The Moving School


Mehler Texnologies support to build a school roof

As an integral part of company’s culture, Mehler Texnologies corporate social responsibility program supports social causes and is proud to be a part of the “moving school project” at the Thai Burmese border. Mehler Texnologies supported “Building Trust International UK”, a non-profit organization to develop a school for refugee children.

Below is a short piece on the history of the project, Building Trust and what it means to the local Burmese refugee and migrant community.

Building Trust international is a non-profit organization, established by David Cole and Louise McKillop following a life changing visit to Mae Sot, a small town on the Thai/Burma border in January 2011. The pair launched an International design competition asking Architects, Designers and Engineers to come up with an innovative design solution for a mobile, modular school which they would then construct for a displaced community of migrants and refugees on the border.

Burmese migrants do not have a right to own land and currently many of the new school buildings that are funded by aid agencies do not last long as the local landlords raise the rent of the land forcing the children elsewhere. It was seeing this problem that Cole and McKillop made a commitment to help a handful of displaced children and decided to host the competition. The brief required entrants to design a school which could be easily built and disassembled if the need arose. The ‘Moving schools’ competition asked entrants to pay a small fee, with all entrance fees going to directly to the cost of the school build. There was an incredible response with more than 800 designers and academic institutions expressing an interest and designs coming from over 30 countries. The winning design, by Amadeo Bennetta and Daniel LaRossa, Berkeley, CA, USA was announced last December.

The application of a fabric roof is the first of its kind for a school in the area, hopefully out lasting the palm alternatives in the heavy rain which is common to the area and will be quieter than a corrugated metal option. Mehler’s 8509 Poly Opak (blockout) fabric has made it possible to trial such a roof for the first time utilizing Profil Tension System fixings.

To ensure a sense of ownership and pride in the new school “Building Trust” continue to work closely with the local community, school children, their parents and the school teachers. We hope the school will be more than an educational facility and become a community hub.

To find out more please visit:
Building Trust International is a registered charity in England and Wales (1142338)

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