In our most recent episode of Scrappy, host Chris Straigis sat down with ShelterBox President Kerri Murray to explore the organization’s incredible mission. ShelterBox is an international disaster relief charity that provides emergency shelter and aid to families around the world. When families have lost their homes due to disaster or conflict, ShelterBox is there to deliver the essentials they need in order to begin rebuilding. From family sized tents and shelter kits, to solar lights and cooking sets, those who have been displaced from their homes don’t need to fight against adversity alone.
Boots On The Ground
The heroics of ShelterBox start with the brave individuals who take up the mantle of going head first into these disaster sites. They are known as SRT (ShelterBox Response Team) members, and they’re among the first responders into these critical zones, placing themselves directly at the center of the conflict. Their goal is to undertake the crucial element of ShelterBox’s work – ensuring that emergency shelter and other humanitarian aid is delivered as quickly as possible to families who need it most.
These diverse groups of volunteers come from a range of backgrounds and a variety of countries, and they are not your ordinary volunteers. The selection process for SRTs consists of six stages:
- Online test
- Application form
- Online interviews
- Four-day residential selection course
- Online pre-learning (100+ hours)
- Nine-day residential pre-deployment training
Those who are selected are the finest of the bunch, and are expected to fulfill two three-week long deployments every year. With such a rigorous screening process and intensive training, SRTs are prepared to handle any situation that may arise in order to help those in need.
Currently, ShelterBox and their SRTs are working hard around the globe in a number of crisis areas including: Ukraine, Yemen, the Philippines, Syria, Haiti, Lake Chad Basin, Mozambique, Ethiopia, and Burkina Faso, just to name a few. Between wars, starvation, failing economies, and natural disasters, SRTs hold true to their mission of aiding families through the harshest of environments. They’re a sliver of light through the darkness, helping people take the necessary steps towards rebuilding their futures.
ShelterBox In Ukraine
As the crisis in Ukraine has unfolded over the past four months, more than 14 million people have been forced to leave their homes. That’s more than a quarter of Ukraine’s population constantly on the move and desperately trying to flee to safety. ShelterBox and their SRTs are currently working in Moldova while coordinating with partners such as People in Need and ReliefAid across Poland and Ukraine. With the help of these partners, ShelterBox has been able to provide thousands of mattresses for collective centers like schools and churches in Lviv, Ukraine, while also distributing shelter kits with supplies such as tools, ropes, high thermal blankets, hygiene kits, solar lights and water carriers. Their work in Ukraine continues to this day, as they’ll be supporting refugees in neighboring countries into the unforeseen future.
If you’d like to support ShelterBox in their quest to help Ukraine, visit them at https://www.shelterboxusa.org/the-ukraine-crisis-explained/
And for more information about the incredible work that ShelterBox is doing, be sure to check out our most recent episode.
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