Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Every Little Bit Makes a Difference

I promised to post on another topic rather than my labor waiting game, and today would like to share a post from Heather at Notes for Lapland highlighting a much bigger issue: the Bloggers for Haiti ShelterBox campaign started by English Mum for survivors of the traumatic earthquake that rocked Haiti last week.

Sitting in my South London home, it’s hard to imagine the entire fabric of my life and that of hundreds of thousands of my neighbours being ripped to shreds in an instant by forces of nature. Unfortunately in this crazy world natural disasters like this do happen, and as we all know, did just happen in Haiti.

I’m not currently rolling in dough but every £1 and $1 donated for towards this effort will make a difference and I will be making a donation tonight.  Lately I've been thinking a lot about the responsibility of giving my little one a solid start in life; herein lies an opportunity to help give a another person further from home another much needed start.

Hear Hear to the blogosphere for spreading the word about this valuable effort. Tons of bloggers have made similar posts; please continue to spread the word/make a donation if you haven’t already!

More specifics about the ShelterBox are below; to donate please visit the Bloggers For Haiti JustGiving page

A ShelterBox

Each box costs an average of £490 including all materials, packing, storage and distribution to individual recipients worldwide. Based on six months use only this equates to 27 pence per person per day.

At the heart of every ShelterBox is a ten-person tent. It is custom made for ShelterBox by Vango, one of the world’s leading tent manufacturers, and is designed to withstand extreme temperatures, high winds and heavy rainfall. Internally, each tent has privacy partitions that allow recipients to divide the space as they see fit.

A smile
Every box contains a children’s pack containing drawing books, crayons and pens. For children who have lostmost, if not all, their possessions, these small gifts are treasured.

Warmth and protection
In addition to the tent, the boxes contain a range of other survival equipment including thermal blankets and insulated ground sheets, essential in areas where temperatures plummet at nightfall. Where malaria is prevalent mosquito nets are supplied, as well a life saving means of water purification. Water supplies often become contaminated after a major disaster, as infrastructure and sanitation systems are destroyed, this presents a secondary but no less dangerous threat to survivors than the initial disaster itself.

Self sufficiency
A basic tool kit containing a hammer, axe, saw, trenching shovel, hoe head, pliers and wire cutters can be found in every box. These items enable people to improve their immediate environment, by chopping firewood or digging a latrine, for example. Then, when it is possible, to start repairing or rebuilding the home they were forced to leave.

Fit for purpose
Every item is durable, practical and brand new. The box itself is lightweight and waterproof and has been used for a variety of purposes in the past - from water and food storage containers to a cot for a newly born baby.

A heart to the home
A key piece in every box is either a wood burning or multi-fuel stove - that can burn anything from diesel to old paint. This provides the heart of the new home where water is boiled, food is cooked and families congregate. In addition, there are pans, utensils, bowls, mugs and water storage containers.

We keep a broad range of equipment in stock so we can adapt the contents of a box to a specific disaster. For example, following the Javanese earthquake in 2006, when some resources were available locally or could be salvaged from one storey buildings, the overwhelming need was for shelter – so we just sent tents, packing two in each box.

Donating couldn't be easier. Simply go to Bloggers For Haiti JustGiving page.
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