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Help us shelter families fleeing conflict

WELCOME Thank you for reading this latest, and slightly different, version of the ShelterBox Newsletter. There is, of course, little need for me to set the scene for our Syria Refugee Appeal. This growing crisis has played out for more than two years. Media images of overwhelmed refugee camps, displaced families and distressed children have become all too familiar. But despite that familiarity I am sure no-one reading this has become dispassionate about the plight of those fleeing conflict. We are all disquieted by fellow feelings of ‘what would it be like if that was my family?’ It may lack the urgency of a catastrophic natural disaster, but the exodus from Syria is nonetheless the greatest humanitarian tragedy of modern times. I visited Syria and Jordan in the nineties, including Damascus and Aleppo. Syria is such a beautiful country with an extremely rich historical and contemporary culture. Syrians’ pride in their country was evident, and it is heart-breaking that it is being torn apart by a conflict that will have consequences for many years to come. So, what can you do to help? One of the ways is to assist ShelterBox in reaching out to as many of the millions fleeing conflict as possible. Our target is to raise an extra £2 million, which we estimate can aid around 5,000 families. To offer them shelter, hope, and a resounding message that the outside world has not abandoned them. You will also read here how our work continues elsewhere in the world. ShelterBox responds to cries for help wherever, and whenever. But I hope you will help us rise to the particular challenge of helping as many Syrian refugees as possible. I give you my personal assurance that your donations will be used effectively and imaginatively, making a tangible difference to these shattered lives. With sincere thanks for your continued support,

Alison Wallace, Chief Executive, ShelterBox

CONTENTS PG 3 Disaster Report

PG 4 Syria - The facts PG 5 Syria - Up close

PG 9 Syria - How can I help?

PG 11 Putting the Fun in Fundraising PG 14 ShelterBox Shop

Domiz Refugee Camp, Iraqi Kurdistan | Torstein Nielson


T: 01326 569782 E: ShelterBox: Water-ma-Trout, Helston, Cornwall, TR13 0LW Editor: Mark Nicholson ( Front cover image: The long walk is over for these Syrian refugees, as they cross the border into Iraqi Kurdistan. Credit - Aram Karim/Metrography. Charity No: 1096479 Company No: 4612652 President: HRH The Duchess of Cornwall ShelterBox is a Charity independent of Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation.


DISASTER REPORT Although much of our aid, and much of this Newsletter, is focused on Syria, ShelterBox is always hard at work on other disaster front lines. To see an interactive map of recent and current deployments, please visit But in the meantime, here is a quick world tour of where your donations have been making a difference. NIGER - FLOODING

Widespread flooding following torrential rains in August caused homes to collapse, ruined crops and drowned livestock. This was just ahead of the harvest they depend on for their livelihoods. 91,000 people in the African country of Niger were left with nothing. A ShelterBox Response Team arrived in the capital Niamey to assess the need for vital aid, including water filtration due to the high risk of a cholera outbreak.


The Philippines in South East Asia are rarely off ShelterBox’s radar. In the last few years aid has been provided following flooding and widespread destruction caused by a typhoon, a cyclone and other tropical storms. Now rebel fighting in Zamboanga in the far southwest has caused around 13,000 people to leave their homes and seek safety elsewhere. ShelterBox has helped them by sending tents from stock prepositioned in Clark.


Over 300,000 people across Sudan have been affected by floods around the capital Khartoum, the worst for 25 years. ShelterBox distributed tents with the help of the Sudanese Red Cross. Many houses are made of sun-dried bricks which simply dissolved when the floodwaters rose.


ShelterBox is one of very few western aid agencies invited to work in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). This country has extremely harsh winters. A Rotarian connection in Shanghai, China, and DPRK’s Trade Ministry, paved the way for us to shelter rural families made homeless by last year’s typhoon, and more recent heavy rains.


ShelterBox responded rapidly to an earthquake in Pakistan’s remote South West province of Balochistan. The 7.7 magnitude quake struck North East of Awaran. It was so severe it claimed hundreds of lives, flattened houses, and even created a new island off the coast near the port of Gwadar. ShelterBox was already working with Pakistan’s National Rural Support Programme in the region due to recent flooding, so was able to use stock pre-positioned in Islamabad.

Syrians queue for supplies at a refugee camp in Iraq Kurdistan | Hunter Tanous


• Unrest in Syria began in March 2011.

• Since then 100,000 people have lost their lives.

• Every 15 seconds a Syrian becomes a refugee. • Over 2 million have already fled Syria. Half of them children.

