Help Haiti

On 12 January 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti at 16:53 local time.  Hundreds of thousands of people are feared dead whilst millions of others have been affected by the devastation.  Those who survived this natural disaster have been left injured, desperately searching for missing loved ones.  Now homeless with a lack of basic necessities like food and water, means we need to do all we can to help.

ShelterBox is an international disaster relief charity, specializing in emergency shelter provision and by clicking here you can donate via the Bloggers for Haiti – Just Giving Page.

ShelterBox provides aid in the form of self sufficient boxes, each one costing on average £490.  This includes all materials, packing, storage and distribution to individual recipients worldwide. Based on six months use only, this equates to 27 pence per person per day.

At the heart of every ShelterBox is a ten-person tent. It is custom made for ShelterBox by Vango, one of the world’s leading tent manufacturers, and is designed to withstand extreme temperatures, high winds and heavy rainfall. Internally, each tent has privacy partitions that allow recipients to divide the space as they see fit.

Warmth and protection:
In addition to the tent, the boxes contain a range of other survival equipment including thermal blankets and insulated ground sheets, essential in areas where temperatures plummet at nightfall. Where malaria is prevalent mosquito nets are supplied, as well as life saving means of water purification. Water supplies often become contaminated after a major disaster, as infrastructure and sanitation systems are destroyed, this presents a secondary but no less dangerous threat to survivors than the initial disaster itself.

Self sufficiency:
A basic tool kit containing a hammer, axe, saw, trenching shovel, hoe head, pliers and wire cutters can be found in every box. These items enable people to improve their immediate environment, by chopping firewood or digging a latrine, for example. Then, when it is possible, to start repairing or rebuilding the home they were forced to leave.

Fit for purpose:
Every item is durable, practical and brand new. The box itself is lightweight and waterproof and has been used for a variety of purposes in the past – from water and food storage containers to a cot for a newly born baby.

A heart to the home:
A key piece in every box is either a wood burning or multi-fuel stove – that can burn anything from diesel to old paint. This provides the heart of the new home where water is boiled, food is cooked and families congregate. In addition, there are pans, utensils, bowls, mugs and water storage containers.

A broad range of equipment is kept in stock so the contents of a box can be adapted to a specific disaster. For example, following the Javanese earthquake in 2006, when some resources were available locally or could be salvaged from one storey buildings, the overwhelming need was for shelter – so we just sent tents, packing two in each box.

and finally, a smile:
Every box contains a children’s pack containing drawing books, crayons and pens. For children who have lost most, if not all of their possessions, these small gifts are treasured.

Picture 93

Every little bit counts, so please donate today, every penny is gratefully received.


One response to “Help Haiti

  1. Beautifully said- we need to do everything we can!

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