Bringing shelter to thousands

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Hhe speaker at the February meeting of the Yorkshire Countrywomen’s Association Cragg Vale branch was Mr Robert Haigh, who spoke about the work of Shelter Box, first organised by a group of Rotarians.

This was started in Helston, Cornwall, by South West Rotarians who wanted to do something meaningful at the start of the Millennium.

Support for disasters like floods, earthquakes, droughts and the like was a big problem where warmth, shelter and water was most needed.

The tsunami in Haiti was the trigger when eight million people had lost their homes.

The shelter box was planned and made up in Helston.

Each box holds a tent, groundsheets, blankets, cooking pots and plates, water filter, mosquito nets, water container and tool kit plus hats, scarves, gloves, a wind-up radio, a stove and children’s activity items and school boxes.

Each box contains everything for ten people.

Rotarians are trained in “lifelike conditions” how to cope and use equipment.

Rotarians go with the boxes all over the world, they are not sent on a plane with nobody to check where they land.

They started with 2,000 boxes - last year 30,000 boxes were sent.

Muriel Morgan thanked Robert for a very informative talk.

Members were very pleased to hear that the boxes were accompanied by their own members to their destinations.

A collection was made by members and was given to Mr Haigh.