee camps or in makeshift settlements are particularly vulnerable. Imagine being seriously ill, with no roof over your head. There’s little hope of ‘social distancing’ when there are no blankets to keep your children warm. You can’t wash your hands frequently when there is no clean water. You can’t make your children nutritious meals when there is not enough food, nowhere to cook and nothing to cook it in.

Please think about making a donation today: https://www.shelterboxaustralia.org.au/donate/

Mindanao Earthquake – Veronica’s Story

 

In October 2019, three powerful earthquakes shook Mindanao Island in the Philippines, damaging and destroying buildings. Thousands of people were forced to leave their homes, staying in evacuation centres or with host families. Those who had been hit the hardest stayed in makeshift shelters and were not expected to return home for up to six months.

SB_Philippines_Veronica_CaseStudy_2019_01

Veronica lives at the very top of a mountainous barangay in Mindanao. Along with her family, she was one of the thousands of people affected by the earthquakes. Speaking to the ShelterBox team when they returned to Mindanao to do post-distribution monitoring in December 2019, Veronica said she is proud of where she lives. She added that it is very beautiful with two rivers flowing either side of her home and lots of colourful flowers surrounding it.

The team were unable to get to see her homesite as it was still unsafe for vehicles other than motorbikes to get up there. Fortunately, Veronica’s husband Rodolfo was able to go to up on his motorbike and capture some images of their home that had been rebuilt using ShelterBox tools and tarpaulin.

Veronica told the team she was in her home when the earthquake, which measured 6.6 magnitude, hit on the 29th of October at 9am. She first felt the shaking and then cement started to fall from the ceilings and from the walls. She instantly ran outside until the initial shaking stopped. Her priority was then to run to the school further down the hill to go and see how her youngest daughter was. “I was so scared not knowing how the earthquake had hit the school,” she said. “I ran as fast as I could to get there.”

The school had been severely damaged with parts of it collapsing. The teachers left to go home and see if their families were OK, and what might have happened to their homes.

“Many of us here thought that as Christmas was near, no more earthquakes would hit us,” said Veronica.

At the time of the earthquake Rodolfo was working on their farm. The farm was badly affected, and a large crack appeared through the land. Fortunately, he was able to return to the family unharmed.

“Our house was unsafe to live in,” Veronica explained. “Two walls had collapsed, and the aftershocks meant that cement kept falling from the ceiling.” After the earthquake, the only form of shelter the family had was one tarpaulin. To ensure the whole family was protected from the weather they had to borrow another tarpaulin from Veronica’s brother. This meant they were living in cramped conditions.

Two weeks after the earthquakes hit, the family received aid items from ShelterBox. This included a shelter kit with two tarpaulins, two solar lights, two blankets and a bag to put everything in. They used these items to build a new shelter close to their damaged home until it was safe to return.

SB_Philippines_Veronica_CaseStudy_2019_03

“We are so grateful for the ShelterBox tarpaulins as they are so much better than the ones we had,” said Veronica. “We feel that come rain or shine we are able to feel comfortable inside the home we have made with them and as a result we are now sleeping better.”

Despite the hot weather the tarpaulins keep her family cooler in the day. Veronica said that all the community members at the top of the barangay had used their aid items. Their community does have electricity, but they experience frequent black outs, so the solar lights are used a lot. In case of another earthquake, Veronica said she has prepared a grab bag for the family to take: “We used the bag to carry items back from the distribution, but now we store emergency clothing and other important items in it, just in case another earthquake happens, and we have to leave the area quickly.”

They are not too sure what the future holds for them as they cannot access the farm due to the risk of landslides. But now that they have somewhere to live, her husband is able to focus on looking for a temporary job until the farmland becomes safe or they find an alternative site.

ShelterBox and Rotary celebrate the power of partnership

Emergency shelter charity ShelterBox is celebrating signing up for another 3 years as Rotary International’s Project Partner in Disaster Relief. For almost 20 years, this unique humanitarian alliance has supported families with a place to call home after disaster.

ShelterBox provides emergency shelters and other essential items to support families who have lost their homes in disaster. Rotary is a global network whose members take action to make a lasting difference in their communities – and worldwide.

