Barnstaple Rotarians send Shelter Box aid to Haiti

MEMBERS of the Barnstaple Link Rotary Club are on standby to help in Cornwall with the packing of shelter boxes bound for earthquake victims in Haiti. Rotary Shelter Boxes from the South West were among the first wave of aid to reach the disaster hit area

MEMBERS of the Barnstaple Link Rotary Club are on standby to help in Cornwall with the packing of shelter boxes bound for earthquake victims in Haiti.

Rotary Shelter Boxes from the South West were among the first wave of aid to reach the disaster hit area following Tuesday night's quake, which measured 7.0 on the Richter scale.

A local member of Rotary International in Port-au-Prince is not only helping with the distribution of the aid, he is also offering shelter in his own damaged home. Rotarian Dr Claude Sur�na, president of the Haitian Medical Association, is helping to lead aid efforts in Haiti for Shelter Box, the international disaster relief charity based in Helston, Cornwall, sponsored by Rotary clubs worldwide.

Dr Sur�na met three Shelter Box volunteers from the US and UK at the Port-au-Prince airport to receive the first 200 Shelter Shelter Boxes on Wednesday. He is leading the efforts of Haiti's 16 Rotary clubs to ensure that the relief is deployed effectively to the thousands of homeless in need.


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A further 1,000 boxes are on the way to Port-au-Prince. Each box contains a disaster relief tent that houses 10 people, a stove, blankets and other essential items. In 2008, Dr Sur�na also led hurricane relief efforts by Rotary and Shelter Shelter Box.

The tremor has impacted on thousands of lives leaving victims grief-stricken, homeless and at a loss as to how they will survive, let alone how they will rebuild their lives. The rapid response by Rotary International, the world's largest humanitarian organisation, is thanks to the tireless efforts of Rotarians all over the world whether it is fundraising or going out to sites as part of Shelter Box Recovery Teams.

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In the UK, Rotary Clubs are mobilising to raise funds to replace the Shelter Boxes, Water Survival Boxes and Aquaboxes, to produce drinking water, earmarked for this disaster hit area.

"This is where Rotary International can really play to its strength," said Barnstaple Link Rotary Club president Martin Chamberlain.

"With more than 55,000 members in the UK alone, we can make a real difference to disaster hit areas such as Haiti and help those in the greatest need.

"Thanks to the North Devon WIs and other clubs, schools and organsations who have raised money, boxes were in place ready for dispatch," added Mr Chamberlain, who warned that another push would be needed to replace the diminishing stock ready for the next disaster.

To donate to Shelter Box, visit www.shelterbox.org

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