Posted by Dani Bristow, Community Program Coordinator, ShelterBox Canada

In her April 2021 Newsletter, Dani Bristow, Community Program Coordinator at ShelterBox Canada, discusses how having access to clean water reduces the risk of illness caused by bacteria and other pathogens found in dirty water. By providing families with water containers and water filters, we can make safe drinking water one less thing to worry about.. Here's more of her newsletter.....

ShelterBox Update April 2021

SHELTERBOX: Water, just like shelter, is a human right.

Whoever you are, wherever you are – you are entitled to clean, safe water. But today, billions of people around the world do not have access to clean and safe water. According to WHO/UNICEF, 2.1 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water services.

When disasters hit, it forces families out of the homes, making it difficult to access clean drinking water. Disasters cause a huge amount of damage and destruction. Water hand pumps break, and local water sources get filled up with debris, dirt, or chemicals, making it unsafe to drink.

When families are unable to access clean water, water filters can help produce safe drinking water. ShelterBox distributes water filters to families which can turn up to 1,000 litres of unsafe water into clean, safe, drinkable water. These water filters can remove viruses, bacteria, pathogens, chemical, heavy metals, and fecal matter that can be found in contaminated water.

Meet Maïramu. Maïramu and her family of 7 became displaced after their village in Nigeria was attacked by Boko Haram. Like many refugees, the most difficult problem that Maïramu faces daily is access to safe drinking water. “We started to get sick. After a while, I noticed that my children and I were having frequent stomach aches and diarrhea. I realized it was caused by the water.”

After receiving a ShelterBox water filter, Maïramu and her family no longer suffer from sickness and diarrhea. “Thanks to the filter, I can assure you that our problems concerning water are no longer related to sickness, but to distance, because we still have to travel a long way to collect it. Today, we drink water without fear.”

Having access to clean water reduces the risk of illness caused by bacteria and other pathogens found in dirty water. By providing families with water containers and water filters, we can make safe drinking water one less thing to worry about. To learn more about how you can support families with clean water after disasters, visit:



Read our Current Operations to see more countries your support is working in.

For more information about ShelterBox and to learn more about where we are responding, visit us at

Click here to read a story about what it takes to train for a ShelterBox Response team. 

Shelterbox and Rotary - Partnership In Action: Together, ShelterBox and Rotary are providing hope, security and the means to recover after disasters strike.See, and hear, what this looks like on the ground. This video shows some of our most recent responses where this partnership has made a world of difference.

In Sri Lanka, Rotarians supported us with translation, transportation, local knowledge and connections with local authorities to provide shelter for communities after landslides caused mass devastation. In Peru, Rotary not only helped us identify families in need of support following heavy rainfall and flooding, but aided us in distributing ShelterKits to repair and rebuild homes.

An exciting new development in our partnership is the creation of a new operations base in the Philippines. This in-country office was created by working closely with Rotary groups, and will allow us to get vital emergency shelter to vulnerable families even quicker.

ShelterBox has responded to disasters in the Philippines 25 times and we have worked together with Rotary in every response. Collaborating with Rotary to create ShelterBox Operations Philippines was a natural next step.

Find out more with this film which was premiered at the Rotary International Convention in Toronto, just before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took the stage.

Dani Bristow

Community Program Coordinator, ShelterBox Canada

Member of the  Rotaract Club of Sarnia-Lambton



Click here to read more about your impact on families

GET CONNECTED: Join the conversation : 

Did you know that there is a Rotary and ShelterBox Support Group on Facebook? It is a group that brings together Rotarians, ShelterBox Supporters, Staff and ShelterBox Response Teams to discuss all things ShelterBox and Rotary. It is a great place to see the latest operations updates, Rotary deployment information and video content to share with your Rotary Club. If you would like to join the group and conversation, please search for “Rotary and ShelterBox Support Group” on Facebook and ask to join the conversation!



Looking for speakers this Rotary year? We would love to tell your club even more about ShelterBox and the impact Rotarians make. Request a speaker:






The Coronavirus is still affecting how aid is delivered, but disasters haven't stopped! Distributions are still on their way to families surviving disaster, and now include soap and wash buckets to reduce the spread and our partners are adapting to social distancing measures. Check out our current operations to see how you are still helping families recover.  Learn More


ShelterBox has responded in the Philippines more often than any other country.: In 2017, ShelterBox Operations Philippines (SBOP) was established as a locally registered NGO. See how SBOP allows us to respond faster and distribute your aid quickly and efficiently within the country, as soon as disaster strikes.  Read More

REBUILDING AFTER CYCLONE HAROLD : Cyclone Harold devastated communities across the island of Vanuatu last year. But thanks to your support, families and communities have been able to rebuild their homes, their livelihoods, and their communities. Community togetherness is so important to the survival and growth of a village after a disaster such as Cyclone Harold. The neighbours of Hotwota community worked together to rebuild, but the tools and support you provided allowed them to build back quick and stronger. Please read Shelley's story of survival to see how your support has helped Shelley, her son, and her entire village rebuild after the devastating affects of Cyclone Harold.  Read Shelley's Story

About ShelterBox Canada: Canada is a registered charity that has been a part of the global ShelterBox network since 2010. We have a team of over 120 volunteers across the country who share their passion with us and help us raise awareness and fundraise across the country. There are ten Canadian ShelterBox Response Team members who work tirelessly with the rest of the International Response Team to deliver aid to families who need it around the world. To learn more about our board and staff click here .

ShelterBox and Rotary are official project partners in international disaster relief. ShelterBox is a registered charity independent of Rotary International and the Rotary Foundation.  Since  2012, we have been neighbours, friends and community leaders. Their aim is to create positive, lasting change in communities at home and all over the world.project partners with Rotary International, a global community of 1.2 million. Rotary has supported ShelterBox from the start when a local club championed the simple idea to package up essential shelter items in our now-iconic ShelterBoxes. As ShelterBox grew, so did Rotary support, and we are now international project partners in disaster relief. This partnership has helped us to become who we are today. Our global network of ShelterBox affiliates, which provides all-round assistance, evolved from Rotary relationships.



E:        T: 647.352.1930

ShelterBox Canada – 159 Jane Street, Office 2, Toronto, ON M6S 3Y8

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