Working with Rotary in the Philippines

What began as a local connection with one Cornish Rotary Club has led to an international movement that’s has responded to over 280 disasters in 95+ countries.

First adopted as a millennium project by the Rotary Club of Helston-Lizard in 2000, the support of Rotary members and clubs around the world saw ShelterBox become Rotary’s Project Partner in Disaster Relief in 2012. Since then, the partnership has helped transform ShelterBox into an internationally recognised disaster relief charity, supporting families with emergency shelter after disaster.

ShelterBox and Rotary in the Philippines

The partnership extends far beyond financial support. Around 1,000 Rotary members are involved in ShelterBox as volunteers, staff or response team members. And clubs worldwide offer valuable, practical assistance to help ShelterBox reach more families fleeing disaster or conflict.

This has recently included support for families in Malawi flooded from their homes by Cyclone Idai and communities in Lombok devastated by the 2018 earthquake and tsunami (quotes and details at the end of this release).

Caroline White, interim Chief Executive at ShelterBox, said: ‘Whenever disaster strikes, Rotary is beside us. From the earliest planning stages to final evaluations, Rotary members help ShelterBox make community contacts, organise logistics, and reach disaster-affected families in remote areas who might otherwise go without.

‘This partnership has helped ShelterBox become who we are today. Our global network of 17 ShelterBox affiliates, who raise funds and awareness worldwide, evolved from Rotary relationships.’

At the Rotary International Convention, Toronto 2017

Speaking about the partnership renewal, General Secretary of Rotary International John Hewko said:

ShelterBox has been Rotary’s Project Partner in Disaster Relief since 2012, and we are excited to renew the partnership for another three years.

Through this project partnership, Rotary members around the globe can collaborate with ShelterBox to support communities in desperate need of emergency temporary shelter and vital supplies following natural disasters. Additionally, Rotary and ShelterBox will continue to expand cooperation efforts through preparedness training and stockpiles of prepositioned aide in disaster-prone regions.’

Rotary club presidents around the world have also commented:

Ace Robin, President of the Mataram Rotary Club, Indonesia, was caught up in the deadly earthquakes that hit Lombok in 2018. Her home survived, but many around her were destroyed. Through an agreement with the government-led response, Ace’s club was central to bringing ShelterBox aid to Indonesia.

Thanks to their support, vulnerable members of the community received vital emergency shelter, including families with elderly relatives, pregnant women or new mothers.

Ace said: ‘Working with ShelterBox taught us a lot – they showed us how to build shelter and select families to help. It also gave us a chance to show what Rotary is to local people.’

Lombok 2018

After floods triggered by Cyclone Idai left tens of thousands homeless in Malawi this March, Rotary members connected ShelterBox with communities in the Blantyre region, helping them understand local needs and culture. Members helped deliver emergency shelter to almost 2,000 families. And ShelterBox supported the Rotary Club of Limbe to join the wider disaster response, enabling the club to deliver food to communities whose entire crops had been destroyed by the floods.

Rotary Club of Limbe President Eric Chinkanda said: ‘It was a great experience to work with ShelterBox. We have not only walked a mile in reaching out to the many Malawians who faced hardship, but we restored confidence in the displaced people that all was not lost!

ShelterBoxes collected by beneficiaries. The delivery lorry can be seen in the back ground.

James Kingston, Club President of the Rotary Club of Helston-Lizard, in Cornwall, said: ‘The members of Helston-Lizard Rotary are delighted that Rotary International continues to recognise ShelterBox.

I joined the club a few months before the Millennium Project began, and I’m so pleased we’re still involved. It has been wonderful to see the charity grow into an internationally recognised, professional disaster relief organisation.’

Last year ShelterBox Australia received support from 279 Rotary Clubs throughout Australia

A new Chair at ShelterBox Trust

The trustees of disaster relief charity ShelterBox have appointed James Sinclair Taylor as their new Chair.

James Sinclair Taylor

Formerly Vice Chair, James succeeded Dr Rob John OBE in December, having served on the trustee board since mid-2014.

Charity law specialist James is a partner at Russell-Cooke Solicitors LLP, where he heads the firm’s charity and social business team. He is responsible for developing the work of the team and supporting a variety of charities, their boards and chief executives.

