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Rotary signs project partnership with ShelterBox

Rotary International has signed an agreement with international disaster relief charity ShelterBox which will increase their joint capacity to help families around the world displaced by disaster.

John Hewko Tom Henderson
The agreement formalises the twelve-year bond between the two organisations and cements the place of Rotarians around the world at the heart of ShelterBox activities. It is the first time that any organisation has become an officially recognised ‘Project Partner’ of Rotary International.

Rotary clubs across Great Britain and Ireland raise around £1.5 million each year for the charity and some Rotarians are ShelterBox Response Team members who go out to disaster areas and provide hands-on help during times of need. These disasters can be anything from dealing with the aftermath of tsunamis to helping refugees from war-torn countries who have fled conflict.

ShelterBox was founded by Rotarian Tom Henderson OBE in 2000 as a Rotary Club Millennium Project of the Rotary Club of Helston-Lizard. It has since become one of the world’s leading humanitarian aid charities providing emergency shelter and supplies to over 107,000 families worldwide following disaster.

Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland (RIBI) President Ray Burman said: "This formal agreement is great news not only for ShelterBox and Rotary but also for the many thousands of people we jointly help every year. Rotary is about saving and improving lives wherever in the world our help is needed. We have always had a great relationship with ShelterBox and our network of 34,000 Rotary clubs across the world means that these boxes, and other disaster relief supplies, can quickly get to places some aid agencies struggle to reach.

"Rotarians raise funds but we also provide hands-on help. We give our time and our skills to help others. With this new agreement, Rotarians will be able to respond even quicker to calls for assistance. I urge the public to continue supporting Rotary causes and help to make a world of a difference."

Tom Henderson OBE, ShelterBox Founder and CEO, said: "Rotary and Rotarians have been integral in the operational development of the organisation, from being eyes and ears on the ground during deployments, to providing logistics, accommodation and translation services, right to assisting with the pitching of tents. Many of our global Response Team volunteers are Rotarians.  Others have joined the Rotary family having seen the difference that Rotary and ShelterBox make on the ground. They have always helped us in endless ways."

Rotary International CEO and General Secretary John Hewko said the agreement will increase hands-on service opportunities for Rotary club members in disaster-affected communities: "For more than ten years, ShelterBox has given light to over one hundred thousand families worldwide in their darkest hour. This project partner agreement represents our mutual goal of helping those in need. It gives Rotary a forward-facing approach to immediate disaster relief."

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