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.
Jul 27, 2012

Summer 2012 Rwanda Trip Summary

Sonya and Andrew from EWB-CU survey the new land
Sonya and Andrew from EWB-CU survey the new land

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Muraho! The University of Colorado’s Engineers Without Borders student team just returned from our summer in Rwanda! Since the end of May, the team has been in Rwanda working hand in hand with the staff at the Rwandan Orphans Project (ROP) to make their dream of a new primary school a reality.

The trip was incredibly successful! We met with various engineers and architects in country to learn about standard building policies in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city. A land survey and geotechnical analysis of the ROP’s new land plot were completed with the help of the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology. We presented the ROP with a map of their new land, which they used to start planning the layout of the new facilities.

The EWB-CU team also established very strong relationships with the community that this new school will be serving in Kigali. We took part in umuganda, Rwanda’s mandatory monthly community service day, in the neighborhood where the school will be built. Using hoes and machetes we and our new friends cleared a brand new road! After the work was done, we introduced ourselves and our project to the families living near the construction site. The leader of the umudugudu, the equivalent of a neighborhood, and the executive director of the sector pledged support in the construction of the school. In fact, the surrounding neighborhoods promised to provide labor to lower the cost of the building!

Whenever we were not in meetings, touring construction sites, or sourcing local materials around Kigali, we spent our time hanging out with the boys at the Rwandan Orphans Project’s current center. The boys are incredibly talented! Recently, a volunteer capoeira teacher has worked with the children to hone their gymnastic skills, when they aren’t playing soccer of course!

One of the greatest things about the children at the ROP is their commitment to education. Each of them studies incredibly hard, not because they are required to, but because they truly enjoy learning and recognize the power of knowledge. The boys loved to talk to us about their futures. With bright eyes they told us about going to university, becoming a teacher or an electrician or a mayor.

After returning from Rwanda, the EWB-CU team is more excited than ever to work with the Rwandan Orphans Project to build a new school. With the information we gathered while in country, the team is now working on the design of this new 12 room school house. The design is to be finalized by October in order to return to Rwanda to lay the foundation in January.

Check out our trip blog for more stories from this summer at

We are still in the process of raising funds for the construction of this school, and your continued support of our mission through GlobalGiving is greatly appreciated. Please don't hesitate to send us questions, comments, or concerns at our email address; We really love hearing from our followers so please be in touch. Also, if you missed any of the action, check out our recently updated our team website:


EWB-CU Team Rwanda

BJ spends time with children at the worksite
BJ spends time with children at the worksite
Working with the ROP staff on the new map
Working with the ROP staff on the new map
Dance time during school at the ROP!
Dance time during school at the ROP!


Dec 4, 2010

Update - Rwanda Cookstoves Venture

Friends of Engineers Without Borders CU,

We have exciting news!  The Rwandan based cookstove venture has been officially transferred to Manna Energy, an organization operating out of Rwanda.  Manna has the local capacity and initiative to make this business a success.  Manna aims to spread the health and economic benefits of clean cookstoves to thousands of Rwandans.  If you are interested in learning more about the organization, please visit their website:

I would like to send a big 'Thank You' for your generosity!  This would not have been possible without your support.  To view our current project, a sustainable irrigation system at L'Esperance Orphanage in Rwanda, please visit:

Warm regards,


Aug 24, 2010

Summer Update 2010

There have been some exciting developments over the past few months, since we entered the Rocket Stoves project in Global Giving on March 24th. A team of three University of Colorado graduate and undergraduate engineering students, including myself, spent a bulk of the summer in Rwanda working with the Rocket Stoves and a new irrigation project. Our local partners Manna Energy Ltd., namely Innocent Nsekeyukunze, have also been working tirelessly on the Rocket Stoves project. Here is some brief information of our progress.

• Testing: Our Engineers Without Borders team has been conducting the tests on the Rocket Stoves to determine the model which yields the highest energy efficiency. Also, it will determine exactly how much more efficient the stoves are than a traditional three stone fire. The sensitivity study includes various parameters such as: rocket chamber height, inclusion of a kick plate, and inclusion of a pot skirt.

• Transition of the stoves business: Manna Energy Ltd., our local partner, is a robust organization working in Rwanda primarily in medium scale water treatment. We are very excited about the transition of the stoves business from Engineers Without Border to Manna Energy. The driving force behind this decision is their much increased capacity to run a business in Rwanda over EWB. We hope it will bring the stoves business to fruition and distribute improved cooking solutions to thousands of Rwandans.

• Monitoring & Evaluation: We have visited some of the previous stove installations, primarily the 18 units at L’Esperance Orphanage in Mugonero. We have observed the cooking practices used in these stoves and also spoken with the cooks. This has enabled us to determine some of the weaknesses of the technology. Most weaknesses are from technology misuses that can lead to damage of the stove and decreased efficiency. Additionally, the misuses themselves can lead to decreased efficiency levels. The information gathered during monitoring will help improve the next iteration of the stove. This information also furthers our understanding of the compulsory education and training to compliment the stove.

• Irrigation: Engineers Without Borders has started an improved irrigation project at the L'Esperance Children's Aid Orphanage in Mugonero. This is the same orphanage in which we have implemented 18 Rocket Stoves and several rainwater catchment systems. In July we conducted an assessment for the irrigation system. The system will use gravity to distribute water from a central tank to two large vegetable fields below which cover nearly half a hectare. Growing vegetables in the dry season will allow the orphans access to healthy food and nutrients all year round. We plan on opening a new project on Global Giving soon for the irrigation system which will be installed in the summer of 2011.

Thank you for your support! It wouldn’t be possible without YOU!

Warmly, Boston Nyer

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