ROTARY ROUND-UP: Help focused at the point of need

Getting ShelterBoxes to remote areas
Getting ShelterBoxes to remote areas

This week, David Chapman, from the Rotary Club of West Worthing, gives an update on the latest and future goings-on.

On an increasingly crowded planet with the constant threat of natural disasters the need for emergency relief and immediate response is more urgent than ever.

Many of these events occur in remote parts of the world, such as the 2015 Nepal earthquake or the March 2017 mudslide in a remote area of Colombia where unprecedented rainfall triggered a slide of mud and rocks which engulfed the town of Mocoa leaving 250 dead and hundreds homeless.

It is difficult to know how to respond to tragedies such as these.

The money does not always get to those affected, evaporating in administrative charges or diverted by corrupt officials and governments.

Sometimes donations are just not used because of the difficulties of organising effective relief in regions where the communication and distribution infrastructures are ineffective.

For Rotarians, ShelterBox is the answer.

Each of these sturdy green boxes contains family-sized tents specially designed to withstand the elements and provide temporary shelter until people are able to start the process of rebuilding their homes.

They contain all of the essential tools people need to start repairing and rebuilding homes, with all the basic household items like cooking sets, solar lights and even activity sets for children to replace those items lost and destroyed in the disaster.

Even the box itself can serve as a water storage cistern.

They are of a size and weight that can easily be handled and carried by one or two people.

A standard, packed box weighs 120lbs with dimensions of 33in by 24in by 22in.

When natural disasters and conflicts rob people of their homes, we can’t wave a magic wand to replace what was lost, but we can help create something new.

We can provide people with the tools to start the process of their own recovery.

A ShelterBox protects families from burning heat, bitter cold, dangerous animals and disease and so much more.

It provides a shelter where families can have privacy from the rest of the world, where they can feel safety and security in being together.

Since ShelterBox began in 2000, it has helped provide shelter for more than one million people.

Each box costs £590.

They are assembled by Rotarians at a base in Truro and stored until they are needed.

They are distributed through the Rotarian network so Rotarians can be sure that the money they raise when they are out on the streets collecting for disaster relief does get to those in need and to where it is needed most.

So when you see a Rotarian collecting for natural disaster appeals, be it earthquakes, landslides, hurricanes, tsunamis, droughts or displacement as a result of conflict, you can be assured that your contribution will be directly going to those in need with the maximum effectiveness and minimum overheads.

Details of Worthing’s three Rotary clubs are:

• Worthing Rotary Club meets Monday, 12.55pm, at the Chatsworth Hotel, in The Steyne, Worthing, 01903 209564.

• West Worthing Rotary Club meets Tuesday evening at Tudor Close, Ferring, 01903 501961.

• Worthing Steyne Rotary Club meets Monday evening at The Ardington Hotel, in Steyne Gardens, Worthing, 07788 638757.

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