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There are more than 200 ShelterBox Response Team volunteers from around the world. They have all undergone rigourous training. This is Nicola Jones from the UK on deployment to the Italian earthquake in 2009. Photograph by Mike Greenslade.
ShelterBox prides itself on getting aid direct to the people who need it most – and one of the ways we achieve that is through our ShelterBox Response Teams or SRTs.
Members of our SRTs are all volunteers and come from all walks of life. The first teams were deployed following the Indian OceanTsunami of 2004. Since then, SRT members have delivered ShelterBoxes to victims of disasters in Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe and the Americas.
Applying to become an SRT is not a decision to be taken lightly. Deploying with our aid into remote and chaotic environments is not for the faint hearted. Conditions in the field can be very basic and SRTs may be operating within days of a disaster that has killed huge numbers of people. Apart from the human tragedy, the infrastructure of the affected area may be in ruins and communications with home limited.
This means our teams must be totally self-sufficient – capable of operating without adding to the burden of the people we are there to help. SRT volunteers need to be fit, hard working, resourceful people, who can apply themselves and make the right decisions when under pressure. Acting as our spokespeople and our eyes and ears on the ground, they are vital to ShelterBox and we are rightly proud them.
Given the nature of the work and the level of responsibility expected of ShelterBox volunteers we are committed to supporting those who choose to volunteer for us. To this end we preferably recruit SRT members from the pool of volunteers who are already aware of our humanitarian work and have demonstrated some prior commitment to ShelterBox.
There are numerous ways to support ShelterBox and begin your journey towards becoming a ShelterBox Response Team member.