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A Retford Rotarian explains how Rotary and ShelterBox save lives in a crisis


Adrian Sumner, a Rotarian for thirteen years and currently a member of Retford Rotary Club in Nottingham, has recently returned from Ethiopia where he has been delivering aid with disaster relief charity and Global Rotary Project, ShelterBox. The Horn of Africa region has seen a massive humanitarian crisis following devastating drought and conflict, which forced thousands to flee their homes in search of food and security.


Rotary contacts in Ethiopia. This facilitated ShelterBox’s operation so that the charity could work as quickly and as efficiently as possible to assess the need for ShelterBox aid. Local Rotary clubs also publicised ShelterBox within their district media to inspire further support from their members. Adrian recalled giving a tent to a


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refugee with polio at Bokolmayo Refugee Camp in Ethiopia and the difference that simple gift made. Aodo is a seventeen- year-old orphan who lives with her sister and two brothers. Adrian said: “To see how Aodo coped with her misfortune made me feel


s soon as the first ShelterBox Response Team hit the ground, they made contact with local


incredibly humble, and it was extremely pleasing to be able to help her and her family by giving them a ShelterBox, which will make her life more bearable in such a hostile environment.” Before leaving Ethiopia, Adrian gave


something back by delivering a talk regarding ShelterBox’s work at the Rotary Club of Addis Ababa, Bole. Adrian is a long-term ShelterBox


supporter and was a member of ShelterBox’s first ever ShelterBox Response Team following the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami, travelling to Sri Lanka to deliver essential shelter to families whose lives had been torn apart by the disaster. He had come into contact with Rotarian Tom Henderson, founder of ShelterBox, when a member of Hale Rotary Club. He was


deployed to Sri Lanka again in 2005 and has since been to Myanmar, Somaliland, West Bengal, Egypt and, most recently, Ethiopia. Adrian said: “ShelterBox’s work


continues to be very much in the ethos of Rotary International’s motto of ‘Service Above Self’. It’s something any Rotarian in the world can get involved with and make a hands-on effort to change people’s lives for the better.” Public donations are vital to


ShelterBox’s continuing work. To make a donation, please ring 0300 0300 500, or go to www.shelterbox.org to donate online and get the latest updates on our response to disasters around the world.n


www.ribi.org | December 2011 35


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