In Cornwall, the Rotary Club of Helston-Lizard runs a scheme called Shelterbox which aims to provide urgent relief around the globe when natural disasters occur.
I quote from the Shelterbox website regarding the immediate response to the Cyclone Disaster that struck Burma (Myanmar) over the weekend:
"May 6th - Myanmar (Burma): ShelterBox responds immediately to the devastating cyclone to hit Myanmar. 22,000 lives are reported to have been lost and 95% of houses are destroyed as the cyclone swept in-land after several days at sea. 224 boxes left from the pre-positioned site in Dubai over the weekend, 220 boxes have left from Melbourne, Australia and a further 200 boxes with two tents each were packed this morning at the ShelterBox HQ in Helston, Cornwall. A team of four SRT members are making arrangements to assist with the difficult distribution of vital aid."
A number of things strike me:
- The speed of response
- The fact that ShelterBoxes are pre-positioned around the globe
- This is done by a voluntary organisiation that, in the UK, has an image of wrinkly doddery old farts. Clearly nothing could be further from the truth.
Shelterbox team - I salute you. Why not give them a few quid? Thank you.