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Engineers Without Borders (EWB) at CSU takes engineering students, and students of all other majors, to places in the world that need their help. Using classroom skills to change real lives, EWB-CSU mixes construction, service, travel, professional experience, friendship, and fun.
According to EWB national, projects involve the design and construction of basic infrastructure and include (but are not limited to) the following themes: water supply and sanitation, energy, transportation, food production and processing, housing and construction, communication, income generation, and employment creation. These projects are initiated by - and completed with contributions from - the host community working side-by-side with EWB project teams. An emphasis is placed on education so the host community can own, operate, and maintain the newly implemented systems without external assistance.
This holistic approach allows CSU student teams to work together just as they would in the professional world – with engineers, business people, nurses, fundraisers, communication specialists, and so many more collaborating to get things done.
Engineers Without Borders-USA (EWB-USA), as stated in its national materials, “is a non-profit humanitarian organization established to partner with developing communities worldwide in order to improve their quality of life, while involving and training a new kind of internationally responsible student.” Chapters exist all over the country, and are usually associated with universities or colleges. The CSU chapter has been in existence since 2008. To learn more about EWB-USA, click on the following: www.ewb-usa.org
August Pine Ridge, Belize
The August Pine Ridge Village Council is committed to improving the quality of life for its growing community in the Orange Walk District of eastern Belize. Unfortunately, the Council lacks may of the basic and necessary resources needed to serve its 3,000-plus citizens.
Classrooms and a new school building (which must double as a hurricane shelter for the coastal community), along with potable drinking water are the most pressing needs of the village. Currently, the community cannot hire enough teachers because of this lack of facilities. Villagers must also often purchase bottled water for drinking and cooking just to remain safe.
While the Village Council has proposed several projects to address these critical problems, they lack the technical expertise, access to materials, and skilled workers to complete them. Students from Cleveland State University - future designers, doctors, project managers, teachers, and more - have agreed to step in and fill this void.
Thanks to a new partnership established as part of the national Engineers Without Borders program, help will be given to August Pine Ridge by CSU student-professionals for a duration of five years. Strong ties have already been established between the August Pine Ridge Village Council and the EWB-CSU chapter.
A visit to the village occurred in April of 2009. This "assessment trip" let the international partners meet face-to-face for the first time, and allowed the team of CSU students and their advisor to gather all the information needed. After the trip, the assessment team returned to Cleveland and began planning the next steps of implementation with the following list of initial needs in mind:
- New classrooms (also providing hurricane shelter)
- Automatic pumping for the community well
- Testing and improvement of quality of community water supply
- Hurricane shelter and multi-purpose community center
- Solid waste disposal dumpsite
- School security fence and lighting
- Road speed bumps
- Solar water heating
The EWB-CSU meets continually to discuss the August Pine Ridge project and move its preparations forward. Committees for design and fundraising, among others, meet even more often to take on the various parts of the current project.
EWB is open to students from all majors, and the Pine Ridge project already proves the need for skilled students outside of engineering. To learn more about the August Pine Ridge project and EWB, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, find us on our Facebook page (Engineers Without Borders-Cleveland State University), or inquire within the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department Office (located on the first floor of Stilwell Hall, Rm 107).
Future projects make take place in countries outside Belize, in other states, and possibly even the Cleveland area. Sharing your project ideas is a big part of joining EWB-CSU.
- Through CSU – Donate directly to the CSU Engineers Without Borders chapter through CSU by clicking this link: https://secure.skipjack.com/clsu/ After choosing your gift amount, be sure it goes directly to EWB. To do this, select “Other” in the "Designate My Gift To" menu and then type in “Engineers Without Borders.”
- Through EWB-USA – Donate directly to the CSU Engineers Without Borders chapter through EWB-USA by clicking this link: https://takeaction.ewb-usa.org/cleveland-state-university-chapter
- President: Dina Nabutovsky (email@example.com)
- Vice President: Brianna McKinney (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Treasurer: Mohamel Abed (email@example.com)
- Project Mentor (Structures): Dr. Norbert Delatte
- DESIGN: Jeff Schellhammer (firstname.lastname@example.org) - Committee Chair
- STRUCTURES: Rich Obratil (email@example.com) - Committee Chair
- FUNDRAISING: Heather Duer - Committee Chair
- GRANT WRITING: Dr. Mark Tumeo - Committee Chair
- COMMUNITY OUTREACH - Unassigned
- MEMBERSHIP - Unassigned
- Next Chapter Meeting: TUESDAY, OCTOBER 27th, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. - Stilwell Hall, Rm 102 (first floor).
Updates from all committees. Open to new members. Food will be provided. Email or see Facebook for more info.