Posted by Jackie St John
We’re early in the 2018-19 Rotary year and sadly there has already been significant global natural disaster and conflict. In July there were two major earthquakes in Indonesia (6.4 and 6.9 magnitude), with many deaths and more than 300,000 people displaced from their destroyed homes.
There have been nearly 600 aftershocks, some of them substantial earthquakes. ShelterBox sent a volunteer Response Team to Lombok who worked with local Rotary contacts and liaised with local government authorities to understand how we could help. Fortunately, we had some aid items pre-positioned in the region which enabled quick response. We will be providing tents and tarpaulins to help local families start to rebuild their lives. Rotary teams will be helping our volunteers to deliver aid into the hands of the families who need it, to provide people with the tools to start the process of their own recovery. This highlights that the partnership we have with Rotary is invaluable:
 
“Rotary District 3410 and PDG Eva Kurniaty have continued their long-time support of ShelterBox during our response to this disaster. ShelterBoxes that they have been storing in Jakarta are now being delivered to Lombok for distribution to the most vulnerable families. The single Rotary club on Lombok has worked tirelessly since the first quake and their continuous assistance has made our response possible. With support of DG Surya Wayan and the District 3420  Disaster Relief Team led by DGN Nyoman Suastika they have been delivering lifesaving aid that is coming in from Rotarians throughout the region. Lombok RC president Ace Robin and her family have been with our response team around the clock since our arrival providing the contacts, translation, and transportation needed to get this distribution approved by the government and started”.
 
That is the power of ShelterBox and Rotary International’s Project Partnership, where together we create positive, lasting change in communities at home and all over the world.
“The partnership between Rotary and ShelterBox has provided a place of refuge to people facing some of the most difficult and uncertain moments in their lives.”
John Hewko, 2011 – present Rotary International General Secretary.
The northern hemisphere summer has been full of extreme weather events with wildfires destroying homes in Greece as well as ongoing conflict in Syria driving vulnerable families from their homes. When missiles and mortars leave cities in ruins, when troops storm villages, when families fear for their lives – we believe that shelter can cut through the chaos. We can’t give back what was lost, but we can provide the tools for families and communities to start their own recovery, promoting stability in the face of such huge trauma.
 
Shelter is more than just a roof – it’s a home, it’s the foundation for life, for families, for communities, for peace.  So ShelterBox is tremendously proud and honoured to have been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for the work we do globally, building peace one family at a time. The winner is announced in October 2018.
 
At ShelterBox we say that no family should be left without shelter, no matter where they are in the world.  Rotary Club Champions are people who share our passion and share that message within their own Rotary Club.  Champions deliver increased awareness about ShelterBox within their Club and local community and act as the main point of contact between their Club, ShelterBox New Zealand and other local ShelterBox volunteers. Please contact us -  www.shelterbox.org.nz – if you would like to be your Club’s Champion. “Be the Inspiration”. We’d love to have you join our team!
 
Delivering ShelterBox in Syria
 
Jackie St John
Chair, ShelterBox New Zealand