Among many roles advising the third sector, James works as a consultant on governance mergers and other issues, and is the Chair of a housing association, trustee at several charities, and the Protector of the innovation fund Nesta.

Speaking on his appointment, James said: ‘I was first drawn to support ShelterBox because it has a strikingly clear and effective vision – a world where no family is without shelter.

‘During a visit to Ecuador after the 2016 earthquake, I saw the evolving ShelterBox operations model in action. The earthquake had left many people in a state of profound shock and anxiety about the safety of their homes. I met two women who’d been sleeping on the ground outside their houses for two weeks, in fear of aftershocks. They didn’t dare go back inside. ShelterBox provided tarpaulins and tools, giving them a space to call home while they repaired their heavily damaged houses.

Photo of James Sinclair Taylor meeting earthquake survivors in Ecuador.

James Sinclair Taylor meeting earthquake survivors in Ecuador.

‘Our teams really listen to families to find out what they need – and we offer an adaptable range of shelter and household essentials to meet those needs.

‘I would like to thank Dr Rob John for his years of service to the board, guiding ShelterBox through a phase of significant growth. Under his stewardship in 2018, we provided 210,000 people with shelter and other essentials after their lives were devastated by disaster.

‘I’m excited to take on the role of Chair and contribute to the ongoing professionalisation and growth of our organisation. ShelterBox has wonderful supporters who have continued to give generously in a difficult financial climate. As Rotary International’s project partner in disaster relief, and with ShelterBox affiliates in 17 countries, we have a unique network that helps our response teams to go further, to reach the most vulnerable, overlooked communities.’

For more information contact phillybyrde@shelterbox.org

THE POWER OF PARTNERSHIP: SHELTERBOX AND ROTARY EXTENDING OUR PARTNERSHIP IN THE PHILIPPINES

ShelterBox and Rotary International are Project Partners in Disaster Relief. By working together, we are ensuring that no family is left without shelter after disaster. Not only do Rotary and Rotaract clubs around the world support ShelterBox financially, but on many of ShelterBox’s deployments local Rotarians, Rotaractors and Response Teams work closely together at an operational level. Rotarians often have great connections with communities and authorities that can help Response Teams understand the situation and respond better together.

Recently, in the Philippines, ShelterBox and Rotary have taken this partnership to the next level. ShelterBox has responded in the Philippines on twenty-five separate occasions. We are always looking for ways to innovate and improve our responses. One way to innovate our responses in the Philippines was to set up ShelterBox Operations Philippines as an in-country organization with aid stored locally so that we can respond more effectively.

Dave Ray, Horizon’s Lead at ShelterBox said: “Rotary has been involved in the creation of the new agency in the Philippines since way before its actual invention. We have worked with Rotary in all of our responses in the past in the Philippines and so it is a very natural thing for us to go to Rotary and to ask for their advice when we were beginning the process.”

ShelterBox Operations Philippines, a locally registered ShelterBox office was set up with a plan to create a network of local Rotarian Coordinators. In this way, when a disaster hits in the Philippines our response can begin almost immediately.

When Tropical Storm Urduja hit the Philippines it caused flash flooding, landslides and destruction. The Rotary Club of Biliran Island started their response shortly after the storm passed providing food, water, and health kits. They were quickly in contact with the Local Coordinators who “coordinated with HQ Operations and the in-country Response team, who then started the ShelterBox Operations Philippines response”.

The Club also began planning for a Village Project, which would give transitional housing to sixty families. Dindin Morillo, Past President of the Rotary Club of Biliran Island said:

“Although we had already identified the next phase of the response for transitional shelter solutions, ShelterBox’s timely arrival provided emergency shelters and rebuilding tools which we recognized as an immediate solution. Without ShelterBox it would have taken time to find interim shelter solutions.”

As families were sleeping in crowded schools and public buildings, without adequate space, privacy or supplies, having immediate emergency shelter was very important. Fifty-seven families were provided with ShelterBox tents as well as blankets, mosquito nets, solar lights, kitchen sets, tool kits, water carriers and more.

