Powerful earthquakes have ravaged southern Turkey and northern Syria, killing more than 50,000 people and damaging 66,000 buildings. Homes and hospitals have been destroyed or left unsafe and people have been sleeping in the open. The freezing temperatures create an immediate risk to life for people who are too afraid to return home or have no home to go back to. In northwest Syria many buildings were already damaged by years of civil war, and that’s where some of the worst damage has been reported.
ShelterBox’s emergency response teams in Turkey are developing partnerships with local Rotary clubs to establish how best to help and support the communities affected. It’s expected that thermal blankets, tents and solar lights will be needed.
ShelterBox has responded to previous earthquakes in Turkey and has an ongoing programme of work supporting people displaced by conflict in Syria.
In Turkey, ShelterBox are supplying emergency tents and other essential items like blankets, mattresses, stoves and lighting. In Syria, they are supplying tents, high thermal blankets, mattresses, solar lights and water carriers, plus winter coats for children.
ShelterBox’s Emergency Response Manager, Dave Raybould, has said, “Incredible Rotarians in Türkiye have made a huge difference to how we are operating. ShelterBox and Rotary are working together dynamically in the face of immense need. ShelterBox would not be working as we are in Türkiye without Rotary.”
Pershore Rotary has done its bit too. Over the past month we have been actively raising funds to buy more ShelterBoxes, costing £600 each. We ran a canteen at the D1100 Youth Speaks final at Maisemore and received donations of over £200 for teas, coffees and rolls. A street collection in Pershore followed and £1,340 was banked. A week later, a Race Night was held in St Andrew’s Hall and a further £550 was raised. Together with other personal donations and Gift Aid, we have managed to raise £3,000 which has been sent to ShelterBox. Thanks to everyone in Pershore Rotary who has supported this appeal in so many ways. ShelterBox will now be able to add 5 more boxes to their stocks.