Recovery in Dominica

How 81-year-old Simon started rebuilding his life after Hurricane Maria

When we met 81-year-old Simon, he had lived in Wesley in northeast Dominica for more than 60 years. He built his home himself and lives alone, as his four children are grown-up and have moved overseas.

When Hurricane Maria, a category 5 storm with winds of 175 mph, hit Dominica Simon’s peaceful life was uprooted. Forced out of his home, Simon sought shelter in one of his local churches. But the extreme winds broke the door open and water started pouring in.

As he searched for dry ground, Simon was hit in the head by a piece of wood. Finally, he managed to find a shelter where he could rest for a few days before cleaning up what was left of his house.

Helping Simon Rebuild

Our teams worked tirelessly to help communities begin recovering in the Caribbean. On the island of Dominica, we provided shelter kits to help families make repairs to their homes.

Training sessions were carried out with members of the local community to show people the different ways the kit can be used, and how to make stronger, more resilient structures.

When our teams conducted a training session in the community of Wesley in northeast Dominica, they met Simon for the first time. After talking people through the theoretical part of the training, the team then did a practical demonstration by rebuilding the roof of Simon’s house.

He was very grateful and surprised by the shelter kit and the help that the community provided to cover the roof above his bedroom. He will now try to fix his bed and is planning to paint his bedroom red to make it look nicer.

Team members rebuild Simon's roof with the ocean in back


At ShelterBox, we know that shelter is not just a roof, canvas or tarpaulin over your head, it’s the process of recovery, of returning to normal when disaster strikes.

That’s why we don’t just provide items that give shelter, but items and training that help people make better shelters.

Right now there are many more people like Simon who have lost so much after disaster. You can give them the tools they need to pave the road to their recovery.

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