For me, one photo in particular really struck home.
As mothers, I'm sure we all strive to provide the very best we can for our children, and given her situation I felt this woman's pain. I saw her desperation, her despair, her disbelief, her numbness, her desolation...and I imagined how I would feel if it were me. If my precious Star was sick, or injured, or cold, or hungry, or thirsty, or frightened...and I couldn't fix it.
Sadly I can't fix this woman's pain but 'Bloggers For Haiti' are trying to do something to ease the pain for some by raising funds to purchase Shelterboxes.
Each Shelterbox costs £490 and is a complete rescue package in a box. Each box contains:
- A ten-person tent with privacy partitions that allow its occupants to divide the space as they see fit
- A range of other survival equipment including thermal blankets and insulated ground sheets, essential in areas where temperatures plummet at nightfall
- Life-saving means of water purification. Water supplies often become contaminated after a major disaster, as infrastructure and sanitation systems are destroyed, this presents a secondary but no less dangerous threat to survivors than the initial disaster itself.
- A basic tool kit containing a hammer, axe, saw, trenching shovel, hoe head, pliers and wire cutters. These items enable people to improve their immediate environment, by chopping firewood or digging a latrine, for example. Then, when it is possible, to start repairing or rebuilding the home they were forced to leave.
- A wood burning or multi-fuel stove that can burn anything from diesel to old paint. This provides the heart of the new home where water is boiled, food is cooked and families congregate. In addition, there are pans, utensils, bowls, mugs and water storage containers.
- Each box can be adapted to the individual needs of the disaster area, for example, following the Javanese earthquake in 2006, when some resources were available locally or could be salvaged from one storey buildings, the overwhelming need was for shelter – so ShelterBox just sent tents, packing two in each box. The box itself is lightweight and waterproof and has been used for a variety of purposes in the past – from water and food storage containers to a cot for a newly born baby.
- And lastly, but I think just as importantly, each box contains a children’s pack containing drawing books, crayons and pens. For children who have lost most, if not all, of their possessions, these small gifts are treasured.