• The UN says this is threatening the cohesion of the whole region, describing the exodus as ‘an unrelenting flood’. • Syria’s neighbouring countries are at saturation point. One in every four people in Lebanon is a refugee and Zaatari Camp is now Jordan’s fourth largest city. • As winter approaches more shelter is urgently needed.


SYRIA UP CLOSE We sit safely in our own homes watching images of Syrian towns destroyed, and grim refugee camps swollen past capacity. But ShelterBox’s response teams get a closer view, the privilege of meeting refugee families face to face, and learning first hand of their flight from terror into the unknown. These stories of ordinary Syrians caught up in an brutal civil war are up close and personal. Our staff and volunteers come back from the Syrian borders moved by what they have heard. Here are just some of their stories. QADRIA’S STORY ShelterBox Response Team member Hunter Tanous says, ‘We met Qadria as we walked through the Krwigorsk refugee camp. She was cutting watermelon in the entrance to her tent, offering us a piece as she sat shaded from the 50 degree heat. She is a woman who has lost everything, fleeing Damascus when her house was looted and her husband killed. There were six in her family, but only two daughters were with her in the camps. She lost her husband in the war and had to leave her two sons behind. She fled with her daughters by bus to the border with Kurdistan. They saw bombs fall around them. Not all of the buses arrived. She thanked God for the camp, for ShelterBox, for the buses at the border that took her to this shelter. Qadria is one of 15,000 in the camp today, with thousands more coming.’

Quadria, safe for now but counting her losses | Torstein Nielson


Response Team member Hunter Tanous with children in the Krwigorsk camp in Iraqi Kurdistan | Torstein Nielson

TARIQ’S STORY Hunter continues, ‘We then met Tariq, aged 46. He and his family did not have shelter, just a ripped blanket propped up by a stick and attached to the side of another family’s tent. Without this the intense heat would quickly take its toll.

The only thing I need is a tent, just a tent. As his family shared one plate of rice and a piece of chicken for the five of them, Tariq spoke of how his wife and three children had been separated from him and his son while fleeing. He cried for seven days until just that morning, when he had found them in the camp. It was ‘like paradise’ when his family was reunited again. Tariq’s family’s welfare depends mainly on shelter. ‘The only thing I need is a tent, just a tent,’ he said as we prepared to leave. Our partners from the Barzani Charity Foundation took his name and said they would make sure he received a tent as soon as they were available. Tariq was not the only one without a tent we saw that day.’

DELAN’S STORY ShelterBox staff member Michael Johns, on deployment in Iraqi Kurdistan, visited a former school that now accommodated over 1000 men, women and children. Michael says, ‘One of them was Kamal, a schoolteacher who spoke English. Kamal acted as our interpreter and guide, walking us around the school. He immediately took us to see the family of a young boy called Delan, meaning ‘hearts’ in Kurdish. Delan is 11-years-old and has been blind since birth. He is a gifted musician, who plays the tambur, a traditional Ottoman stringed instrument. Despite his blindness he composes his own music and lyrics. Delan performed one of his songs for us. We were spellbound by his talent, and the evocative melody. Other refugees would gather to listen. The tambur was old and battered, and clearly a favoured possession. Delan’s father told us that the talented boy is very sensitive and that the tambur is hugely important to him - if he doesn’t play it every day he becomes nervous. Speaking with Delan, hearing his story and his music was the most emotional event I experienced during the deployment.’

Delan entertains his fellow refugees with his own compositions | Torstein Nielson


Schoolfriends (L to R) Ayman, Ahmed and Mohammed | Torstein Nielson

AHMED’S STORY Ahmed is one of the million children who have fled their homes in Syria - that is half the Syrian refugee population. He is 12-years-old and was sitting on the ground at Krwigorsk camp in Iraqi Kurdistan when a ShelterBox Response Team working in the area met him.

He took his children by the hand as they left the ruined house, walking for six days to reach the border. His friends Ayman and Mohammed were sitting either side of him. They are classmates from school back in Syria but it has been two months since they were last in a classroom, and they say they have nothing to do in the camp. SRT member Torstein Nielson also met Ahmed’s father Ibrahim. He is 47-yearsold and has seven children. They lived in Damascus during the fighting. It was just in time that Ibrahim took his family into the basement for refuge. Not long after, their house was destroyed. He took his children by the hand as they left the ruined house, and left Syria, walking for six days to reach the border. Many refugees dream of returning to Syria, of going home. ShelterBox has sent SchoolBoxes packed with stationery and activities for refugee children like Ahmed, Aymen and Mohammed to help continue their education and bring a sense of normality to their lives.

