Wednesday 02 May 2012
ShelterBox praised by Republic of Congo ministerSRT volunteer Marie Mariotte (FR) with ShelterBox beneficiary in the Republic of the Congo, April 2012.
The Minister of Social Affairs, Humanitarian Action and Solidarity in the Republic of Congo, Madame Raoul, has praised ShelterBox for its actions in the country following the industrial accident on 4 March.
'In the name of the Congolese government I would personally like to thank you and praise ShelterBox for its work to help our community.
'I am delighted at the capability of the ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) members to operate swiftly and with dedication in helping the people of Brazzaville.'
Response Teams have been distributing tents to families who lost their homes in the explosion over the past two months. Marina Isso's house was uninhabitable. She received a tent and is delighted to sleep indoors again.
'We live right next to the site of the explosion, said Marina. 'Our house was completely destroyed and we were unable to live there.'
'Had to sleep outside'
'My daughter has had a baby and she can't leave hospital until we had somewhere to live. Since the explosion I have had to sleep outside.'
Marina is a seamstress and the explosion meant that she could not work or feed her family.
Seamstress Marina Isso outside her ShelterBox tent, April 2012.
'I could see my sewing machine inside my house. It was broken though I knew I could fix it but the soldiers wouldn't let me into the house in case there were unexploded weapons. As soon as it was safe to go in it was stolen.
'The soldiers are still getting rid of mines at the base and this scares my children but they will all come back as soon as the soldiers have finished.'
When members of the SRT visited Marina again they decided to make a personal donation to buy her a replacement sewing machine. Now with her tent and new sewing machine she can feed her family once more.
'Life can start again'
'I am very happy with the gift that ShelterBox gave to me. Now my life can start again.'
ShelterBox has been working in collaboration with Brazzaville Rotary, the Congolese Red Cross, the French Red Cross, SDV Africa and Total, to distribute tents on a large-scale to families in need in the quartiers close to the city.
Photograph taken by SRT member Chris Warham (UK), April 2012.
ShelterBox Response Team member Dave Ray (UK) said:
'In many parts of the quartiers there is little left standing. Up to now we've been distributing relief tents street by street but the involvement of these partners will allow us to help families in the whole area in one day.
'We have a team of nearly 50 people from Rotary and the Croix Rouge helping to put up tents and that means we can help a lot of families.'