Volunteers helping victims of the devastating typhoon in the Philippines are keeping in touch thanks to equipment donated by telecommunications firm OneCom.
The charity ShelterBox, which sends emergency tents and supplies to areas hit by natural disasters, is aiming to help more than 4,000 families in the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, which has destroyed homes and claimed thousands of lives.
ShelterBox workers are co-ordinating their efforts using 20 iPhones which were donated to the charity by OneCom, based in Whiteley, Hampshire.
OneCom also manages the mobile phone connections for ShelterBox and through its partnership with the charity has supplied devices which can use data networks to help keep vital information flowing between aid workers.
Steve Allen, Key Account Director for OneCom, said: “We’re very pleased to be able to do our bit to help workers who are doing an extraordinary job to help the victims of this terrible tragedy.
“Before OneCom was involved, ShelterBox were only able to use standard phones for talk and text, so we were only too pleased to donate iPhones which enable them to do so much more, especially in areas where there is still a data connection available.
“At OneCom we are Vodafone partners and Vodafone has set up an emergency temporary network in the area hit by the typhoon, which the volunteers are able to use with the devices we have supplied.
“We are getting regular updates from ShelterBox and it’s very humbling to see how our services are helping in the region.”
ShelterBox has already delivered more than 500 tents to Manila in the Philippines and is preparing to distribute lifesaving aid. A further 224 boxes of aid and 576 tents are on their way to Cebu by air.
Members of the public can donate to ShelterBox online at www.shelterbox.org