Our Oase tents are specifically designed for use in the Tropics

A further nine-hundred families received ShelterKits to start rebuilding their homes as well as blankets, solar lights, mosquito nets, and water carriers. The Rotary Club of Biliran Island was instrumental in the distribution of this vital aid, as their local knowledge insured ShelterBox could reach the most remote and most vulnerable families.

Enisa with her solar lights

Greg Pastor is the President of the Rotary Club of Biliran Island. Of the partnership between ShelterBox and the Rotary Club of Biliran Island, Greg said:

“ShelterBox’s response to Tropical Storm Urduja sets the bar on the level of relief operations and assistance for affected families. The kind of assistance ShelterBox gave to the affected families prepares us to plan and implement the Rotary Village Project as continuing support for these families. Because of honest and genuine service, ShelterBox and Rotary were able to deliver effective and swift assistance to affected families.”

This response was made more effective because ShelterBox Operations Philippines was in place, so aid was already stored in the Philippines, and we were able to start the response immediately. Dindin Morillo said: “ShelterBox extended help that meets the needs of the people. We Rotarians, especially those on Biliran Island have local knowledge of whom to help, including who to talk to in order to bring the help in a timely manner. Thus, rather than being sucked into bureaucratic processes, working together expedited the help and we are very thankful.”

Dindin Morillo, Anna Dixie, Greg Pastor and Jane Diu at the Almeria Tent Site

Whilst this alone is a great example of how effective the partnership between ShelterBox and Rotary can be, responding immediately to disasters with high quality emergency shelter aid, on this response, we were able to take the partnership one step further.

The Village Project run by the Rotary Club of Biliran Island involved legally procuring land, construction of sixty transitional shelters, hands on training, and legal ownership documentation for families receiving the homes. Families were provided with technical training through TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) to build their homes. In this way, not only will they have a safe place to live, but they also will have accredited training and a certificate which can help them gain employment in construction.

Workers building the Almeria transitional homes which they will live in. 

The Rotary Club of Biliran Island helped secure the land, and provided the funding for the materials. ShelterBox was able to provide the roofing sheets for one of the Rotary Village sites, further strengthening our partnership while helping families recover.

Jane Diu, Dindin Morillo and Stephanie Christensen at the Almeria Rotary Village Site

 

Disaster recovery is a process. When ShelterBox and Rotary work together after disasters, having ShelterBox’s technical expertise, and Rotary’s community connections and knowledge side by side, mean that families are given the best tools and support that they need through each step of the process to recover and rebuild.

ShelterBox is currently busy in the Philippines once again, this time responding to Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Luzon.

 

ShelterBox is a registered charity independent of Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation. ShelterBox and Rotary are project partners in disaster relief.

 

Newsletter – September 18

 

eNewsletter September 2018

ShelterBox is proud to be a Project Partner of Rotary International

A devastating super typhoon is due to hit the Luzon district of the Phiippines today

As I write this evening, a horrendously powerful typhoon is heading toward the Philippines. By the time you read this, the people of Luzon region will be experiencing the terrible destructive power of the strongest storms to make landfall this year.

Our Operations department has been monitoring the storm and has a Response Team mobilised and on standby. They have reached out to Rotary contacts in the region to understand how we can help quickly. We have enough shelter aid stored locally in the Philippines to help 2,000 families, but this is unlikely to be enough.

I have been warmed by the generous response to our Lombok Appeal and would like to thank all those that have given recently; but the fact remains that, with Response Teams already active in seven countries, Typhoon Mangkhut is going to leave is stretched.

This newsletter contains some great success stories, tales of hope and strength that wouldn’t be possible without the support of people like you. If you’re not in a position to give today, please tell your friends about ShelterBox, share our posts on Facebook and Instagram and share our vision of a world where no family is left without shelter following disaster.

This month’s quote comes from Miguel de Cervantes, “Forewarned, forearmed; to be prepared is half the victory.

Many thanks for your support

Mike

Mike Greenslade, CEO ShelterBox Australia

Deployment News

 

Lombok – Earthquake

The disaster response in Lombok is being led by the Indonesian Government. We currently have a team of four in Lombok, including Australian volunteer and Rotoractor, Katelyn Winkworth. The team is working in partnership with local Rotary clubs, helping to run training sessions and assisting with delivering aid to families. So far, together with those local Rotary groups, we have helped 449 families across north and west Lombok, in over 80 dusans (communities). We are hoping to help many more families over the coming weeks. Maternity and postnatal clinics in west Lombok have also received tents. 

