We believe that no one should be without shelter after disaster. We specialise in supporting people with emergency shelter, household items and training to allow them to start rebuilding their lives after disaster and conflict.

We do this through working with the communities we are supporting. We aim to be flexible and prepared for future disasters. 

Discover more about our approach to our work.

Nurta and her children faced an arduous journey of three months after having to leave their home due to a lack of food and water.
Icon Info
Nurta and her children faced an arduous journey of three months after having to leave their home due to a lack of food and water.

Why emergency shelter?

Recovery starts with shelter. Having somewhere dry and warm to sleep, to prepare meals and be with your family is vital for starting the long process of rebuilding your life.  

Emergency shelter offers privacy and helps to preserve your dignity. It offers protection from the elements, animals and disease. It helps keep communities together. It can help to bring back a sense of normality, allowing children to go back to school and can help adults to rebuild their livelihoods.

Most importantly, it empowers families to start the process of getting back on their feet.

Our approach to our work

Our approach is enshrined in our Vision, Mission and Values. To support these in our work we…

  • Work with the disaster-affected communities. This allows us to assess their particular needs after a disaster. It also means we deliver the most appropriate aid when it is needed. Training is offered to help people get the most use out of the aid we supply. We also evaluate each response through talking to the people we support. This allows us to learn from what happened and keep improving.
  • Have a flexible approach, because each disaster is different. There is no one size fits all approach to aid, so we adapt to each disaster and community. Being flexible has encouraged us to alter some of the aid we offer to better meet the needs of the people we are supporting. This has included offering more durable shelters for people likely to be forced from their homes for an extended period. We have also offered some people cash assistance. This allows them to buy what they need and to feel empowered towards their own recovery. 
  • Go further, working with hard-to-reach communities who are overlooked by others. Our logistics and operations teams are key to ensuring we reach the people who need us. In the past we have transported aid on foot, boat, helicopter, motor vehicle and even tuk-tuk to get it to where it was needed!
  • Make sure we are ready to help before a disaster strikes. We store aid in strategic locations around the world so we can get it to the people who need it as quickly as possible.
  • Work with trusted local partners who provide vital support. They can provide contacts to the right people to gain permissions to work in a particular area. They can help us source aid items locally, helping local economies and reducing our carbon footprint. And they can provide information on a location and the people that live there. This information can be key for planning the aid we offer and ensuring it is both useful and appropriate for the communities we are supporting. Partners also help with the distribution of aid, and assessing its effectiveness. 
  • Have a network of incredible volunteers who are ready to help at a moment’s notice. Some will go with our staff into disaster affected areas. They help pack and distribute aid and connect with the local community. Others will support fundraising efforts and share the work of ShelterBox with talks and events.
  • Aim for the highest standards of integrity. We commit to high ethical standards and strive to be honest, straightforward and fair. We hold ourselves accountable for doing the very best we can for those affected by disaster and for each other.
ShelterBox team member talking to people in a building in Cameroon

Learn more about our approach

If you’d like to learn more about how we approach our work; you can find a lot of information here on our website. This includes:

  • Our vision, mission and values
  • Our Strategy for 2022-27. This 5-year strategy sets out to see ShelterBox become even more focused on the impact emergency shelter can have for people after disaster and conflict.
  • Our Theory of Change – Our new Theory of Change sums up what we will do and why to support communities affected by crisis. It builds on our years of experience and on the latest evidence of the vital role shelter can play in enabling people to recover and rebuild.
  • Response criteria – As a charity with limited resources and knowing who, where and when we can help can be hard. Our response criteria which helps us decide when we can help. We also talk more about this in our blog.
  • Our supporter promise – This is the promise we make to our supporters to ensure that giving to ShelterBox is a positive experience.
  • Partnerships – Learn more about the partners we work with to help us bring the best possible support to people impacted by disaster.
  • Our policies – These set out the principles we work within
  • Our blog – This features posts on different aspects of our work, from particular responses to what happens behind the scenes
  • FAQs – These will help answer questions about ShelterBox and the way we work. And if your question isn’t answered here, then you are welcome to contact us!