Thursday 05 January 2012
Successful year for ShelterBox and Scouts worldwidePhoto taken at the 22nd World Scout Jamboree in Sweden, 2011.
‘Every year, millions of people are made homeless through natural or manmade disasters. ShelterBox provides the unique opportunity for Scouts to explore why these events happen, what their effects are and how they can make a positive contribution to the world we live in.’ Tom Henderson OBE, ShelterBox Founder and CEO.
ShelterBox has a strong history of working with Scouts in disaster zones and they have become an integral part of the ShelterBox family, from their assistance in the field to their engagement with the work we do.
The Scout Association in the UK launched its official partnership with ShelterBox in May 2009 as part of Young ShelterBox’s (YSB) programme. Due to the partnership’s success, ShelterBox increased its global relationship with the Scouting world last year including the engaging participation at the 22nd World Scout Jamboree (WSJ), the collaboration in the organisation of the 54th Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) and the 15th Jamboree on the Internet (JOTI) and agreements launching partnerships with Boy Scouts of America and the Scouts et Guides de France.
With a New Year beginning, ShelterBox looks back at highlights it’s had with Scouts around the world in 2011.
Last year, ShelterBox worked with Scouts on deployments in Japan, Brazil, Bolivia, Thailand, Turkey and USA for their invaluable logistical support and local knowledge.
In March 2011, an 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck Japan triggering a tsunami that caused extensive damage. ShelterBox Response Teams (SRTs), scouts and scout leaders distributed ShelterBoxes to the displaced families and set up camps.
‘This was the first time I’d worked with Scouts on a deployment, and it was a real pleasure for me,’ SRT Volunteer Mark Dyer said. ‘The Scouts are familiar with tents and know how to camp. Teaching them how to set up our disaster relief tent was particularly easy.’
SRT Volunteers and Scouts on deployment in Brazil in October 2011.
An emergency camp was built in southeastern Brazil last October after floodwaters submerged eighty percent of the town. Scouts were responsible for pitching over half of the ShelterBox tents. Without their help, ShelterBox would not have succeeded in providing emergency shelter to all the families in such a short period of time.
‘It was a great learning experience for the members of the group, the collaboration with ShelterBox showed us the importance of being better prepared to face adverse situations,’ said scout leader Antonio Carlos Oliveira.
Education and awareness
The ShelterBox partnership with The Scout Association in the United Kingdom is part of the YSB programme of exploration and discovery. Through events and engaging online activities, Scouts are able to explore the world of international disaster relief in a fun and interactive way.
YSB have recently launched a new series of resources to add to the online library called Go Global. These are available through the YSB website and help Scouts discover more about global humanitarian aid. They are flexible and adaptable focusing on global awareness, movement and action. The programme has attracted over 3000 Scouts who have signed up already making it a huge achievement for the UK YSB team.
‘We’ve been overwhelmed by the number of Go Global registrants,’ said James Webb, YSB Project Officer. ‘There was an immediate interest from Scout Groups as soon as the resources were launched online. This high level of engagement is definitely a highlight for us this year as is the London Scavenger Hunt last July.’
In October 2011, ShelterBox France also launched a Scouts Area on their website with educational tools for scouts and scout leaders available for download.
‘I am particularly happy with the excellent cooperation between the two organisations and how we both share values of solidarity, providing aid to people made homeless by disasters worldwide,’ said Philippe Bancon from Scouts et Guides de France after signing the Memorandum of Understanding with ShelterBox last April. ‘We thank ShelterBox for their proposed educational programmes that will raise awareness about humanitarian crises and the role our scouts can play to assist affected communities.’
Importance of shelter and humanitarian action
Last October, the Boy Scouts of America hosted more than 4,000 Scouts at the first ever ShelterBox and Three Fires Camperall in Sandwich, Illinois. Scouts participated in activities with SRT Volunteers and Rotarians where they learnt more about ShelterBox. The event promoted the importance of shelter and humanitarian action following disasters to Scouts while having fun.
Scout at ShelterBox and Three Fires Camperall at Sandwich in Illinois, USA.
‘On behalf of the Three Fires Council, Boy Scouts of America, I would like to thank ShelterBox for participating with us to hold the Prepared for Life/ShelterBox Camperall,’ said Matthew Ackerman, President and Scout Executive for Three Fires Council. ‘I believe we created great awareness and support for the work of both of our groups, thank you!’
‘This is one of ShelterBox USA’s greatest achievements this year,’ said ShelterBox USA President Emily Sperling. ‘We couldn’t be prouder to be associated with an outstanding organisation like Boy Scouts of America.’
Global Partnership with Scouts
ShelterBox attended the 22nd WSJ in Sweden last July and August. With over 40,000 Scouts from 146 countries in attendance, this was the biggest WSJ in history of World Scouting. Not only did ShelterBox raise awareness about disaster relief among the scouts at the event but ShelterBox representatives also contacted scout leaders with the objective of developing partnerships with national scout organisations worldwide. Since then, ShelterBox has been in contact with national scout organisations in more than 25 countries, each which has responded positively to the idea.
‘We anticipate that in 2012, educational and awareness activities developed in cooperation between ShelterBox and Scouts will be available in more countries in Europe, in the Americas and also in the Asia-Pacific Region,’ said Becky Maynard, ShelterBox's Head of International Fundraising and Communications.
Also during the 22nd WSJ, Tom Henderson had a meeting with Luc Panissod, Secretary-General of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM), to begin discussions about an official partnership between ShelterBox International and the World Organization of the Scout Movement.
‘Although an official Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has not been signed yet, this meeting facilitated the engagement of ShelterBox at another world level event – the 54th Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) and the 15th Jamboree on the Internet (JOTI),’ said Tom Henderson.