Read more here: https://www.shelterboxaustralia.org.au/lombok-earthquake/

Kenya – Floods

ShelterBox has a Memorandum of Understanding in place with the Kenyan Red Cross but strict government restrictions on the importation of single use plastics led to a delay in the importation of ShelterBox aid. Having repacked aid in Belgium and Dubai, a Response Team is now overseeing the importation and distribution of 2000 ShelterKits. To date 648 households have received aid in Kalifi. More distributions are due to take place in Tana River once the aid arrives.

Ethiopia – Displacement

Inter-community violence in Southern Ethiopia has led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people. The influx of IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) in some areas has nearly doubled population. Prior to the new displacement, this area was already one of the most densely populated parts of the country. Humanitarian needs are huge. Thousands of people are displaced into crowded and unsuitable collective centres in public buildings. Other people are sleeping outside, with little or no protection from the weather.​ Our team has been coordinating with International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to compile beneficiary lists for two proposed areas. They are speaking with community leaders, in those areas, to bring together plans for how to distribute the aid.

ShelterBox continues to work in Cameroon, Chad, Iraq, Niger, Nigeria, Somaliland and Syria. 


Support the ‘ShelterBox Solution’ and help families who have lost everything to disaster. Please ………..

EFT: Westpac: ShelterBox Australia: BSB 032 189: Account no. 230 147 (please email sbaoffice@shelterbox.org.au to notify us of your donation and receive your tax receipt).

Cheques can be mailed to: ShelterBox Australia, PO Box 254, Parramatta, NSW, 2124

All donations above $2 are fully tax-deductible

Larapinta Trek 2019

 

 Go the extra mile for disaster relief! Join ShelterBox Australia CEO, Mike Greenslade on the adventure of a lifetime and trek the stunning Larapinta Trail in the Northern Territory. The Larapinta Trail is regarded as one of Australia’s premier walking tracks. From the old Alice Springs Telegraph Station to the peak of Mount Sonder, the trail stretches 223 kilometres along the backbone of the West MacDonnell Ranges. Over 5 days of trekking, you will cover 60 kilometres of this iconic track.

https://inspiredadventures.com.au/events/sba_larapinta_2019/

Shine for ShelterBox

Host a dinner party for people who need light in their lives!

When disasters strike and power lines go down, families are left vulnerable, wrenched away from comfort and light.

ShelterBox provides essential relief to people who have lost everything. Every ShelterBox we send includes solar lights that can brighten lives in the darkest hour.

It’s easy to help. Just request a free Shine for ShelterBox fundraising kit and we’ll post one to you in time to plan your event.

As you dine, you’ll be raising money to provide light and emergency shelter for families who need it most.

Click here to find out more: https://www.shelterboxaustralia.org.au/shine-for-shelterbox/

Earn Velocity Points on your donation with Points 4 Purpose

                           

In partnership with Everyday Hero and Imagine Corporation, we are thrilled to present Points 4 Purpose.

ShelterBox Australia supporters can earn 1 Velocity point for every dollar donated. All donations are tax-deductible too!

To take advantage of this exciting initiative, simply go to the Points4Purpose page on the Velocity eStore and choose ShelterBox Australia when they make your donation. 

 


 

 
 

 

                                                    
 

 

 

ShelterBox and Rotary – inspiring young people to take action

‘Do it!’ – Young people call other young people to join them in humanitarian volunteering with Rotary and ShelterBox

Does charity work appeal to young people? Organisations such as Rotary and ShelterBox may have an adult profile, but the momentum is growing among a younger generation to generate the next big humanitarian wave. Meet four people who enthuse about a youthful future for volunteering.

‘Do it! I would encourage any young person to look further into this.’ That is the rallying cry from Katelyn Winkworth, a young Australian who has recently qualified as a ShelterBox response volunteer, and keenly awaits her first deployment to help families caught up in war or natural disaster.

