Among the Rotary clubs helping are Wylde Green Rotarians in the West Midlands who have been out in force, supported by their Inner Wheel colleagues and friends, collecting for ShelterBox in Sutton Coldfield.
Rotary’s partner organisation, ShelterBox, reported the devastating news that as a result of the disasters 57,000 buildings are damaged with a death toll of over 45,000.
There is an immediate risk to life in the harsh living conditions with freezing temperatures and diseases like cholera. Homes have been left unsafe or destroyed meaning survivors have been sleeping in the open.
ShelterBox teams have been working constantly to help in the affected areas of Turkey and Syria. A free flight by Turkish Airlines from Panama, where the charity had stock positioned, delivered hundreds of tents.
Not only will tents be important in providing shelter to those affected by the disaster, but ShelterBox will also provide warm winter clothing and blankets. Warm children’s clothing is also being distributed in northern Syria.
Alice Jefferson, Head of Emergency Response for ShelterBox said: “Getting support into Northwest Syria is very difficult at the moment. The already limited supply routes are now damaged, and the political situation is complex. The people in the affected regions will be exhausted following years of conflict.
“We have extensive experience in supporting people in these areas with distributions of winter aid having recently been completed, but more will be needed.”
The Wylde Green Club’s International Chair, Ken Hawkings said: “I think we all find it hard to comprehend just how bad the conditions are after this natural disaster, where innocent people have lost their homes and in many cases, family members and friends.
“We have worked to support ShelterBox for many years and have already sent £1200 to the charity in response to the earthquakes – enough to buy two ShelterBoxes.
“Once again the Sutton Coldfield shoppers have been most generous in donating to ShelterBox, raising a further £2833.
“We’ve really appreciated the support of all our helpers, together with the Management Team at The Gracechurch Centre who made their facilities available to us at such short notice.”