NAHT CHARITY PARTNER
ShelterBox raises some smiles after an earthquake in Sumatra.
Lessons in warm-heartedness ShelterBox and the NAHT have worked together for the past two years. ShelterBox’s head of operations, Ross Preston, looks back at a successful partnership I’ll admit he’s not an obvious source of advice on schooling and education. But this January the Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, said something I think we can all agree with: “We have to see how we can fundamentally change our education system so that we can train people to develop warm-heartedness early on. I don’t mean we need to change the whole system, just improve it.” That’s a great aspiration for any school: to develop warm-heartedness early on. And ShelterBox has certainly had a rewarding two years working closely with the NAHT in pursuit of that aim. 14
Today’s relentless 24-hour news cycle brings man’s inhumanity to man into sharp focus. But if students and pupils look they will also see acts of compassion and tolerance. Particularly in our business – disaster relief. When I talk to people I often ask them to spend a minute thinking about how they would feel if their family suddenly lost everything – home, income, possessions. Imagine the terror of fleeing an overwhelming natural disaster, or being driven out of your homeland by fear and conflict. Imagine how grateful you would be that someone was at your side quickly, offering shelter, warmth and the means to live. Dignity in a green box
that was packed for your family, half a world away in Cornwall. ShelterBox has only had a brief history – little more than a decade – but in that time it has responded to more than 200 disasters in almost 90 countries, and provided aid for considerably more than a million people. Our goal is to help 50,000 families every year. Yet we couldn’t have achieved any of this without the support of our partners. ShelterBox is in constant partnership with its donors, its worldwide affiliates, other charities, and non-governmental organisations. So why is our partnership with schools so valuable? Since October
LEADERSHIP FOCUS ● MARCH/APRIL 2013
Leadership Focus March/April 2013