After 6 years of partnering with L'Esperance Orphanage in the hills overlooking the beautiful shores of Lake Kivu, Rwanda, the time has come for the Engineers Without Borders (EWB)-CU Team to turn over project control to the orphanage community. Visiting L'Esperance in January to monitoring the irrigation system we implemented in Summer 2011, it was apparent how much hope we, as mere engineering students, had brought to this community. Over the years, our team has worked with local Rwandans, designing and building rain water catchment facilities, installing solar panels, setting up handwashing faciliites, and most recently installing an irrigation system for the many acres of farm land at the orphanage. EWB-CU's experiences at L'Esperance Orphange have been about more than engineering. We have come to know and love the orphans that surrounded us day after day at our project sites, eager to learn about the strange equipment we carry with us.
Returning to L'Esperance Orphanage in December, our team recognized that under the director's vision, the community is well on its way to becoming economically self sufficient, with plans to now sell the trees grown in their nursery for profit in local markets. Our team has cherished every moment of working with this amazing community. Now, we feel that our presence at L'Esperance Orphanage is no longer necessary. The community has grown to own the maintenance and operation of each of the systems we have implemented, and we are confident in their ability to continue their journey on the road to becoming wholly economically self sufficient.
As our team prepares to return to Rwanda this summer to begin our new partnership building a school with the Rwandan Orphans Project (see the attached newsletter for details!), we will always remember the smiles we met in the hills of Rwanda. These children, their hopes and dreams, are the driving force behind what we do.
We would like to thank you for your continued support of EWB-CU's mission to improve the futures of orphans in Rwanda. Without you, the last 6 years of immense progress at L'Esperance, and our new program with the children at the Rwandan Orphans Project would never be possible.
Please stayed tuned for our new school construction project on GlobalGiving!
-The EWB-CU Rwanda Team
Dear Friends and Supporters,
First and foremost, thank you! Because of your continued support of University of Colorado’s Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Rwanda student team, we were able to successfully wrap up our project at L’Esperance Orphanage this January. Our travel team, comprised of three students and a professional mentor, spent three weeks in Rwanda from December to January. During the trip, the team performed monitoring tasks on the irrigation system that was implemented in Summer 2011. Everything was found to be working great! The operation and maintenance was reviewed with the orphanage staff, which is now fully capable of maintaining and fixing the system, should it need repair.
The team’s last task at L’Esperance was to assess the potential for implementing a hydropower system sometime in the future at the orphanage to power fruit dryers. After measuring the flow rate of the property’s stream, the team met with the director of L’Esperance Orphanage to discuss his options. While it does not look like a hydropower system is feasible due to the stream’s low flow rate, the idea is still up for consideration.
After a little down time playing with the orphans, swimming in beautiful Lake Kivu, and copious amounts of goodbyes, it was time for the team to move on from L’Esperance and search for EWB Rwanda’s new project. The travel team spent the last weeks of their trip navigating throughout Rwanda in search of project locations to aid communities lacking basic necessities. By the end of the trip, three potential sites were determined. Now, we will work with each group through the application process to Engineers Without Borders-USA, in order to decide which community we will collaborate with next.
For a sneak peak at some of the communities we could be working with next, as well as trip photos and stories, check out EWB-CU Rwanda’s team blog at http://ewbrwanda.blogspot.com/.
Once the application process is completed and the EWB Rwanda student team at University of Colorado has chosen its new direction, we will announce our new project on Global Giving. We are very excited about the potential for sustainable development in each of the communities that our team visited, and look forward to sharing the final results with you!
Once again, we thank you for continuing to support the Engineers without Borders- Rwanda student team at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Our trip was an immense success thanks in part to our donors and supporters, and I think the communities we work with would agree that without your support, our accomplishments would not be possible.
Moving forward, we are currently raising funds for our next project and plan to travel to our new worksite in Summer 2012. 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; EWBRwanda@gmail.com. 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: http://www.ewbrwanda.webs.com.
