Our work is possible because of people around the world who give generously to ShelterBox. It’s also thanks to the commitment of our staff and volunteers that enables us to bring shelter to communities overwhelmed by disaster and humanitarian crises.
The strength of our enthusiastic volunteers is beyond measure. It is their commitment to our cause that enables us to provide homes for countless communities who survive disasters. Some volunteers perform the essential task of packing every single ShelterBox that leaves our warehouse in the UK whilst others assist in other departments including Operations, Training, Fundraising and Communications, Reception and Supporter Care.
Our ShelterBox aid is also delivered to communities in need by volunteers. To become a response team member is no easy feat and each individual has to undertake rigorous and intensive training before they are qualified to deliver emergency aid. Our worldwide network of response team members is a key component to our ability to respond rapidly to disasters.
The ShelterBox operations team continuously monitors disasters enabling us to be in a position to respond rapidly, effectively and efficiently when disaster strikes. Every disaster is different so is every ShelterBox deployment. Sometimes we respond to disasters independently, other times it is on requests for assistance from other aid agencies or government authorities. The common thread is ensuring the response always supports the direct needs of the beneficiaries.
Our experienced logistics team works tirelessly to ensure aid reaches the most vulnerable families and communities. We always endeavor to deliver ShelterBox aid in the most effective way possible. This can be by road, sea, air or a mix of all three. ShelterBoxes are packed and dispatched from our headquarters in Cornwall, UK. We have stocks of prepositioned boxes stored in strategic locations across the globe including Dubai, Singapore, Panama and Curacao to enable a rapid response.
Collaboration in the field is becoming more and more common in our work not just with aid agencies and government bodies but also with logistics companies and airlines. They regularly offer cheap, sometimes free, freight as well as flights for our response teams, allowing for more of our donors’ money to be spent in other vitally needed areas. We work closely with the Global Shelter cluster, a coordinating body made up of the leading humanitarian aid agencies who specialise in shelter. It aims to reinforce preparedness and technical capabilities to respond to humanitarian crises through coordination at regional, national and global levels.
The most important people to us are the families we help. We firmly believe that our work is never finished and we are committed to measuring and evaluating the impact our aid has by listening to the needs of the people that we are helping. When it is suitable, we will send teams on post-deployment monitoring and evaluation programmes to assess how effective our aid is and to work with the beneficiaries to find out ways we can improve our equipment and service. The feedback we receive from the field is used to facilitate further research and development into ways we can improve the quality and effectiveness of the aid we deliver.