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Monday 14 February 2011

RI President meets ShelterBox in South Africa
RI President meets ShelterBox in South Africa Pictured from left to right: PDG Alex van der Sluys, Jimmy Ferendinos, Rotary International President Ray Klingsmith & Dave Moss.

Rotary International President, Ray Klingsmith, was the guest of honour at a conference in South Africa which saw ShelterBox adopted as a project by Rotary Districts throughout region.

Representatives from ShelterBox South Africa gave a talk and presentation at the annual meeting of the Govenor’s Council of Southern and East Africa where ShelterBox was suggested as the ideal project to give all the Rotary Districts in Southern Africa the opportunity to work together. Following the talk about ShelterBox by Past District Govenor Alex van der Sluys the conference was unanimous in adopting the ShelterBox project in Southern Africa.

At the conference, held in Cape Town, South Africa, RI President Ray Klingsmith was shown around the ShelterBox tent and told about the charity’s lifesaving disaster relief work.

The global support from the Rotary network is one of the cornerstone which ShelterBox is built on and the support from Southern Africa means ShelterBox will continue to go from strength to strength.

In ten years ShelterBox has grown from one club’s adopted project to the largest Rotary Club project in the 100 year history of the organisation. The Rotary Roundel now appears on every ShelterBox, on every ShelterBox tent, on the items within the box and on all the clothing worn by ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) members.

Service Above Self

Lasse Petersen, ShelterBox International Director, added: ‘Increasingly, what we’re seeing is just how true the global Rotary club project designation is. Not only in the worldwide nature of our disaster relief efforts but also in the growth of the organisation.

‘Rotarians around the world are now engaging with ShelterBox on an unprecedented scale. The benefits to ShelterBox and, in turn, to Rotary, are enormous. We receive incredible support from Rotary and, equally, ShelterBox is acting as a catalyst in encouraging more people around the world to become involved with their local club.

‘The relationship between ShelterBox and Rotary is beyond value. We sincerely hope that it will continue to grow, continue to strengthen and that, together, we can continue to make the difference to thousands of peoples’ lives.’

Many thousands of Rotary Clubs worldwide have supported ShelterBox in a myriad of different ways. The fundraising efforts by Rotarians make up a significant proportion of donations received by ShelterBox. Alongside this, Rotary Clubs provide invaluable logistical support to our field operations.

Rotarians will often be the people who ensure our aid can be delivered into a country by acting as consignees. These essential acts mean we can deliver aid to people in need as quickly as possible. More often than not, it will be Rotarians who are the first point of contact for the SRT members when they arrive in a country that has been devastated by a disaster and they provide everything from logistical support, translators, local knowledge to a bed to sleep in.
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