ShelterBox representatives from UK, Denmark, Germany, Philippines, USA, Australia, Indonesia and Belgium are in Thailand at the Rotary International (RI) Convention in Bangkok manning the ShelterBox stand.
This is the first Convention since Rotary made ShelterBox their first project partner:
‘We Rotarians pride ourselves on being the first to arrive when help is needed – and the last to leave,' said RI President Kalyan Banerjee at the opening plenary session. 'By partnering with ShelterBox we’ll be able to do even more.’
Rotarians gather at the annual conference to celebrate past accomplishments and future friendships.
Julien Rodolphe Fils Debrosse is a Rotarian from Haiti. He sought out the ShelterBox team to give his thanks for all of the aid that had been delivered following the earthquake of January 2010. Working for the American Red Cross Julien manages healthcare programmes and has seen the difference that ShelterBox equipment continues to make two and half years after the disaster.
Many other Rotarians who have assisted with the delivery of ShelterBoxes following disasters in countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Madagascar came to meet Founder Tom Henderson and share their stories.
‘Every Rotary convention I attend fills me with pride at the capacity Rotary has to make such a difference in every corner of the world,’ said Tom. ‘Meeting Rotarians from every walk of life who help us to make a difference is a humbling experience – from those who have raised funds to donate boxes; those who have assisted their fellow country men following a disaster by assisting ShelterBox with logistics and delivery of aid; to those who give their free time, week in week out, to talk to schools, scout groups, Rotary clubs and the general public to help raise awareness of ShleterBox.
‘It is particularly poignant being in Thailand where Rotarians assisted us in delivering urgently needed aid for nearly 1,500 families following the devastating floods the country experienced in October last year.’
Some Rotarians also celebrated the Project Partnership. Jim Davis is a Rotarian from RC Goolwa, District 9520. He decided to help make a splash throughout the House of Friendship, having brought his Superman outfit with him from Australia. He super-powered his way around the convention carrying a ShelterBox and helping to raise awareness of the project.