SYRIA HOW CAN I HELP? Your support will provide families with essential aid and, more importantly, hope for the future. As well as delivering emergency shelter and equipment to families in need, our response teams carry a message of optimism on your behalf. Here we answer your questions about transforming your gift into something of much greater value. HOW WILL MY MONEY BE USED?

So far ShelterBox has sent aid to support over 4,500 families in Syria, Iraqi Kurdistan, Lebanon and Jordan. Over the coming months, we aim to provide shelter and other essential aid for a further 5,000 families fleeing the conflict in Syria.

HOW DO I DONATE TO SHELTERBOX’S SYRIA REFUGEE APPEAL? To make a donation by post please fill in and return to us the form on the back of this Newsletter. To make a donation online please visit or you can phone us on 0300 0300 500 and our Donations Team will be happy to help.


Due to the complex security situation, we have to be very careful about the type of aid we are sending to Syria. The green ShelterBox and its white tent are very distinctive and could threaten the safety of recipients and partner organisations in some areas. So we need the flexibility to be able to send less conspicuous items. For this reason you will not receive a box number.


ShelterBox tents and equipment have been carefully sourced and tested. To ensure that we maintain high quality and consistency across all of our aid, we regret we are unable to accept donations of goods.


Becoming a ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) volunteer involves a thorough and rigorous training programme. To find out more visit To find out more about general volunteering opportunities please email


Just look at the next few pages for fundraising inspiration. We have an experienced fundraising team on hand to offer advice, support and materials to make sure your fundraiser is a success. Please call us on 01326 569782 or email



We can’t predict the future but we can be ready for it. Regular gifts ensure we are always ready to respond, wherever and whenever disaster strikes. Giving by Direct Debit also reduces our administrative costs. Remembering ShelterBox in your Will is another lasting way to support our work. Every gift, large or small, will help us provide shelter and hope to disaster-affected families for years to come. For more information please contact Franka Fueller on or call her on 01326 569782.

PUTTING THE FUN IN FUNDRAISING Fundraising for ShelterBox is both fun and easy. Whatever you decide to do you will be making a difference to families affected by disaster, whether that’s popping up a poster in your local club, or organising your own fundraising event. Bake sale, book sale or bungee jump - whatever tickles your fancy, the funds you raise will make a life-changing difference to ShelterBox recipients. Here we show you some of the imaginative ways our wonderful supporters keep this show on the road! FIVE YEAR OLD TOBY IS WRITING TO THE WORLD Meet enterprising Toby Little of Sheffield. Toby set out to make the whole world his pen-pal by writing to people in every one of its 193 countries. He came up with the idea himself, and he’s written every single letter himself. And he chose ShelterBox as the charity to benefit from his worldwide project. In his own words, ‘Hi, my name is Toby, and I want to write to a person from every country in the world, and get a letter or postcard back. I want to know how people live, and what food they eat, and what school is like! I write all letters by hand.’ His ‘pen-pals’ range from individual children to whole school classes, aid workers to ambassadors, and even a President (of Kiribati)! Toby’s Mother created a detailed website where you can read every letter sent and every reply, and an interactive map showing how much of the globe Toby’s correspondence has covered. Toby explains why ShelterBox seemed a natural fit with this global project. ‘At first it was just a fun project for my summer holidays, but then we started writing to lots of countries that need help. I am writing to anybody who can write back, but many people can’t even buy a stamp, they can’t even buy food! If you would like to read Toby’s letters and replies, and more about his Writing to the World project, go to

TRAINING WITH THE HARLEQUINS As part of their pre-season preparations, the Harlequins rugby squad teamed up with professional development consultancy Mission Performance and ShelterBox for a unique team-building training session. Twickenham-based ‘Quins’ have been engaged with ShelterBox fundraising for some time, but this was the first course to be arranged with our Academy training unit. The fictional disaster scenarios were all linked with ShelterBox’s work, providing emergency shelter and lifesaving supplies for families around the world at the time when they need it most.

PEDAL POWER FOR SHELTERBOX Inspired by British wins in the Tour de France and the Olympics, it seems that everyone has been climbing into the saddle to raise money for ShelterBox. We had four entrants in ‘Ride London’, the largest cycling event ever held in the UK, and other intrepid cyclists have Los Angeles and Alaska in their sights.

‘Prudential Ride London’ was one of the greatest mass-participation cycling events in the world. Pedal power replaced piston power as the capital’s roads were closed to traffic.