Aged 23 when she attended the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards in 2014, Katelyn subsequently set up a Rotaract club in Brisbane with colleagues. Rotaract – literally Rotary in Action – had its roots in American universities and local communities, beginning in North Carolina in 1968. Now it has over 11,000 clubs worldwide and 253,000 members. For young men and women aged 18 to 30, it is badged as ‘a global effort to bring peace and international understanding to the world.’

Katelyn on completion of her pre-deployment training with Shelterbox

Katelyn’s enthusiasm for humanitarian work began with Rotary. ‘My Rotaract Club volunteered to help at a fundraiser for ShelterBox. When I learnt about the work that Rotary and ShelterBox were doing together, I immediately wanted to become further involved. A Rotary mentor passed on the details of an Australian Shelterbox contact, and my journey began.’

‘Humanitarian work can be very specialised and it can feel hard to get involved, but these organisations are well established, with support all around the world. ShelterBox can go into nearly any country, and be assured that there are Rotarians there who will provide invaluable support for their humanitarian work. Both organisations are supportive and provide incredible training opportunities.’  

Does Katelyn feel that enough is done to attract young people to the cause? ‘Bridging the gap between older members and younger members is important! It can be a good idea to support any young person that wishes to come along to Rotary, perhaps dedicating a Rotarian to make a special effort to welcome newcomers.’

Katelyn adds that young people may assume they have to be a lot more experienced or progressed in their career before joining the ShelterBox team or volunteering. But, in fact, a quarter of ShelterBox staff are aged under 30, and two thirds under 40. She thinks visibility is key. ‘For both ShelterBox and Rotary more advertising and promotion is required, as people won’t get involved in things they simply don’t know about! Getting the word out is important.’

‘It’s so important to engage young people’

ShelterBox had its origins in the Rotary movement eighteen years ago, and now is Rotary’s global project partner in Disaster Relief. Rotary clubs have plenty of outreach programmes which support young people. The Rotary Club of Truro Satellite often meets at ShelterBox HQ, and it has had particular success in taking school computer equipment and furniture to the Romanian city of Targoviste.

Cathie Shipwright, Secretary of the Rotary Evolution Club of Truro, says, From a Rotary perspective it has been a hard sell to engage young people in getting involved with a longstanding international service organisation. With the support of Rotary International, we are able to offer a different approach to Rotary membership – with a monthly Saturday morning meeting over coffee and cake. We then get involved with other charities in supporting them with events such as collecting, marshalling etc.’

Rotary clubs have been active in the international eradication of polio, and on the creative side hold art and photography competitions at local schools.

‘I believe in this modern world of technology, instant communication and social media that young people are much more aware of issues locally and internationally, and we have to find ways that allow them to get involved and engaged in an innovative and interesting way. Life for young people is very busy and they find it difficult to commit regularly, but anything that allows them to dip in and out is useful.’

‘With regard to ShelterBox – this is a great example of how Rotary can make things happen. It has become a worldwide phenomenon. The nature of its work I believe appeals to younger people and the chance to work and volunteer with the organisation is a great opportunity.’

‘Both organisations give me an opportunity to help society and people in need, which gives me immense satisfaction.’

Ashish (left) and his Rotaract colleagues were instrumental in ShelterBox’s response to the 2015 Nepal earthquakes

Ashish Chaulagain lives and works in Kathmandu, Nepal, and first became aware of ShelterBox in 2007 at the age of 19. He explains, ‘My home club the Rotaract Club of Kathmandu had helped a ShelterBox deployment in the far western region of Nepal to support families affected by flooding. Later in 2008, when there was another flood in the country, I contacted ShelterBox HQ asking for help. ShelterBox sent a response team of four with 624 ShelterBoxes to the flood affected victims.’

Ashish was also first to notify ShelterBox in 2015 when a massive earthquake struck Nepal. Now a Head of Department at Thames International College in Kathmandu, he has also been a team leader on Rotary’s literacy mission in Nepal, and presented a paper entitled the ‘Call of Youth’ at the World Forum Conference in 2014.

