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FROM THE FIELD: L I F E A S A S E A M S T R E S S IN MINAWAO CAMP

23-year-old Esther is originally from Boko in Nigeria. She now lives in Minawao camp in Cameroon. In 2014, Esther and her family were violently attacked when Boko Haram fighters stormed into their village. She told the team at IEDA Relief – ShelterBox’s implementing partner in Cameroon – she witnessed the tragic death of her parents and her brothers then ran for her life from the attackers. She was forced to flee her home and has not returned since.

Esther said she ran with many other girls who were in the same situation as her. The journey led them to
Cameroon where they were met by police at the border and eventually taken to Minawao camp. Esther said it has taken a while to come out of the trauma she felt from that day. She has since married and has children of her own.

The support she received helped her to participate in some training organized on camp for young women. That training was on sewing. She sold food so she could make enough money to eventually buy herself a sewing machine.

Today, Esther is one of the most popular dressmakers in her bloc on camp. She said that many women around her go to her for their clothes, as well as those of their children. It has helped her and her family for household needs. “It’s very nice. I do like it and I do it with pleasure any time I have a customer. Generally, my neighbours come to me with their children for their clothes and anytime I see somebody wearing something that I sewed, it makes me happy. I can now take care of some family needs, like cooking and other things.”

Esther hopes that her business will be a huge success in the future. “I want to become a famous dressmaker not only here in Minawao. I want to see people wearing my clothes out of the camp and even in my country (Nigeria)”, she concluded.

ShelterBox has been working in Minawao camp to support families like Ester’s since 2015. ShelterKits and tents provide families with privacy and help families avoid some of the threats of the collective centre.

Additional aid items like water filters and mosquito nets help prevent the spread of disease, while kitchen
sets and solar lights help make the camp feel more like home. Officially, Minawao camp is home to 51,000
refugees, but families living here say the number is much higher. Globally, ShelterBox has helped 11,000
families who have fled their homes due to Boko Haram.

FROM THE FIELD: GRACE FROM MALAWI

45-year-old Grace used to live in a small village called Mwalija with her husband and four children. The
village is situated in a very low-lying area of Chikwawa next to the Shire, Malawi’s largest river. The family
were forced to flee when the fast-flowing water swamped their home in the middle of the night.

She said when the floods came, she tried to seek refuge at a nearby island. “It was around 3am, we were
asleep then we realized the water was coming inside the house. We all ran for our lives to the island, we
left everything in the house.” Continue reading

FROM THE FIELD: ERTI FROM INDONESIA

Erti was at home with her husband Jonathan, their two children, and two-year-old granddaughter Felicia
when the 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck central Sulawesi on September, 28 2018. The family live in a
small village called Puroo, about 60 kilometres from Palu. In the village, 146 houses were totally destroyed
by the earthquake, including their own.

At around 6pm when the earthquake hit, Erti was washing in the bathroom. “I was in the shower, there
was no time to get dressed, so I just ran”, she said. Her only exit out of the house was through the
bathroom wall which collapsed in front of her. Fortunately, a neighbour saw her and quickly covered her
with a blanket, and she was later given some clothes. On her way out, Erti broke a rib, she was treated
soon after by a local doctor. Continue reading

North Cowichan Consults Community Groups on New Development Procedures Bylaw

In 2015 Bernie Jones, president of the Chemainus Residents Association (CRA), appeared before North Cowichan Council with suggestions for an “early notification system” with respect to new development projects. The idea was for municipal staff to let local area groups know when a development was coming to their neighbourhood, with enough time for them to research and organize a response. Although Council asked staff to look into the proposal, nothing further was done.

In 2018, Jones again appeared before Council, this time as a director with the newly launched Cowichan Communities Coalition (CCC), to renew his request on behalf of the CCC and its member organizations. Jones and fellow presenter Marilyn Palmer, CCC president, were informed that North Cowichan was in the process of drafting a new bylaw that would allow for such input, and that CCC member organizations would be contacted.

Soon afterwards, Community Planning Coordinator Chris Hutton reached out to various CCC members, including the CRA, the Quamichan Lake Neighbourhood Association, the Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society, and the Sahtlam Neighbourhood Association. Hutton and his staff presented groups with a draft of the new Development Procedures Bylaw, including an accompanying staff report prepared for Council, and a request for feedback.

The response was largely positive (see these articles by the Cowichan Discourse and the Sahtlam Neighbourhood Association) and we are looking forward to working further with North Cowichan staff as progress on the new bylaw continues.

EMERGENCY: INDONESIA EARTHQUAKE AND TSUNAMI

  • On Friday, September 28, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake and tsunami with 6m-high waves devastated the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. At least 844 have died and thousands of homes have been turned to rubble.
  • We are sending a ShelterBox Response Team to Indonesia to understand how we might be able to help Sulawesi families who have lost everything.
  • Access to the affected area is severely restricted and the full extent of the destruction and damage to homes is not yet fully understood.
  • This is the latest in a series of earthquakes to hit Indonesia recently.
  • We currently have a different ShelterBox Response team on the Indonesian Island of Lombok who have been there for the last month helping families recover from the 6.9 magnitude earthquake which hit in August and left 20,000 people homeless. (Photo above).
  • We are in contact with the Indonesian government, the disaster management organizations, and our Rotary colleagues in Indonesia to understand how we might be able to help Sulawesi families who have lost everything.
  • We have aid stored nearby in Malaysia and we are working with our contacts to understand any importation restrictions, and how we might be able to get it in to Indonesia and to the families who may need it.
  • As well as our team in Lombok, ShelterBox is also helping families recover after super Typhoon Mangkhut devastated homes in the Philippines, and in Kenya where flooding has made thousands of families homeless. We also responding in Syria, Iraq, Lake Chad Basin and Somalia.

Find the latest info about ShelterBox Canada’s response in Indonesia here – www.shelterboxcanada.org/indonesia-tsunami/

Welcome to HILARY’S in COWICHAN BAY

Hilary’s is famous for exquisite Local and World Cheese Cases
AND NOW … COMING IN OCTOBER

HILARY’S IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THAT ARE BUILDING
A SPECIAL PLACE FOR MOMS AND A TODDLERS SAFE PLAY AREA

We hope to have weekly well-informed Speakers and even more exciting things … help us plan cool talks!

But most of all:  A 20% Special Discount for ALL MOMs WITH TODDLERS from 10 a.m. until 12:30 noon Monday to Friday.

Stroll and relax on the waterfront over Peaks Coffee at Hilary’s in Cowichan Bay