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Post from 2010: “Shelterbox” for calamity victims


LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… `Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock’…” (Matthew 7:24-25, the Holy Bible).

DESPAIR FOR CALAMITY VICTIMS: Here’s what I wrote here on November 20, 2010, which is still relevant today:” When heavy rains, floods, strong winds, volcanic eruptions and other natural disasters or calamities strike, one of the most immediate needs that must addressed by government and private charitable institutions alike is relocation sites or other places where the displaced victims are to be temporarily sheltered.

“Most often, school houses, gyms, covered courts and plazas and other public buildings are transformed as evacuation centers, but bigger problems usually crop up and pose more health and other hazards to the affected families and individuals upon reaching these makeshift shelters, making them pine to return to their homes.

“But with `home’ having been washed away or gravely destroyed even before the victims left them, there is really nothing to return to, for most of the victims. Despondency and despair then set in, crushing whatever hopes that may have been left in their hearts. The stage is then set for a bleak and hopeless future for many of them.

SHELTERBOX GIVES HOPE FOR BETTER LIVES AFTER CALAMITIES: “ `ShelterBox’  is changing all these, however. An international relief organization that delivers emergency shelter, warmth and dignity to people affected by disasters worldwide, ShelterBox now aims to help 500,000 people who are victimized by natural disasters worldwide every year.

“Tom Henderson, the founder and chief executive officer of ShelterBox, told me in an interview at the `affiliate launching ceremonies’ for ShelterBox Philippines at the Fontana Leisure Park in Clark, Pampanga, on Saturday, November 13, 2010, that his group has already helped 500,000 people since it was founded in 2000.

“A Rotarian from the Rotary Club of Helston-Lizard in Cornwall, Henderson said that ShelterBox was initially a project of his Club, and was born out of a realization that aid response to most disasters was in the form of food and medicine, but little or no assistance is given in terms of proper shelter to help them in the first few days as they tried to rebuild their lives. `ShelterBox was launched to fill that void,’ Henderson said, and, in the case of Filipino disaster victims, ShelterBox has already delivered hundreds of `shelter boxes’ six times.

FILIPINO ROTARIANS PUT UP SHELTERBOX PHILIPPINES: “What `proper shelter’ does Henderson’s ShelterBox provide? Lyne Abanilla, a governor of Rotary International District 3810 and now a trustee of ShelterBox Philippines, explained that each `shelter box’ contains a disaster relief tent for a family of about 10 people designed for extreme temperatures and heavy rains, and a host of other items intended to put the victims back on track after the calamities.

“Filipino Rotarians are so impressed by the relevance of what ShelterBox is doing—considering the calamities occurring in the country yearly—that they decided to affiliate themselves with the group, putting up ShelterBox Philippines in the process.

“Anyone wanting to help push this project—or to be helped by it—can approach any Rotarian in Rotary’s 10 districts in the Philippines, said Rotary Past District Gov. Jess Nicdao, the newly-installed chairman of ShelterBox Philippines.”

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