Project #10404

Catch-Up School for Rwandan Orphans Project

by Engineers Without Borders - Boulder
Oct 24, 2012

October 2012 Update

School Schematic
School Schematic



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, and make sure to check our website at!


EWB-CU Team Rwanda


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Project Leader:
Andrew Nelson
Boulder, CO United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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