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Dave Hallett, a member of our sister club Kingston-Waterfront joined the ShelterBox Response Team in 2007. Today Dave spoke to us as the District’s lead ShelterBox ambassador.
The focus of Hallett’s talk was ShelterBox work in responding to shelter needs as a result of war in the Ukraine and the earthquake in Turkiye/Syria.
In the process, however, Hallett revealed new ways in which  ShelterBox is responding to shelter needs for refugees and earthquakes which are abnormally severe. In both incidents shelter needs will be for a longer term than normal.

The need to make adjustments to their model were provided in the case of refugees was the sudden urgency provided by the Rohingya’s flight to Bangladesh and in the case of earthquakes the utter devastation in Haiti.

The ShelterBox was created as a short term solution to a problem, even though the shelter tent is never returned.

Example of Kit in Action

The solution is ShelterBox’s new ShelterKit in which tools and tarps are provided which permit those with longer term Shelter needs to create their own homes. This was revealed when Hallett showed a picture of a tarp roof where the tarp had a strip on it so a person could nail the tarp to a wooden frame.

The other was his mention of water purifiers and solar lamps to which can be added blankets, groundsheets and mattresses, mosquito nets coated with insecticide and cooking sets, containing a range of sturdy utensils.

You can see this reflected in the summary of activities provided for both Turkiye and the Ukraine.

Activities in Turkiye


ShelterBox’s emergency team is currently in Gaziantep, Türkiye – working with Rotarians and other partners to respond.

In addition to our first stocks of tents imported into Türkiye soon after the earthquake, more tents and other essential items like blankets, mattresses, stoves, and lighting are almost ready.
We’re working with Rotary to prepare for the distribution of these items to communities in Hatay (a southern province in Turkiye bordered  on Syria).
We have visited potential distribution sites and continue to work closely with local communities and officials to ensure that preparations are in place, such as critical services to go alongside the shelter provision.
Our emergency response teams are based in Gaziantep – a large city in southern Türkiye - and Istanbul. They continue to visit affected areas including in Hatay.
We continue to scale up our response to help people affected by the earthquakes. We are working across Türkiye with multiple in-country partners.
We’re deploying more response team members to the affected areas to progress our work and get aid to people who need it.

Activities in Ukraine

In Ukraine, we have run four projects over the last year.
Project 1 we worked with two different partners, to distribute a total of 12,000 mattresses to people living in ‘collective centres’ throughout western and central Ukraine.
For project 2, with our partner, ReliefAid, we focused on supporting people still within Ukraine living in buildings damaged by the conflict. We supplied shelter tool kits and tarpaulins along with fixings as required, as well as blankets, mattresses, water carriers, buckets, solar lights, and hygiene kits.
With our partner, ACTED, Project 3 supported refugees arriving at the border in Moldova with a portable assistance package, including hygiene items and cash. The PDM (post-distribution monitoring) report is now under review.
Project 4 aims to reach 2,000 households with emergency repair kits - including tarpaulins, wooden batons, and fixings to allow windows and doors to be sealed – and a selection of winter specific aid items, including winter jackets, hats, gloves, blankets, and solar lights. 1,000 of these households will also receive a solid fuel stove and a supply of firewood.

Hallet has also served four years on the Board of Directors for Shelterbox Canada and been on eight deployments: Somaliland, China, Malawi, Ethiopia, Philippines, Columbia, Nepal and Indonesia.

In his professional life, Dave Hallett is a Business Strategy Consultant  with the Digital Strategy & Design team at Salesforce Inc.