Shaun Halbert

Founder and director of RSK shelter Charity.

Shaun is a veterinary surgeon with a special interest in emergency shelter. After training as a disaster response volunteer in 2006 he led teams providing emergency shelters to disasters in Asia, Africa and South America for several years.

In 2008, after delivering 600 tents to families made homeless by the Koshi River disaster in Nepal, he returned after 3 months to carry out a survey of living conditions in the camps. He noted that families living in the tarpaulin and bamboo frame shelters built by Oxfam engineers were enduring far better than those families provided with tents that were rapidly degrading, poorly ventilated, mouldy and unfit for habitation.

Over the next 2 years he also observed that families invariably struggled to build their own shelters after a disaster when they were only supplied with a tarpaulin and no frame to support it. It was after the Haiti earthquake in 2010, when he saw heavy rains cause hundreds of these makeshift shelters to collapse,that he was motivated to develop something new.

Leonardo Da Vinci had used a 4 pole reciprocal frame grid arrangement to support floors and bridges and it was this load bearing arrangement of poles that he used for the roof of a new type of relief shelter...the ReciproBoo Shelter Kit or RSK.

After 8 years of RSK development that included wind tunnel tests, university engineering research, training workshops and field trials in 4 countries, Shaun is now preparing for a full RSK shelter pilot project.

RSK wins the AidEx Innovation Award 2015

Team Bikalpa Nepal

In 2012 a young team from this local NGO spent 5 days at a workshop in Kathmandu building all the different types of RSK shelter. This ground breaking work set the foundations for all future RSKs to follow. Not only did they build the first ever elevated RSK shelters but they also showed that the shelter could be built with the weaker fresh cut green bamboo in an emergency.

First RSK bamboo workshop Kathmandu

Myanmar RSK training

In 2016 the Myanmar Red Cross hosted three RSK workshops at which a total of 126 Red Cross volunteers, local shelter NGOs and INGO shelter staff were trained.

Team building the first RSK 4 unit classroom

RSK training in Northern Shan

Members of the Community Development Association (CDA) took their RSK training to Northern Shan State and set up flood preparedness courses in commumities at risk of floods.

CDA team use available materials for RSK

UNHCR set up joint RSK training.

35 INGO Shelter Cluster staff and 22 government engineers from Rakhine State underwent training to use RSK shelter in May 2017. At that time the intention was to provide temporary shelter for Rohingya refugees returning from Bangladesh.

UNHCR and engineers at Sittwe training

NRC team take their RSK training to Kachin State

NRC staff that attended the Sittwe course carried out emergency training at a further 10 IDP camps in Bhamo, Kachin State.

NRC build RSK shelters

Rohingya team build RSK shelters

In October 2017 six Rohingya families build the first RSK shelters in Kutupolong makeshift camp Bangladesh.

End of a long day building RSKs.

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