20 years of ShelterBox

2020 marks 20 years of ShelterBox

ShelterBox was founded in the small town of Helston, Cornwall UK, by the Rotary Club of Helston-Lizard in 2000. 

Now 20 years later, with global Rotary support, ShelterBox has developed into an independent, international disaster relief organisation, providing emergency shelter, tools and other essentials so families can rebuild after disaster.

In that time, we have supported over 1.5 million people with emergency shelter aid and other essential items and training to help recovery after disaster.

 

2000

SHELTERBOX FOUNDED

SHELTERBOX FOUNDED

ShelterBox was founded in the small town of Helston, Cornwall UK, by the Rotary Club of Helston-Lizard. 

2001

Gujarat earthquake support

Gujarat earthquake support

Amazing local support in Cornwall meant people in India who lost their homes in the 2001 Gujarat earthquake were the first to be supported by the newly formed ShelterBox.

2002

Afghanistan and Angola conflict

Afghanistan and Angola conflict

Families affected by conflict in Afghanistan and Angola were supported with tents and other essential shelter aid items. ShelterBox takes the first steps to going global when ShelterBox USA was formed and adopted as a project of the Rotary Club of Lakewood Ranch in Sarasota, Florida. 

2003

ShelterBox Australia is formed

ShelterBox Australia was formed, further growing worldwide support from Rotarians and others around the worldWith their help, ShelterBox was to grow and help people affected by disaster in six countries around the world. 

2004

Boxing Day Tsunami

Boxing Day Tsunami

ShelterBox helped Indonesian communities after the Boxing Day Tsunami. The incredible surge of support for the families affected by this huge disaster also allowed ShelterBox to help people in many more disasters. ShelterBox Volunteer Response Teams were introduced. 

2005

Signatory to Red Cross Code of Conduct

Still working to support families affected by the Boxing Day TsunamiShelterBox becomes a signatory to Red Cross Code of Conduct signing up to 10 core principles of humanitarian response and good conduct. 

2006

ShelterBox Germany and New Zealand formed and a royal visit

ShelterBox Germany and New Zealand formed and a royal visit

Rotaractors in Germany formed ShelterBox Germany and Rotarians created ShelterBox New ZealandHRH The Duchess of Cornwall praised our work whilst visiting disaster-affected families in Pakistan.

2007

500,000 people supported

500,000 people supported

Thanks to our incredible supporters, Jagedeo Argairiyamother affected by flooding in Nepal, becomes the 500,000th person to be supported by ShelterBox. HRH The Duchess of Cornwall becomes President of ShelterBox. 

2008

50th country helped

Our work supporting people in the Democratic Republic of Congo marked the 50th country ShelterBox has worked in. ShelterBox France was formed by Rotarians 

2009

Three new affiliates formed

Rotarians mobilised once again to form ShelterBox SwitzerlandShelterBox Netherlands and ShelterBox Norway.

2010

Haiti Earthquake

Haiti Earthquake

After a 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Haiti, with help from our amazing supporters, ShelterBox provided shelter for 28,000 families – we launched our biggest response to date. With the help of Rotarians, ShelterBox affiliates were formed in Canada, Belgium and Luxembourg, the Philippines and South Africa. 

2011

Tohoku earthquake and Tsunami

Tohoku earthquake and Tsunami

Support was provided to communities after the Tohoku earthquake and Tsunami in Japan.

2012

Helping families and communities in Syria

Helping families and communities in Syria

We helped families fleeing the war in Syria, and we have been supporting communities in the region ever since – it is our longest running response. ShelterBox becomes Rotary International’s first Project Partner for disaster relief. 

2013

Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines

Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines

Our teams worked to support people after Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. ShelterBox Sweden formed. 

2014

Delivery of aid to Gaza

Delivery of aid to Gaza

ShelterBox negotiated the delivery of aid to families like Mohammed’s in war-torn Gaza

2015

Nepal Earthquake

Nepal Earthquake

Our teams created a large scale response for families like Surya’s after the Nepal earthquake. We also started to help people like Esther fleeing Boko Haram in the Lake Chad Basin Crisis and we are still supporting communities in the region today. We reached the milestone of supporting 1 million people in 2015.

2016

Supporting families after cyclone Winston

Supporting families after cyclone Winston

After Cyclone Winston hit Fiji, our teams worked to support families like Diane and Yokimi’s. We began supporting people affected by the Mosul offensive, a response that lasted for three years.

2017

Hurricane Irma + Rohingya crisis support

Hurricane Irma + Rohingya crisis support

Our teams supported families like Yanira’s after Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean, and Guljar’s during the Rohingya crisis, as well as 12 other countries. 

2018

Earthquake, tsunami and tropical storm support

Earthquake, tsunami and tropical storm support

After the Sulawesi Indonesia, earthquakes and tsunami, we supported families like Ertis’s. Having responded in the Philippines more frequently than any other country, with the help of local Rotarians and Rotary Clubs we opened ShelterBox Operations Phillipines, helping us to move quickly when  Tropical Storm Usman hit. 

2019

Cyclone Idai + 250,000 helped in Syria

Cyclone Idai + 250,000 helped in Syria

Support provided to families like Stephano and Mary’s after Cyclone Idai in Malawi. We also reached the milestone of helping over 250,000 people in Syria. We extended our partnership with Rotary Internationalto continue as partners in action, increasing reach and impact around the globe. 

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Celebrating 20 Years of ShelterBox

Read on to see how it all began and take a look at what you’ve helped us achieve.

The ShelterBox founding story

In 2000, the idea for ShelterBox was hit upon by the Rotary Club of Helston-Lizard in Cornwall, when Rotary encouraged members to come up with projects to mark the Millennium.

20 Years of Shelter gallery

Explore the gallery of images from some of the most memorable responses in our 20-year history.

Our history

Explore a timeline of our biggest responses and defining moments over the last 20 years

Historic disaster responses

Since 2000, we have responded to a number of major disasters that shook whole countries and their people. Have a look at some of the most memorable ShelterBox disaster responses.

QUIZ: 20 years of ShelterBox

Take the quiz to learn about some of the most memorable responses in our history.