Matt White used to work in ShelterBox’s Donor Support team, and is trained as a ShelterBox Response Team member. He and his girlfriend, Plymouth University student Rachel Riley, had already run the Plymouth half marathon last year for ShelterBox. Now they are attempting a 3,000 mile cycle from New York to Los Angeles this autumn. Matt says, ‘Our challenge is to cycle across the States without using hostels, hotels or motels. We will be relying on the goodwill of the American people to shelter us as we head east to west.’ Tom and Sharon Bridgman from mid Devon are circumnavigating the globe, from ‘North to North’ cycling unsupported across 32 countries. In a little over two years they are cycling from the tip of Norway south across Europe and Africa, and then again from the tip of South America up through Central and North America to Alaska. They aim to raise over £10,000 for ShelterBox.

SPANISH SCHOOL STUDIES SHELTERBOX ShelterBox Response Team member Adam Branson teaches at Granada College, a bilingual primary and secondary school in southern Spain. As part of their coursework, year 5 and 6 students carry out a campaign on an issue they are passionate about. They unanimously agreed that they wanted to support ShelterBox. As part of the campaign they designed posters to raise awareness, and gave presentations on ShelterBox’s mission, past and current deployments, and why they should support our cause. For a fundraising event pupils were allowed to wear green and white T-shirts instead of their regular uniforms, a first in the history of the school.

SHELTERBOX SHOP Get ready for Christmas with the online ShelterBox shop. Every penny you spend helps to support our work worldwide. CHRISTMAS CARDS

Christmas Cards Pack of 6 containing 6 designs £4.00

JUTE GIFT BAG containing

a ShelterBox mug with tea from the Tregothnan estate. A perfect present from Cornwall £9.50


Made of bamboo and filled with recycled materials, this cute dog has a logo’d ShelterBox bandana. A lovely gift. Our YOUNG SHELTERBOX BOOKS are illustrated by UK primary school children and acclaimed children’s author and illustrator Michael Foreman. Full of colour and imagination, we see how a community pulls together and helps each other in the face of adversity. We have a special bundle offer on our three books describing tsunami, flood and earthquakes - all 3 for £8.00.

STOP PRESS: The launch of our newest book about conflict ‘The Day The Bombs Fell’ is due in November. Check the website for details. £1 from each book sold will go directly to our Syria Refugee Appeal.

Visit to see our full range of gifts and make a difference to families who have lost everything.


SYRIA REFUGEE APPEAL DONATION FORM TO MAKE A DONATION: • Complete the form and return to ShelterBox Syria Refugee Appeal, ShelterBox, Water-Ma-Trout, Helston, Cornwall, TR13 0LW (Please make cheques payable to ShelterBox)

• Call 0300 0300 500

• Or go online Your Details:

Gift Aid Declaration:

(Please complete the ‘Your Details’ section and sign below to complete your declaration)

Donor name:

Please treat this donation and all donations I have made in the past four years as Gift Aid donations. Please also treat all future donations as Gift Aid donations until I tell ShelterBox otherwise. I confirm I have paid or will pay an amount of Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax for each tax year (6 April to 5 April) that is at least equal to the amount of tax that all the charities or Community Amateur Sports Clubs that I donate to will reclaim on my gifts for that tax year (currently 25p for every £1 given). I understand that other taxes such as VAT and Council Tax do not qualify.

Organisation name: Address:




Keeping In Touch:

My Donation:

We will keep you updated about our work by post.

I would like to donate to the Syria Refugee Appeal, to help shelter families fleeing conflict*

If you prefer not receive such information please tick here r.

I would like to make a donation of: £


Please debit my credit/debit card:

By providing your email you consent to receiving emails from us about our work.

(Please make cheques payable to ‘ShelterBox’) (Tick as appropriate)

q Maestro q Mastercard q VISA q Amex Card No: Start date: d d m m

Expiry date:


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*Your donation will be used to fund our on-going response to the Syria crisis and will help provide shelter and essential aid to families fleeing the conflict. In the unlikely event that we raise more money than we can reasonably and efficiently spend on our response to the Syria crisis, please rest assured your donation will help us prepare for and respond to other disasters around the world. Please note, you will not receive a ShelterBox number for this donation. To find out more about the appeal, please visit

Issue No (Maestro only):

ShelterBox is a registered charity.

Card holder name:

Company No: 4612652

Signature: Date:

Charity No: 1096479 President: HRH The Duchess of Cornwall ShelterBox is a charity independent of Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation DCNLMSY 10/13

To find out more about other ways of supporting ShelterBox, including making a regular gift, fundraising or leaving a gift in your Will, please contact us on 0300 0300 500 or go online

ShelterBox UK and Ireland newsletter Autumn 2013  
ShelterBox UK and Ireland newsletter Autumn 2013  

ShelterBox UK and Ireland newsletter Autumn 2013