The Capitol University Alumni Association recently led a multi-group activity to install tents provided by ShelterBox in an area near Lumbia Elementary School.

More than a hundred volunteers joined the team to build 45 tents ready for occupancy from TS Sendong victims who have not found yet a safe and comfortable shelter.

Eight delegates from Rotary Club of CDO East Urban were led by Past Presidents Ella Yu, Ma. Concepcion Laguena and Club Secretary, Rose Dizon, who went early in the morning to mobilize the clearing operations.

The team was represented by 71 Regimental Corp Officers and Cadets and 6 officers from Student Body Organization from Capitol University College of Maritime Education. They sacrificially spent their Sunday away from their families to help the installation of world-class tents in Lumbia. The students were led by Dr. Romeo Miñoza and Second Mate Manuel Suganob, both directors of the Alumni Board. They actually came early in the morning to participate the Cagayan de Oro leg of Philhealth Run. This prompted the members of the ShelterBox Response Team to capture their stamina and willingness to serve the community.


Mark Eccles and Chris Alderson both come from United Kingdom and travel around the globe to respond to calamities such as the recent typhoon.

“Building 45 tents in less than 5 hours is a feat itself but truly, the 45 families who are still homeless will finally have the comfortable dwelling place because of the passion, time, and energy of these young people”, Mr. Eccles said.

ShelterBox provided the following information from their official website:

What are they doing? They provide emergency shelter and lifesaving supplies to families around the world who are affected by disasters. These supplies are given at the time when they immediately need it.


How many people have they helped? The goal is to help 50,000 families every year.

What is inside the box? The ShelterBox contains blankets, water storage and filtration equipment, cooking utensils, stove, basic tool kit, toy pack for children’s activity, and other vital items useful for the family. A ShelterBox is tailored for immediate response to disasters and calamities. It basically delivers a tent of good quality essential for the family needs to survive in the immediate aftermath of a disaster.

For 11 years since ShelterBox was founded, they have responded to almost 200 natural or manmade disasters to 75 different countries and have provided lifesaving aid for over one million people.

ShelterBox was founded by Tom Henderson, a Rotarian and former Royal Navy search and rescue diver.

The aid response to disasters was in the form of food and medicine to help people survive the immediate aftermath.

Proper shelter assistance is an immediate need which should be given to the victims to help them survive the first few days, weeks and months as they rebuild their normal family life.


In 1999, Tom started researching the idea, sourcing equipment and twisting arms to get the project off the ground. ShelterBox was launched in April 2000, adopted by Helston-Lizard of the Rotary Club in Cornwall.  Little did they know that it has become the largest Rotary club millennium project in the world with an ever-growing number of international affiliates.

The first consignment of 143 boxes was sent to earthquake victims in the Indian state of Gujarat in January 2001. Over the next three years the project matured and by the end of 2004 nearly 2,600 boxes had been dispatched, following 16 major disasters. In December 26, 2004, news came of the devastating Indian Ocean Tsunami and ShelterBox faced its most significant challenge, one that would change its course forever.

Half of the volunteer from maritime students were actually trained few days after the disaster. These trained volunteers then became trainers of other volunteers. Two experienced volunteers were paired with other 5 new members as a team to install the tents.

Representatives from Capitol University Community Extension Office led by Dr. Alice Diel participated the activity with students from CU Graduate School who utilized their supposedly rest days for the very laudable Sunday activity.

CU Alumni Directors and their respective family members gladly utilized the day as a family-bonding event even as kids enjoying the drizzly atmosphere.

The Non-teaching staff Alumni was represented by Ms. Mary Ann Solarte while the CU Nursing Alumni Association was represented by Ms. Rebecca Jadol.

The Rotary International thru the District 3870 District Disaster Response’s Past District Governor Rhia Rita Abalos and Rotary Club of West Cagayan de Oro shared some of their resources for the meals of the volunteers.

Mr. Abner Tayco and Sonny Ongkiko of ShelterBox Response Team Philippines gladly accommodated the volunteers even on Sunday; where they are supposed to take their well-earned rest day.

The activity would have not been successful without the support and guidance from the ShelterBox Philippines Trustee, Past District Governor of Rotary International District 3870, Dr. Fe “Bing” R. Juarez. (photos by

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