Congratulations to our 2018 Kurt Hahn Prize Winner

Posted: 09 August 2018

Heather Chisholm

We are pleased to announce that the 2018 Kurt Hahn Prize has been awarded to Heather Chisholm from Rothesay Netherwood in Canada for her initiative to build a school out of upcycled shipping containers. This eco-friendly solution helps to repurpose around 3,500kg worth of steel (per container) and hugely benefits a community in need.

Heather’s container school is destined for the Kalinago Territory of Dominica, which was heavily affected by Hurricane Maria, a Category 5 hurricane with 160 mph wind speed. The hurricane force resulted in intense storm surges, torrential downpour, overflowing raging rivers, and extremely high winds. The hurricane swept across the island and left 31 people dead, 37 missing. 65,000 people, around 80% of the population, were directly affected and more than 90% of roofs were damaged or destroyed while power and water supplies were disrupted, and entire crops destroyed.

The shipping containers originally built to withstand 100 mile an hour winds and 50-foot waves are tough durable making them an ideal shell for a classroom in tropical Dominica. The customised shipping containers will offer a safe and much needed learning space for children affected by the storm.

Grade 10 student, Heather Chisholm single-handedly contacted local community members, architects, engineers, businesses and trades people in order to achieve her goal. Throughout the fall and winter terms she has coordinated numerous fundraising events, having produced a detailed budget and a comprehensive timeline. As more items were secured, such as the location and the actual shipping containers, Heather rallied a group of 24 students to form five different committees to help complete the intricacies of the building and design of the school, to continue fundraising and compile the learning stations and teaching tools for the preschool.

During the RSIC2018 Opening Ceremony at Lower Canada College, Heather was formally presented with the 2018 Kurt Hahn Prize and was invited to the stage to speak about her initiative and receive her award from Round Square CEO, Rachael Westgarth.It was very inspiring and exciting to be able to present to a theatre full of amazing people from around the world,” says Heather “I feel so honored to have had the chance to participate in the conference.

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