Building Boats, Changing Lives

Over the past three years, our Foundation has supported the work of Eamonn Doorly, the Museum’s Boatbuilder, and Dr. Shane Theunissen, his partner from Mount St Vincent University. Together they have developed a program we call Building Boats, Changing Lives.

With the financial support of Alion Canada, Eamonn, Shane, and their volunteer/mentors have held workshops at Pictou Landing First Nations School, with a multi-racial group of young women at the Maritime Museum last summer, and at the Fisheries Museum in Lunenburg and the Dory Shop in Shelburne. Here are three videos that capture the essence of this exciting program.

Here’s a link to a blog post about the Building Boats, Changing Lives program by former Maritime Museum intern Aleen Leigh Stanton. It captures the impact of the program:

At the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, They Build More Than Boats

When young people have an experience that introduces them to a sense of their own power to achieve things they had never before dreamed of and express themselves in a voice that is uniquely their own, a seed is planted that, if nurtured, can have a profound and innovative impact on them and their communities. Youth empowerment can help build self-reliant communities, and self-reliant communities can create sustainable development, and sustainable development can lead to poverty reduction.

We aim to plant the seed. The Boat School we are planning to build will allow us to take this program to the next level and vastly expand the number of kids at risk we are able to serve.

Here are some comments from boat building kids:

“I feel accomplished!”

“I thought that it was great.”

“When everyone comes together, we can do great things, such as learning to build a boat.”

“In only a few days I learned things I never thought I could ever learn. … Everyone felt the same way.”

“The fact that the boats actually floated was a successful and proud moment.”