Published in Flex Issue 4 February 2014.
A Helston charity is providing vital support in the Philippines assisting families in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.
Shelterbox, a humanitarian aid organisation, provides rapid response worldwide following natural and man-made disasters. David Crook, 63, a volunteer for the past six years said: “Our ethos is to provide shelter, warmth, dignity and hope in the shape of a green plastic box.”
The Super Typhoon tore through the Philippines archipelago on November 8 2013 with wind speeds reaching 195 miles per hour. Mr Crook added: “This is the largest storm to make landfall. We estimate 11 million people have been affected with 1.8 million people displaced. “We have 11 response teams in the area; three teams were already in Bohal responding to the earthquake of October 15. The building they were in collapsed around them.”
Volunteers at the warehouse on Water-Ma-Trout Industrial Estate pack boxes with equipment including a family size tent, cooking equipment, water containers and purification, blankets and a children’s activity pack. A team of ten can pack a typical consignment of 224 boxes in two hours.
Mr Crook said of one victim whose home was destroyed: “Jeremiah and daughter Jingle Heart have moved into a Shelterbox disaster relief tent. They had been sheltering from torrential rain under a sheet of tarpaulin, but now they can keep dry.”
Shelterbox was founded in 2000. Their first consignment of 143 boxes was deployed to help earthquake victims in India in January 2001. Since then they have worked in 85 countries, responded to more than 200 disasters and provided temporary homes for about 1.25 million people.
To find out more about fundraising, voluntary work opportunities or to make a donation contact www.shelterbox.org.