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Tuesday 11 December 2012

ShelterBox brings comfort to children after disasters
ShelterBox brings comfort to children after disasters

Children’s worlds are turned upside down when disaster strikes and their day-to-day lives can be changed irrevocably due to experiencing high levels of trauma. ShelterBox tries to bring a level of comfort to children in different ways after disasters.

Last October, a ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) travelled to northern Iraq's Kurdistan region to respond to the escalating Syria refugee crisis.

With the imminent threat of winter weather, the team worked at Domiz refugee camp near Duhok to provide winterised shelter for hundreds of families in need, including the bespoke thermal liners designed for the ShelterBox disaster relief tents that provided a much needed level of warmth for families who had fled devastating conflict in their home country.

Mother and children at Domiz camp, Iraq Kurdistan, October 2012.

Working with Barzani Charity Foundation, a Kurdish organisation, ShelterBox also delivered 16 SchoolBoxes that contained stationary for 800 children studying at the schools at the camp run by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), bringing children a sense of normality and hope in a very difficult situation.

Camp for children

Torrential rains in July caused flash floods to sweep across southern Russia, forcing many families to leave their homes and take refuge in trees or on rooftops.

ShelterBox responded to the disaster distributing a total of 150 ShelterBoxes to families in need, enabling them to live with dignity as they rebuilt their damaged homes.

Children playing in the ShelterBox tent nursery, Russia, July 2012.

The ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) also worked with Nizhnebakanskaya Independent Volunteers who set up a camp for children, giving them a safe place to play whilst their families repaired and cleaned their homes. Elena Korykhalova, one of the volunteers, describes how ShelterBox tents were used to set up the children's nursery:

'We used the tents to run activities for children during the day when the sun was especially hot. We were able to invite all children of the camp settlement to our nursery and on our busiest day volunteers worked with a group of 30 children of different ages. We would not have been able to hold such capacity with our own equipment.’

'Children had a place to stay'

'Thanks to ShelterBox, children had a place to stay in the day when their families worked hard to clean up their muddied homes and fix them. They did not play in the muddy river and around their houses; instead they could spend time in the field that was not touched by the disaster and stay in the shade in the ShelterBox tents during hot days.
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