The Club supports ShelterBox which provides immediate aid to disaster areas. It was founded in 2000 by Rotarian Tom Henderson (a former Royal Navy Search and Rescue diver) with the support of his Rotary Club Helston-Lizard in Cornwall, which adopted it as its millennium project. He saw that the aid response to most disasters was in the form of food and medicine to help people survive the immediate aftermath. Little or no assistance was given in terms of proper shelter to help them through the first few days, weeks and months as they tried to rebuild their lives. ShelterBox was launched to fill that void, little did they know that it would become the largest Rotary club project in the world.
In March 2012 ShelterBox became the first "Project Partner" of Rotary International. More detail can be seen here.
ShelterBoxes provide humanitarian aid in the form of a 10 person tent designed to withstand extreme temperatures, high winds and heavy rainfall.
Also included are: thermal blankets, insulated ground sheets, stoves, cooking utensils, tools, water containers and purification equipment and a children’s pack containing drawing books, crayons and pens.
For children who have lost most if not all their possessions these small gifts are treasured.
The great work of these boxes has been only too apparent in a response to desperate world-wide need over the last couple of years and can be seen in ShelterBox in Action on this website.
Reflecting on the 10th Anniversary in 2010, Founder Rotarian Tom Henderson said: "Ten years ago I had one box and a dream to make a difference. Ten years later and ShelterBox is a globally represented charity making a significant contribution to disaster relief on the world stage. We have proved the absolute and imperative need for high quality emergency shelter to protect the lives that are threatened every year following disasters of all types and magnitude.
Our work would not be possible without the support we receive from everyone who has supported ShelterBox; especially our wonderful volunteers…….I’d like to extend my deepest thanks to all of you for contributing to our disaster relief efforts. Is because of your support that there are now thousands of families calling a ShelterBox their home. Your support has helped save and protect hundreds and thousands of lives.”
The Club have donated in January 2013 £1,2500.
Since 2006, The Rotary Club of Belfast has donated 58 boxes which have been deployed helping nearly 600 people - most recently 20 boxes in 2010: 14 to Haiti and 3 to Guatemala and 3 to Pakistan; in 2011 2 boxes to the Philippines and 7 boxes to Pakistan and in January 2012 1 box was sent to the Philippines following flooding from a tropical storm in December 2011.
Distribution of The Rotary Club of Belfast's ShelterBox Donations
|12||Karachi||to aid cyclone Yemin victims|
|2008||3||Myanmara||to aid cyclone Nargis victims|
|3||Hargeisa||to accommodate returning refugees|
|2||Inaruwa||to accommodate after recent flooding|
|2010||14||Haiti||to accommodate after recent earthquake|
|3||Guatemala||to accommodate after recent flooding and tropical storm|
|3||Pakistan||to accommodate after recent Cyclone and flooding|
|2011||2||Philippines||to accommodate after recent flooding|
|7||Pakistan||to accommodate after recent flooding|
|2012||1||Philippines||to accommodate after recent flooding|
The Club continues to support these boxes and in March 2010 the Club received a ShelterBox Bronze Award for the level of continued support.
We would encourage any of our members who wish to support disaster relief work to donate to this very worthy Rotary Charity. Boxes cost around £590 and the Club would look to members to seek support from their churches, clubs or kindred organisations in either, buying a Box in partnership, sponsoring one or making a contribution. We are deeply grateful to those members who have made personal donations (asking for no personal publicity) in supplying ShelterBoxes.
The Club thanks all those members who have contributed in any way.
The Club were delighted to receive a cheque for £650, presented by PP Derek Baxter to President Brian on Monday 21st March 2011, donated from Belvoir Park Golf Club's Winter League Charity Day to be forwarded to ShelterBox.
We are equally grateful to President Arthur who donated the proceeds of his President's Night. Rotaract, with their usual enthusiasm also stepped up to the mark by “camping” outside Queens Student Union in a ShelterBox tent displaying its lifesaving contents, raising ShelterBox's profile and, again, collecting much needed funds.
All sponsor money received contributes to the purchase of additional ShelterBoxes.