Asish’s connections with ShelterBox continue today, and he is one of the most enthusiastic advocates of attracting young people to humanitarian ethics. He says, ‘ShelterBox is an amazing organisation to work with. I know of only a few organisations that push themselves beyond their boundaries to help people in need, and ShelterBox is one such organisation.’

‘I give most of my free time to Rotary and ShelterBox. Both organisations give me an opportunity to help society and people in need, which in fact gives me immense satisfaction. I have made my family and employers clear on my passion for community service, so it’s easy for me to get time from them and from my other appointments. They are also proud of my involvement.’

Ashish feels he brings the particular skills of communication, cross-cultural adaptability, negotiation, and above all, friendliness. Looking to the future for both Rotary and ShelterBox he sees, ‘More opportunity to involve more youngsters, with the right communication and training and development for them.’

Yanni found working at ShelterBox HQ inspirartional

Yannis Commino, from Newcastle in Australia, is one of ten Interns that ShelterBox has offered training to in the last year. He says, I was presented with the opportunity of a lifetime. During my New Generations Service Exchange at the headquarters of ShelterBox International in Truro, Cornwall, I gained priceless insight and first-hand experience in disaster relief management.’

‘As I walked through the doors of ShelterBox headquarters, I was greeted by a youthful, vibrant, and enthusiastic team. I was impressed by their morning meetings, as they sit in front of four large television screens analysing the current deployments and tracking global news of the day.’

‘I truly believe this was the beginning of a lifetime of experiences.’

New Generations Service Exchange is a Rotary short-term programme for young university students or young professionals up to age 30, who are interested in humanitarian work. More details here.

All these young people, and thousands more like them, are discovering that working or volunteering in the humanitarian sector is exciting and fulfilling. As Yannis says, ‘This kind of work will enable me to merge my two passions: helping others and exploring new destinations and cultures.’

 

 

ShelterBox and Rotary are project partners for international disaster response. A registered charity, ShelterBox is independent of Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation.

To find out about volunteering with ShelterBox Australia, please visit:

https://www.shelterboxaustralia.org.au/volunteer-with-us/

 

ShelterBox Team in Kenya Following Severe Floods

‘Access to affected communities is challenging’ – ShelterBox team in Kenya to assess shelter needs after major flooding and a burst dam

Flooding in Kenya has so far claimed 170 lives. Last week a dam in the Rift Valley burst unleashing reservoir waters that careered into two villages killing more than 50 people. ShelterBox is now in Kenya to see if it can help, as an estimated 300,000 people have now been forced from their homes.

Across Kenya heavy rain and landslides have caused over a quarter of a million people to leave their homes. Some in remote communities needed rescuing by helicopter.

A dam burst on a commercial flower farm in Kenya’s Rift Valley has killed more than 50 people in two villages, half of them children. The reservoir, situated on top of a hill 120 miles from Nairobi, gave way a week ago today as nearby residents were sitting down to their evening meals. The deluge swept away powerlines, homes and buildings, including a primary school. The search through mud for bodies is still continuing.

International disaster relief agency ShelterBox is expert in providing emergency shelter for displaced communities, and can supply essential items such as solar lighting where power is down, tools and tarpaulins for rebuilding, and water filtration where there are fears of water-borne disease.

ShelterBox Operations Coordinator Rachel Harvey is currently in Nairobi, and says, ‘The rains this year have been heavy and protracted. The cumulative impact on roads and other infrastructure has been severe which makes access to affected communities challenging. Even when the flood waters recede the damage will take time to repair.’   

Two ShelterBox response volunteers flew out to Kenya yesterday to talk to government agencies and the aid community to see whether there is a role for ShelterBox in this ongoing disaster response. Operations Coordinator Jo Arponen says, ‘Initially it seemed the local authorities and the Kenyan Red Cross had enough resources to manage the flooding situation. But now we are hearing that stocks of high quality shelter materials are running low. So our team will be working out what is needed where and how long it might take to get ShelterBox aid into the country. We need to make sure that any aid we send is appropriate and timely.’

ShelterBox has responded in Kenya several times over the years, including in 2010 to flooding in the Turkana region, to widespread drought in 2011/12 when 7,000 tents were supplied, and to help families fleeing conflict in neighbouring countries in 2006 and post-election violence in 2008.