TWO years ago when the Caribbean island of Haiti was struck by an earthquake that killed 230,000 people and made 1.5 million others homeless, the Rotary Club of Eyemouth, along with many others in Berwickshire and north Northumberland sent money to buy shelter boxes for the survivors.
Since then ShelterBox has been working closely with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Haiti to assist thousands of families in rebuilding their lives.
The shelter box contains: a custom made tent designed to withstand extreme temperatures, winds and heavy rain; cooking equipment; sleeping bags; mosquito nets; insulated ground sheets; water purifying supplies; water containers; and drawing books and pencils for children. The box itself can also be used for storage when empty.
ShelterBox has been coordinating a project to help families to either return to their place of origin, or set up homes in a new location they have identified, and residual stocks of tents and emergency equipment have been distributed to these displaced families to enable them to finally start to rebuild their lives.
Landowners have sometimes used violent methods to evict families from camps on their land and the sturdy ShelterBox tents have been their only option.
Tom Lay, ShelterBox operations coordinator in Haiti, said: “Helping families to restart their lives after a disaster is exactly what ShelterBox endeavours to achieve.
“The fact that we are still delivering aid two years on from the earthquake just shows what a huge disaster this was. Over 28,000 shelter boxes were sent to Haiti, the greatest number that ShelterBox has ever sent out to a single disaster.”
Speaking on behalf of The Rotary Club of Eyemouth and District, Jo Pawley said: “We are pleased that the money raised by ourselves and other Rotary clubs is having a continued effect helping people to recover from this awful disaster.”