Grateful for What You Got? Give Back and Get Involved with Engineers Without Borders USA
As many of our clients (owners/shareholders) approach retirement, they look back on all their hard work and are grateful for the blessings they have gained over the years. Some look forward to more golf, more time on the boat, more time with the grandkids. Others become panicked about what they’ll do when they finally do retire.
Regardless of what category you may fall into, it may surprise you to know that retirement doesn’t have to mean “retirement.” Having spent the last 20, 30 or 40 years building your manufacturing company, you have an amazing amount of knowledge and experience that you could share with the “next gen” of engineers.
Most of us are familiar with Doctors Without Borders – medical heroes who travel “worldwide where the need is greatest, delivering emergency medical aid to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters or exclusion from health care.”
But, what do you know about Engineers Without Borders (EWB)? We at Accelerated Manufacturing Brokers recently learned about EWB because my nephew, Colin, joined a local chapter at Boston University (BU).
686 community driven projects
This is an amazing organization comprised of professional and student chapters. EWB-US harnesses the energy and young minds of exceptional college engineering students – kids who haven’t yet learned the phrase “we can’t do that” – and aligns them with engineering experts to tackle specific infrastructure needs in developing communities. EWB-USA is involved with projects ranging from bridge/road construction to sanitation and creating a system to provide clean water.
Projects are selected and committed to for five years. And get this…they don’t just set it up and leave. They work with local community partners and NGO’s to design and implement engineering projects that are sustainable by the community. They plan, monitor, evaluate and learn.
Colin’s chapter at BU is actively working on three projects in Naluja, Zambia, and monitoring two more already implemented. The three projects in process include the development of a rainwater catchment system, the construction of latrines, and the installation of a water pump that will get water to hundreds of community members. All of their projects include some form of education on hygiene-improvement, sanitation and/or minimizing the spread of disease.
They are monitoring an easy-to-build water filtration bucket system which was installed throughout households in Naluja. Another project is an antenna system which detects cellular signals and boosts reception to improve the transmission of SMS text messages related to the diagnosis of HIV in infants.
EWB-US success can be partially attributed to the engineering professionals who volunteer their time in a variety of ways to assist on projects of interest. They need college mentors to provide valuable guidance and expertise. The commitment can range from several weeks or months of travel to a virtual design review from your laptop on the sofa in your jammies.
Accelerated Manufacturing Brokers, Inc., is supporting BU’s project in Naluja, Zambia. We are really grateful for what we got…so we’re giving back and getting involved. And we’re still working!
We’ll be attending EWB-US Northeast Regional Conference at BU in November. It’s a great way to learn more about this organization.