For 20 years, our values have been guiding us to do the right thing and continue to work with communities around the world to provide emergency shelter.
In the era of coronavirus, this is more important than ever. In our 20th anniversary year, we are drawing on our experience and expertise to continue to provide the aid that families need to stay safe because we know that shelter save lives.
Click on the photos below to read the stories behind the images.
Syria, conflict, 2019
Mustafa works directly with families who have been affected by the conflict in Syria. He is part of the ReliefAid team – our trusted partner since 2015 – distributing aid to families forced to leave their homes, now living in the Syrian countryside. Mustafa is also our eyes on the ground, capturing powerful images and first-hand accounts from men, women, and children who have fled.
Lombok, earthquake, 2018
The Rotary Club of Mataram in Lombok helped us to reach families across the island after the earthquake in 2018. They supported us with everything from transportation and travel to translation and practical aid distribution. We can’t thank them enough.
Malawi, Cyclone Idai, 2019
Expert local knowledge from people like Miriam means we can reach remote communities who might otherwise be overlooked. Miriam works for our partner Habitat for Humanity in Malawi where, together, we supported over 2,000 families after Cyclone Idai in 2019.
Papua New Guinea, Volcano eruption, 2005
Following the eruption of Mount Tavuvur volcano near Rabaul in East New Britain in late 2005, the local government had resettled villagers of Matupit Island to nearby Sikut, in the mountains.
Somaliland, drought, 2018
We are one of the few emergency shelter specialists in the world. We have grown and adapted since we began packing green boxes in 2000 but our vision remains the same – No family without shelter after disaster.
We make a tangible impact
Over our 20 years, we have supported over 1.5 million people, across 97 countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.
Dominica, Hurricane Maria, 2018
Kishma is a young single parent with three children. Before the storm hit, she lived with her mum, dad and sister, who also has two children.
Here, Kisham holds a photograph of her family in front of their tent.
Sri Lanka, Flooding, 2016
In May of 2016 a low pressure area over the Bay of Bengal caused torrential rain to fall across Sri Lanka. With the ground saturated, further rains caused major landslides displacing hundreds of families.
Colin Bell – fundraiser, Rotarian, ShelterBox volunteer
He’s been fundraising for ShelterBox since 2014, when he first ran a marathon carrying a ShelterBox to fund desperately needed shelter around the world. The following year he set himself the challenge of running 2015 km often with his trusty ShelterBox strapped to his back!
Kenya, Flooding, 2018
More than 290,000 people were forced to leave their homes across Kenya because of devastating heavy rains and flooding in 2018. We worked with local organizations and Rotary groups to provide vital aid to people like Hadjia Elema, pictured left.
We do the right thing
Our work in Syria is our largest and longest running response. We’ve helped over 250,000 people (50,000 households or ‘families’) since 2012.
Indonesia, earthquake, 2009
In October 2009, the Indonesian island of Sumatra was struck by two major earthquakes in less than 24 hours. The first earthquake caused buildings to collapse and fires to rage in the city of Padang. A second earthquake then hit the island, causing further devastation.
ShelterBox immediately mobilized a response.
Malawi, flooding, 2015
In 2015, some of the worst flooding in more than 40 years deluged southern Malawi. Flash flooding, impassable roads and washed-away bridges made transporting aid to the region a challenge. With the support of our response team volunteers, the local community rebuilt their homes.
Our work in Syria is our largest and longest running response. We’ve helped over 50,000 families since 2012. Families like Umm’s.
Living in constant fear that her life and that of her small family would be ended by shelling, Umm Ahmad and her family (pictured) left their small village after both children were injured in a bombing attack. Narrowly escaping death, they left their land and everyone they knew behind after their home was rendered uninhabitable.
Mozambique, Cyclone Dineo, 2017
Each disaster is different, and so is every community. To help meet the individual needs of different communities we have developed a range of shelter solutions.
We are forward-thinking. We continually seek new ways to tackle the challenges we face, proactively researching new ideas and adapting to changing circumstances.
We have responded in The Philippines more than any other country, at 27 times since 2004. That’s why we launched ShelterBox Operations Philippines.
Barbuda, Hurricane Irma, 2017
ShelterBox tents are designed for protection against wind, rain, heat and cold.
Syria, conflict, 2017
We have adapted our solar lights over the years in response to what families need. They have an adjustable handle so that families can hang them inside a tent, or outside during the day, to charge. They are light, waterproof, easy to recharge and can last up to 3 years.
Philippines, Typhoon Mangkhut, 2018
The Philippines is one of the world’s worst disaster-affected countries. On average, we respond there nearly twice a year to disasters like cyclones and earthquakes.
That’s why we have set up ShelterBox Operations Philippines, a locally registered NGO that is supported and guided by ShelterBox Operations HQ in the UK.
West Sumatra, Indonesia, earthquake, 2009
In late 2009 the Indonesian island of Sumatra was struck by two earthquakes in less than 24 hours. The first earthquake caused buildings to collapse and fires to rage in the city of Padang. A second earthquake then hit the island, causing further devastation.
Paraguay, flooding 2016
Heavy El Nino rains in early 2016, swept across Paraguay causing what many called the ‘worst flooding in 50 years’. In some places the water lapped over flood defences built nine metres above the usual water level. In this picture you can see where a football pitch once stood, but instead was deluged by floodwater.
Fiji, Cyclone Winston, 2016
We go to hard to reach communities, often those that are overlooked by others. The South Pacific Island nation of Fiji was hit by Cyclone Winston in 2016. With winds of 320 kms/hr and storm surges up to12 meters high, it cut a path of destruction through the central islands of the Fijian archipelago. It was logistically challenging to reach the remote islands of Fiji, which consist of some 330 islands spread across 120,000 sq. kms of the South Pacific.
Sri Lanka, landslides 2016
In spring 2016, Sri Lanka suffered torrential monsoon flooding. This caused tremendous damage itself, but the flood waters also went on to cause landslides. In the area of Kegalle, three villages were completely wiped out by a landslide.
Celebrating 20 Years of ShelterBox
Read on to see how it all began and take a look at what you’ve helped us achieve.
20 years of ShelterBox: A Timeline
In the past 20 years ShelterBox has supported over 1.5 million people with emergency shelter aid, essential items and training to help recovery after disaster.