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Friday 25 May 2012

Families call ShelterBox tents home in Peru
Families call ShelterBox tents home in Peru The ShelterBox Response Team with members of the Manacamiri community.

Families are moving into new homes thanks to the distribution of vital life saving supplies by the ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) working in the Loreto region of Peru.

The SRT has been working with local scouts to distribute 39 ShelterBoxes in Manacamiri after widespread flooding affected the Amazonian village.

Many families were left homeless whilst others continued to live in their flooded homes, building raised floors just several feet above water. The village school also served as a shelter for 23 families.

Emily Sperling, President of ShelterBox USA, who is serving as part of the team in Peru, explained it was a race against time to get families sheltered: ‘The school shelter is closing this week, we knew families wouldn't have any place to go unless we could get the tents set up immediately.'  

In order to get the aid to families in need as quickly as possible ShelterBox reached out to partners for help.

The ISTAT Airlink program connects charity organisations with airlines that can provide donated or discounted passenger and cargo space to get aid supplies and aid workers to the parts of the world that need them the most. They enlisted the help of Aerolog, Inc., a Miami-based company, to fly the ShelterBoxes into the region free of charge.

ShelterBox respond to floods in Peru
Scout groups assisted in distributing ShelterBoxes.

25 boys and girls from three local scout groups also assisted in the effort by helping the SRT to set up tents. ShelterBox response team member Alan Monroe (US), an Eagle Scout himself, explained the importance of scout involvement in the deployment: ‘Scouts want to be of service to their community and by engaging them in our response to flooding in Manacamiri they not only gained valuable community service experience but also, most importantly, helped us get families sheltered more quickly.’

ShelterBox Peru
Jessica Aricari with some of her own children and other villager's children.

Jessica Aricari and her husband and five children lost their home after the floodwater washed away their house. The family was given a ShelterBox tent and Jessica said: ‘I am very, very happy. Thank you for the tents and the shade.’

Emily Sperling described the joy that greeted the team as families began to move into their new homes: ‘Our team was overwhelmed with emotion when the villagers spontaneously cheered and then approached us one by one to hug us and give thanks. That's a moment that I'll cherish for a lifetime.’

She added: ‘The town leader, Orlando, approached our team to give his personal thanks and told us how much the help from ShelterBox meant to the village. Our team immediately explained to Orlando that working with the people of Manacamiri meant as much to us and the donors that provided the boxes as it did to them.’
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