"Right now, more than 100 million people around the world have been made homeless by natural disaster and conflict. We’re working to change this.

By providing emergency shelter and tools for families robbed of their homes by disaster, we’re transforming despair into hope.

We are impatient to see a world where no family is left without shelter. Are you? Find out more about us."


ShelterBox is Rotary's official partner for disaster relief. As its name implies, ShelterBox is focused on emergency shelter and aid items to families around the world who have lost their homes to disaster or conflict. It was founded by Rotarian and former Royal Navy Search and Rescue Diver Tom Henderson, OBE in Cornwall. The idea for ShelterBox came to him after watching a disaster relief broadcast on television that highlighted the difficulties that disaster relief efforts frequently encounter. He envisioned a way to provide emergency shelter that was lightweight, easy to transport, and could be deployed quickly and efficiently.
The first ShelterBox was deployed in response to the 2001 Gujarat earthquake in India. Since then, ShelterBox has helped over 2.5 million people in over 100 countries, including the war in Ukraine and recent earthquake in Syria/Turkiye. For a recent report, see https://shelterbox.org/syria/ .
One distinctive difference between ShelterBox and most other agencies is that ShelterBox is prefunded because of the fundraising efforts of Rotarians. This means we are able respond immediately after a site assessment while others are still submitting their budgets for approval.  The benefit of a global network of Rotary clubs also ensures the efficient delivery of aid as relationships with local Rotarians facilitates communication with local authorities.
Rotary Clubs provide important support to ShelterBox, including:
  • Raising funds
  • Raising awareness
  • Volunteering their time
  • Providing logistical support
  • Advocating for ShelterBox's work
Members of the ShelterBox Response Teams (SRT) are all volunteers with specialist training. What do they do? Watch this video: https://youtu.be/EYNipxSoBF4.