Shelterbox Assessment Weekend

This summer I completed the second phase of the Shelterbox Response Team member recruitment process. It took place in the hills surrounding Grenoble, France. It was a beautiful location, mist covered the valley in the morning and everything surrounding us was green, up until the snow covered peaks of the Alps. The assessment process had a few distinct parts, but as part of the weekend assessment is being able to deal with different situations in want of information, I’m not going to go too much into detail.

There were 16 applicants from all around the world. As expected, Europe made up the largest portion of the group, English, French, Italian and Norwegian in particular. Many of the people were living in a foreign country at the moment, which seemed to make sense, as this position (to me) attracts people with a less than sedentary life style. The group also had people from Turkey, Egypt and two Americans (myself included.)

Some of the group were Rotarians who were supporters of Shelterbox. They spoke of often giving presentations and speeches on Shelterbox but felt they needed to know more of what goes into the relief effort and about the people who would be deployed. I think this is a great way for Rotarians to better understand the program and understand for themselves (and share) what is most needed by Shelterbox.

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The weekend tested our navigation, communication and team skills. This was done through exercises, questions, role-playing and more. Understandably, the ability to be self-sustaining, motivated, calm under pressure and persistent were heavily emphasized. Shelterbox needs applicants who bring the necessary fundamentals, and only need to learn the specifics of the program. Shelterbox is a ‘small’ organization with a very large reach and impact, the money is spent efficiently and the work done precisely. SRT’s (Shelterbox Response Team members) are very well trained and continually kept up to date as to the most recent training, but in order to be as efficient as possible as an organization, they need to choose the people that already exhibit the qualities needed of an SRT.

I was fortunate enough to receive a message letting me know that I had been accepted to participate in the third phase of the assessment process. This is a nine day training course in the UK. After that I will set my availability for deployment and will be sent out. Only after a successful first deployment does one official become an SRT.  Unfortunately, due to the fact that I am about to begin a Masters in General Management in Belgium, I will be unable to complete the upcoming training, but I am hoping to participate in the following which is offered at the beginning of next year and I know that my education in Management will only add to what I can contribute to Shelterbox. It was very exciting for me to be closer to my goal of becoming an SRT and playing a role in the Shelterbox organization.

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