Engineers Without Borders - Boulder

We aim to empower the people of Rwanda by providing high impact, low cost engineering solutions for communities in need. Specifically, our projects are used to meet basic needs such as water collection, education, and agriculture. We work alongside the communities to design and implement something that they can maintain and operate as their own. Our projects also give university students the opportunity to develop their engineering skills in the field.
Feb 5, 2014

Exciting Times in Cyanika, Rwanda

A site for a future rain-water catchment system.
A site for a future rain-water catchment system.

Muraho!

This is a very exciting time for the University of Colorado Boulder Engineers Without Borders Chapter! We have just partnered with a locally-based non-governmental organization known as Village Makeover (VMO) to provide and improve water, hygiene, sanitation, and catchment systems to the Cyanika community, which is located in Northern Rwanda. Although Rwanda has been economically improving and moderately stable in recent years, water accessibility and sanitation has always been the primary challenge for economic development in the country, particularly in rural communities. Currently, agricultural sectors dominate the Rwandan economy and ostensibly clean-water-access is a critical part of maintaining such an agriculturally-focused economy. Approximately 80-85 percent of the Rwandan population relies on successful means of agricultural to provide for their families and communities at-large, making water access and maintenance a core priority for the country.

Village Makeover has been collaborating with the Cyanika community since 2008 to provide clean water and education infrastructure to community members. Village Makeover and has worked side by side with EWB-USA CU to initiate a new project between the Cyanika community, Village Makeover and EWB-USA CU, and we are very excited to be involved!

Everything is running smoothly so far, and we have plans to construct the first two or three catchment systems from a series of 10-15 proposed sites this summer. EWB-CU is preparing to send six students to county to work on the implementation of these systems, which will provide clean water year-round to the at risk members of several villages within the Cyanika community. As always, we are very grateful for your continued support and involvement through Global Giving. Thanks! Please feel free send any questions or comments to EWBRwanda@gmail.com, and make sure to check our website at http://www.colorado.edu/engineering/ewb/rwanda!

Sincerely,

The EWB-CU Rwanda Program

 

Meeting with the community leadership.
Meeting with the community leadership.
Local children in Cyanika, Rwanda.
Local children in Cyanika, Rwanda.
Jan 17, 2013

Final Update - January 2013

Muraho!

Several major changes have occurred in the past three months. Due to insignificant funds, the CU Boulder EWB Rwanda team has been forced to abandon plans to construct a school for Rwandan Orphans. The design of the school was unable to be completed because the team lacked the funds to return to Rwanda. A motion to redesign the school to be smaller and cheaper was overturned by the Rwandan Orphans Project and the EWB Rwanda team because it would require more time and money than the organizations have. Additional developments on the side of ROP have forced EWB Rwanda to cancel the project entirely.

The CU Boulder team is now optimistically looking for new projects that will be more attainable and better serve the community. We are considering other options in Rwanda, several water projects in Cameroon, Uganda, Ghana, and Kenya, and an energy project in Ethiopia. Because the CU Boulder team is so large, we are considering splitting into two groups to tackle two of these projects. The final project selections and team designations will be complete by April.

As a team we are very grateful for your continued support and involvement through Global Giving. Thanks!

Please feel free send any questions or comments to EWBRwanda@gmail.com, and make sure to check our website at http://www.ewbrwanda.webs.com!

Sincerely,

EWB-CU Team Rwanda

Oct 24, 2012

October 2012 Update

School Schematic
School Schematic

Muraho!

 

During the past three months, there have been many exciting developments here in Boulder at the University of Colorado! The Engineers Without Borders team is now halfway through the semester, and is knee deep making this school a reality.

Here are a couple of updates on the activities of the EWB-USA CU Rwanda Program this semester:

Our design team recently completed and submitted a full, working blueprint of the school. The design of the school is specially designed to maximize the space we have to work with, while providing sustainable features:

  • The school will have twelve fully-furnished classrooms.
  • The school will be in the shape of an ‘L.’
    • One length of the ‘L’ will define the property boundaries.
    • This design creates a large open space on the interior of the property, which allows for a safe and inclusive area for various activities
  • There will be a pathway around the exterior, which is both aesthetically pleasing and provides a stable walkway regardless of the weather
  • The school will be built of concrete masonry units upon a concrete foundation. The walls will be plastered and painted.
  • Large windows will be placed as to maximize natural lighting and ventilation.
  • There will be exterior steel staircases located on the sides of each building to allow access to the second floor.
  • The roof will be a reinforced concrete slab and will have a slight slope to allow the capture and drainage of rain water.

We are also currently working on incorporating renewable energy sources and sustainable resource management technology into the building as well.

Our field team has also been working wonders in the past three months! The job of the field team is to manage the on-the-ground effectiveness and sustainability of the school construction project.  We have been: 

  • working on an Operations and Maintenance manual for upkeep of the school
  • developing lesson plans for the ROP students to teach them about structural engineering
  • leading cultural education events for EWB students at CU Boulder
  • facilitating a semester-long Kinyarwanda (the local Rwandan language) course for all of our members

Over the next few months, we will be working on several important things, such as:

  • developing a method to measure the success of our project in the community
  • holding workshops for winter travelers on skills necessary for success in Rwanda
  • preparing for the first construction trip
  • and, most importantly, fundraising!

We are very excited about our design and cultural exchange! But we need your help to get us there! We are very grateful for your continued support through GlobalGiving, and once again would like to take the time to thank you.

Please feel free send any questions or comments to EWBRwanda@gmail.com, and make sure to check our website at http://www.ewbrwanda.webs.com!

Sincerely,

EWB-CU Team Rwanda

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