Engineers Without Borders - USA (EWB-USA) is a non-profit humanitarian organization established to partner with developing communities worldwide in order to improve their quality of life. This partnership involves the implementation of sustainable engineering projects, while involving and training internationally responsible engineers and engineering students.
The activities of EWB-USA are completely funded by the generous donations of our members and sponsors along with the fundraising efforts of our chapters. Each student and professional chapter is responsible for the funding of their project. On site contributions of materials and labor by community members are an intergral part of the project process.
Engineers Without Borders is an international program dedicated to helping create a more stable and prosperous world by addressing people's basic human needs. By engineering simple and inexpensive solutions, EWB can make a difference by providing necessities such as clean water, power, sanitation and education to impoverished countries around the world. Over 180 college campuses around the nation have EWB chapters, and currently EWB-USA has over 350 projects in over 45 developing countries around the world
The University of Idaho Chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB-UI) was officially started in the Spring of 2011. Aaron Lewis, a graduate student in Civil Engineering, and Fritz Fiedler the club’s faculty advisor , worked for over a year to get this chapter started at the University of Idaho and finally succeeded, garnering immediate interest from engineering students on campus. Since then, the club has have recruited many enthusiastic UI engineering students, elected a dedicated group of officers, and began fundraising and working on small local volunteer projects. In April of 2011, EWB-UI participated in Saturday of Service, a local program that sends volunteers out to various projects around the Palouse. Along with doing international large scale projects, it is another mission of EWB-UI to volunteer frequently within their own community. Another local project currently underway for EWB-UI is helping fund and implement thermoplastic drain labels on storm drains in the City of Moscow. Working closely with the City of Moscow and ESAC, EWB-UI will continue to work on this project next fall.
EWB-UI is very excited to be applying for their first international project in Chiriwapi, Bolivia. Chiriwapi is a small indigenous community located in a valley the Andes Mountains. Currently the only source of water for the locals is from a river running through the village. Because this village is located downstream of a much larger town, the citizens of Chiriwapi must use their contaminated water. Because of this, there is a desperate need for a source of potable water; EWB would have a chance to design a new water system, or make improvements to the current one. This would provide clean water directly to 35 families in Chiriwapi, which would greatly improve their quality of life. These changes would reducing diseases and infant mortality caused by ingestion of contaminated water.
This project in Chiriwapi was chosen by EWB-UI after careful consideration, and will be their first large scale project. A commitment of 5 years is required by Engineers Without Borders, so EWB-UI will be working closely with Chiriwapi for many years to come, maintaining their new water filtration system and finding new projects in the village to improve their quality of life. In order to build and maintain the new changes for this village, a lot of fundraising must be done by EWB-UI. Fundraising will be a very important aspect of the EWB-UI chapter in the future, especially once designing gets underway and an implementation date is set. EWB-UI hopes that with the backing of this community and university, these efforts will be supported and assisted.