Under its Community Partnerships Awards scheme, Guernsey’s Overseas Aid and Development Commission has recently agreed a donation of £10,000 to Shelterbox and £5,000 to Aquabox.
The donations match fund Rotary Guernesiais’ own initiative to donate £15,000 to the two charities to help alleviate the effects of the Turkey / Syria Earthquake.
The scale of the disaster is immense. Latest reports state that the total deaths have exceeded 50,000 with more than 100,000 people injured. The disaster has left 1.5 million people homeless after 160,000 buildings containing 520,000 apartments collapsed or were badly damaged. Many thousands of people remain without shelter or sanitation and there are shortages of tents for survivors.
ShelterBox is a UK based charity that helps people who have had their homes damaged or destroyed by conflict or disasters such as earthquakes. Support is provided in many ways and includes different combinations of emergency shelter items – like tarpaulins, water filters, and solar lights. The Charity works with disaster-affected communities and local partners to understand what people need and what’s locally appropriate to make the biggest difference to communities. In this instance, Shelterbox’s work in Southern Turkey will include the provision of transitional housing and essential household items and in Northwest Syria thermal blankets, tents, mattresses, household items and winter clothing.
Aquabox is also a UK based charity that helps those affected by disasters and conflicts and provides water filters, as well as items to aid shelter and shelter building, lighting, cooking and feeding, educational development and hygiene. Since its formation in 1992 it has sent more than 110,000 aid boxes to more than 50 countries.
In February, the Commission also agreed Awards to support the people of Turkey and Syria following the devastating Earthquake, as follows:
- a Disaster Award of £25,000 to the UK Disasters and Emergency Fund (DEC) Appeal;
- a Disaster Award of up to £25,000 match funding to the Bailiff’s Disaster Relief Fund which also supports the DEC Appeal;
- a Community Partnership Award to match fund the amount raised by some of our States Primary Schools.
Deputy Chris Blin, the President of the OA&DC, said: “The Commission has again been impressed by Rotary Guernesiais initiative to help provide support to those affected by disasters around the world. I know it did similar for the Pakistan Floods only late last year, when the Commission was also happy to assist by match funding the Rotary Guernesiais donation to Shelterbox.
“The current effort, along with other local fund raising initiatives for survivors of the Earthquake, shows what a caring community we are. It is heart-warming and I would like to sincerely thank Rotary Guernesiais and all others that have given their support. This includes a number of Primary Schools and those that have donated to the Bailiff’s Disaster Relief Fund.
“I am delighted to confirm that as the Bailiff’s Disaster Relief Fund has now well exceeded £25,000, the full amount of match funding will be paid by the Commission to the DEC. Also, the Primary Schools alone raised an incredible £8,215 from their Mufti Days and so the same sum in matched funding will also be sent to the DEC by the Commission.”
Diane Ward, the President of Rotary Guernesiais, said: “Rotary Guernesiais is delighted to have had the opportunity once again to work with the Commission, this time providing substantial funds to both Shelterbox and Aquabox to help the urgent relief work taking place in Turkey and Syria. Rotary Guernesiais very much welcomes co-operating with the States of Guernsey in such a way.”
The Commission’s Community Partnership scheme is about further strengthening the Bailiwick community’s already good support for overseas aid, by working together with local organisations which are fund raising or delivering aid projects in the developing world.
Often the Commission is able to provide ‘matched funding’ for any funds raised by the organisations themselves.