EWB-CU Team Rwanda
We would once again like to thank you for continuing to support the Engineers without Borders- Rwanda student team at the University of Colorado at Boulder. After the immense success of our team's June 2011 trip to Rwanda, where we effectively installed an irrigation system for the fruit tree nursery at L’Esperance Orphanage, we are very excited to continue exploring the benefits that sustainable design can bring to this community.
Building from the success of our irrigation system, the director of the orphanage has requested that we focus our efforts for this year into three projects, all focusing on creating a sustainable solution by harnessing water for different uses. In December, the team will assess the feasibility of a micro-hydropower system that would supply energy for fruit dryers that the orphanage could use to convert their crops to products to be sold in international markets. This venture would be the next step for the orphanage on their path to financial independence. The second project is an expansion of the irrigation system that was designed and implemented earlier this year. The amount of profitable farmland at the orphanage is extensive, and enlarging the irrigation system allows the orphanage to increase its ability to produce crops for food and market. The last project the team will be assessing for this year is the design for a rainwater catchment system to supply a laundry and shower facility for the 130 orphans that call L’Esperance home.
Our team is quite busy presently, preparing for the trip to Rwanda in late December with the purpose of assessing the feasibility of new water power options to better support the health, nutrition, and education of the 130 children living at the L'Esperance Orphanage. As with all Engineering Without Borders projects, the purpose of our efforts remains to promote sustainability in the communities we work with. Therefore, in addition to assessing the feasibility of our new project designs, the team is also completing an operation and maintenance manual for the irrigation system and tap stands that were previously installed at L’Esperance. The team that travels in December will monitor the success of these past projects, and collect data to be included in this manual. Once completed, this manual will be given to the orphanage staff who worked alongside our team in the implementation of these projects.
We are still in the process of raising funds for our upcoming trip and projects, 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; EWBRwanda@gmail.com. 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: http://www.ewbrwanda.webs.com.
Thank you so much for your support of the Engineers Without Borders student group at the University of Colorado at Boulder. With your help, 5 engineering students and 1 professional member were able to directly enhance the lives or 130 orphans in the rural hills of Rwanda during June 2011. Indirectly, the team also supported local community members through the hiring of local labor, educational workshops, and income generation that will vastly affect the surrounding community.
Our work began in the capital city of Rwanda, Kigali, where team members finalized design plans, acquired materials, and prepared for the bumpy ride to the L'Esperance Children's Aid Orphanage outside of the town of Mugonero, Rwanda. There, the team worked intensely for two weeks to oversee the construction of the irrigation system which we spent the last semester designing and perfecting. Working with local staff and laborers, we were able to successfully install, test, and pass on ownership of the system.
This system will allow the orphanage to grow and sell fruit tree saplings in the local community because it allows the trees to be watered during the 5 months of dry season throughout the year. With the income generated, the orphanage will better be able to support the health, nutrition, and education of the 130 children living there. This is an enormous step for the orphanage on its way to becoming financially independent. This is a remarkable accomplishment for any organization, especially one in the rural hills of a developing nation.
At the end of this month, it's back to the drawing board for Team Rwanda as we begin our next project which is still to be determined. We're looking forward to a new year with returning members and fresh new faces too. We hope you will continue to follow our progress and support our work. Please don't hesitate to send us questions, comments, or concerns at our email address; EWBRwanda@gmail.com. We really love hearing from our followers so please be in touch. Also, if you missed any of the action, check out our blog at http://ewbrwanda.blogspot.com/
It's almost travel time and we couldn't be more excited. All the travel dates have been sorted out and we're ready for take-off (though most of us still need to do some final packing). The team will arrive in the capital of Rwanda, Kigali, on May 23. We'll then spend a few days there purchasing materials, assembling the team, and then getting ready for our bus ride to western Rwanda. We'll be at L'Esperance Children's Aid Orphanage from May 29 to June 11 installing the irrigation system. Please follow our progress on our website (EWBRwanda.org) and on our blog (http://ewbrwanda.blogspot.com/). Thanks for your generous support! We can always use your help!
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