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Shelterbox Offers Hope When Disaster Strikes

Issue 340
Front Page
News Headlines
Pirates Threaten Starving Somalis' Last Lifeline
Islamic Courts Reject Kismayo Administration
Local and Regional Affairs
Somaliland Representatives To Take Part In Workshop For African Parliaments
Somaliland Seeking Security Ties With Western Nations
Pirates Seize 2 More Vessels Near Somalia
French Commandos Free Hostages From Puntland Pirates
CPJ To Honor Five International Journalists
Islamists Threaten To Shut Down Mogadishu Airport
Industry Loses Patience Over Pirates
JBS Swift Fires 100 Wildcat Striking Muslim Meatpackers In Colorado
US Should Join France And Somaliland In Combating Piracy
Special Reports
Country's Technology growth status

International News

Kidnapped Alta. Journalist Appears Healthy In Video
Italy 's Prodi To Head Panel On Africa Peacekeeping
Milk off shelves as China 's safety scandal grows
Features & Commentry
Shelterbox Offers Hope When Disaster Strikes
Gender Inequality Shackles African Economies
Global Maternal Mortality Crisis Unnoticed
Somalis Under Attack With No Place To Hide
Djibouti : Building Brand Bin Laden
Somalia 's Struggle For Self-Determination


The Gulf Of Aden – A Deathtrap For Somali Asylum Seekers
Fall of Kismayo, TGS in Addis Ababa , Crumbling ARS and Puntland: Somalia under Spotlight
Three Little Mice With A Heavenly Cheesecake
Are Women In Somaliland For The Kitchen And Household Chores Only?


Sep 17, 2008

By day, Dave Hallett is a mild-mannered director of information systems at Queen's University in Ontario .
But when disaster strikes, Hallett slips into his role as a frontline worker for Shelterbox, an international organization that provides aid to victims of the world's worst catastrophes. Hallett visited Lethbridge Tuesday night to speak about his experiences working with the organization.

“When you get the phone call to go, there's a bit of trepidation, because you don't know exactly what you're getting yourself into,” said Hallett.

“You really kind of rally behind the people out there who need what you're doing.”

Shelterbox got its start in England in 2000, the result of a worldwide Rotary Club challenge to develop millennium projects. The organization operates by sending boxes filled with necessities — a 10-person tent shelter, water containers and purification tablets, sleeping gear, cookers, pots and pans, and dish sets — to devastated regions around the world. The gear is manufactured in countries across the globe and each box costs about $1,200 to fill and ship. Hallett explained shipping containers filled with hundreds of the boxes are strategically placed around the world, ready to be shipped out at a moment's notice.

Hallett travelled to Somaliland in October 2007 to aid with refugee relief efforts and to China in June 2008 to help earthquake victims there.

“Not many people who suffer natural disasters think that someone is going to travel thousands of miles across the world and give them something that might be better than anything they've had before and not ask for anything in return,” said Hallett.

“When they realize that, the smile on their face is priceless.”

Shelterbox was one of the first organizations on the ground in Burma after Cyclone Nargis devastated the country in May. The organization's lack of a political agenda and ability to mobilize quickly was key to its success in Burma , said Hallett.

Since its inception, Shelterbox has given out more than 50,000 boxes, helping more than 700,000 people in 47 countries. For more information, visit www.shelterbox.ca.

Source: Lethbridge Herald.com



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