Coronavirus crisis: Why we need support right now
When ShelterBox was first set up, we never imagined that 20 years later we’d be joining the global fight against a deadly pandemic that has set economies, healthcare systems and societies ablaze. But if our history has taught us anything it is to expect the unexpected!
Coronavirus has changed everything, including the way we work and respond. Our mission remains the same; we exist to provide emergency shelter to communities worldwide who have seen their lives turn upside down after disaster. But alongside conflict and disaster, coronavirus is now added to the mix of the many risks that families face. We’ve already talked about how in some places, people face the impossible choice of whether to isolate and protect from the virus or starve to death.
Leona from the Philippines (pictured right) lost her home after Taal Volcano erupted earlier this year. She received ShelterBox aid to help her safely distance and protect herself from coronavirus. She said: “Thank you so much for the things we received. This is a huge help especially the solar lights, we badly needed this. ShelterBox is also a great blessing to us and we can use these items for emergency purposes.”
We have all made adjustments in our daily lives to help our local communities. This global pandemic has shone a light on the fundamental importance of having a safe place to call home. That’s where you, our amazing supporters, come in. We know that our aid saves lives and our work has never before been more important, but it wouldn’t happen without your support. Coronavirus has set several challenges to our operational model, logistics are more complicated, and we are working through local partners as we cannot travel. But, we are still here, overcoming the obstacles between us and the communities that truly need urgent support right now. Thanks to you, we’ve helped nearly 50,000 people in six different countries since March, providing life-saving aid to help families self-isolate and stay healthy. But we must do more.
Maryam, 12 years old, told us “It is important we keep clean to protect ourselves from the virus”. Together with our partner ReliefAid, we have provided essential aid items to families in Syria, including hand soap and wash basins that enable families to protect themselves from the deadly coronavirus.
As our CEO Sanj Srikanthan succinctly put it – it’s not over until it’s over everywhere. It is absolutely crucial that we join the global effort to beat coronavirus everywhere. While we all face many challenges at home, we must work together to support those most vulnerable around the world.
We can’t do it alone. Our wonderful supporters, our respected partners, our hard-working staff and volunteers – we all have a role to play.
We often talk about family at ShelterBox. At a time of great adversity, it is inspiring to be part of a global community – a global family – that cares. Together, we can beat coronavirus once and for all.