Tomorrow, 20th June is World Refugee Day – Dame Judi Dench endorses ShelterBox

Portrait of Dame Judi Dench

Dame Judi Dench. Image © Sarah Dunn

I support ShelterBox and the crucial work they do. Shelter and togetherness are stepping-stones to recovery.’ Dame Judi Dench on World Refugee Day

On the UN’s World Refugee Day (20th June) one of the world’s most famous Oscar-winners has given her backing to an agency that has helped hundreds of thousands of displaced people. Dame Judi Dench has generously endorsed the work of ShelterBox, saying that in a world on the run from disaster, ‘ShelterBox brings hope.’


mother and son at a refugee camp in Iraqi Kurdistan © ShelterBox

Dame Judi Dench is celebrated from Hollywood to Broadway to the West End. She has followed the work of international disaster relief agency ShelterBox for several years. Tomorrow is World Refugee Day, held every year on 20 June, when the United Nations commemorates the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees.

ShelterBox is an international charity that provides emergency shelter to families who have lost their homes through conflict and natural disaster. The charity is currently responding to refugee crises in Cameroon, Niger, Chad, Syria and Iraq. A team will also shortly be heading to Uganda, which has the world’s largest refugee camp at Bidi Bidi, home to 800,000 people, many fleeing war in South Sudan. ShelterBox works hard to understand the need created by differing emergency situations, and has created a flexible range of aid that includes tools, tents and tarpaulins for families to make urgent shelter or repair buildings where there is no other possible provision. The aid can be used to create a temporary base in communities or refugee camps, but it is also light and portable for people moving from one place to the next.

Dame Judi has supported ShelterBox in the past, and donated a signed and framed theatre poster for sale in 2011. Now, with World Refugee day being promoted by the United Nations next week, she has again expressed her support.

Dame Judi says, ‘When disaster strikes and families are left with nothing, ShelterBox brings hope. Responding to each situation individually, ShelterBox gives tailor-made support – a place to live, equipment to cook with and to purify water, mosquito nets in the summer, scarves and blankets in the winter and SchoolBoxes to provide young people with the stability of the classroom.’

Right now there are 85 million people worldwide on the move, forced to flee their towns and villages by conflict, or natural disasters such as earthquakes, landslides, flooding and cyclones. Hardworking volunteers in the ShelterBox warehouse pack the boxes, which are then delivered to some of the most remote and dangerous places on earth by our dedicated ShelterBox Response Teams.’

Happy Syrian children in their ShelterBox tent, El Minie, Lebanon ©MIkeGreenslade/ShelterBox

Happy Syrian children in their ShelterBox tent, El Minie, Lebanon ©MikeGreenslade/ShelterBox

I support ShelterBox and the crucial work they do all over the world helping families who have lost everything. Shelter and togetherness are stepping-stones to recovery. If you are able, please give what you can via  ‘‘

All donations above $2 are tax-deductible, please give generously.


ShelterBox Participates in World Refugee Day 2013

World Refugee Day 2013 - Over 5 million Syrians forced to leave their homes - that's more than twice the population of Paris

World Refugee Day 2013

The civil war in Syria has forced millions of families from their homes, and in many cases from the country entirely. With the increased fighting and changing of control of particularly hostile towns and villages, more and more civilians are flooding across the border into neighbouring countries. This World Refugee Day, ShelterBox would like to draw attention to the families in need in the region and its response to the ongoing conflict.

Over one million Syrian people have registered as refugees since the beginning of the year, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). There are now over 1.6 million refugees, three quarters of them being women and children, seeking safety and shelter in foreign countries, placing unprecedented strain on communities, infrastructure and services in host countries.
ShelterBox has been helping Syrian families in need in Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon over the past 18 months. The vast majority of fleeing families arrive with little more than the clothes on their backs.
UNHCR has said if current trends persist, it can be expected that over three million Syrians would have left the country by the end of 2013. Thanks to donors worldwide, ShelterBox will continue to bring essential aid to Syrian families in need whilst needs remain.
If you would like to make a difference to a family made homeless by disaster and help alleviate their suffering please donate here.