Young engineers making their contribution to change
The past few weeks have been an exciting time for us for many reasons, but one of the most exciting of our recent accomplishments is leading us into a new chapter in collaboration and friendship with the network of EWB chapters from Massachusetts and Rhode Island. On February 16, EWB-BU had the honor of hosting what we hope will be the first of many roundtable meetups between over eight EWB chapters throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts, including Roger Williams, Tufts, Northeastern, Harvard, MIT, the Boston Professional Chapter, and more.
The roundtable included three hours of discussions and networking between students, covering a variety of different topics: membership growth and retention, finding and opening a new program, fundraising and outreach, the technical aspects of water supply projects, and creating NGO partnership. Chapters had varying levels of experience: for example, Roger Williams was newly established and has yet to find a community to partner with and UMass Lowell is currently trying to establish a chapter, whereas Northeastern and Harvard have well-established programs working in multiple countries. However, everyone had something to contribute and something to learn. Northeastern and Roger Williams both gave presentations on their own topics, and after each presentation, active discussions took place that all chapters contributed to. In fact, everybody had so much to say that discussions even ran late. The other highlight of the event was the networking lunch, a free half hour that everybody used to get to know each other and discuss their experiences in a less formal setting. In addition to being a time to exchange tips and information, the meeting was a wonderful place to form lasting friendships.
Many of the attendees had much to say about their experiences. Wali Sabuhi, EWB-BU’s Social Networking Chair and the man responsible for much of the meetup’s organization, judged that the meetup was a great success. “The turnout for the first ever roundtable was remarkable, given the harsh weather conditions and public transportation situation on the day,” he said. “It speaks to the amount of enthusiastic students and professionals there are in just this particular EWB chapter network. Chapters varied greatly in terms of their program and project statuses – several students were looking to begin a chapter or secure a program, while others were happy to deliver advice and encouragement. Along with ongoing knowledge-sharing in events similar to this first roundtable meet-up, the long-term vision for this collaboration of thirteen-plus chapters is to collectively support project and chapter development and assist each others’ goal pursuits.” A representative of the Tufts chapter stated that, “It was good at creating discussion that all of the groups were able to contribute to and learn from,” and others acknowledged it as “a great networking opportunity.”
Overall, the meetup was a huge success. Most of the chapters expressed interest in having similar meetings once or twice a semester, and many volunteered to host the next one, so we are hopeful that this is a tradition that will continue for many years. We encourage those that are interested to attend the next one, and to take advantage of this incredible learning opportunity.
While we were all on break from school, things in Zambia certainly haven’t been quiet! Following the death of Michael Chilufya Sata last October, Zambia held elections for a new president a few weeks ago. On January 24, our partner community elected Edgar Lungu, the candidate from the Patriotic Front party, to be their new leader.
Elections were quite a challenge this year. Voting started on January 20, but it continued for four days, due to rain and other logistical issues that interfered with voting in many parts of Zambia. As many as 160 polling stations were unable to open due to weather issues, hurting voter turnout. To make matters worse, because Zambia has had so many parliamentary elections lately, many citizens have simply grown weary of voting and thus did not come out for the election. As a result, only 32.36 percent of eligible voters voted in this election. Additionally, issues have persisted even after the elections. Because Lungu only won with 48.3 percent of the vote, his victory is being contested. Hakainde Hichilema, leader of the United Party for National Development (UPND), received 46.7 percent of the vote, and he and some of his supporter believe that the election was unfair or even rigged. Hichilema spoke out against violence towards his supporters, and he also stated that there were “irregularities” in the counting process. He has called for voting reform in Zambia, and he continues to be a strong contender in the next election, which will take place in 2016.
Political conflict has some potential to disrupt the work that we are trying to do in Zambia. However, because Lungu is from the same party that Sata represented, policy may not change too radically. Additionally, we deal largely with local government and NGOs when we work in Zambia, and those will probably be less affected than the nation as a whole. The SADC gave the election their stamp of approval, saying that the voting happened peacefully, so it is unlikely that they will struggle with the new power. However, strong political disagreements may lead to some unrest in our partner community, and we, as always, must continue to put in extra effort to be sensitive and respectful towards the politics of the people that we are trying to help. In any case, we will continue in our mission to help the people of Naluja, despite any new challenges or changes that this election might bring.
What an amazing night for Engineers without Borders at BU! On November 13th, EWB held our first ever Zambian Cultural Night, complete with a dance performance by Afrithms, authentic food, and drum circle. With over 150 attendees, this celebration proved to be the highlight of EWB at BU’s year so far! We welcomed attendees with “Muli Buti,’ a Zambian greeting, and continued to share Zambian culture through a donations table filled with prizes straight from Zambia. Pictured below, these included African-inspired bracelets, soccer jerseys, paintings, and decorative bowls.
The highlight of the event was the panel on sustainable development in Sub-Saharan Africa. The panel included Singumbe Muyeba, Dr. Yeboah-Antwi, Sara Gille, and Jacqueline Linnes. Each member of the panel has experience with the life, culture, and challenges that Sub-Saharan Africa faces. Singumbe Muyeba is originally from Zambia and is currently a post-doctoral research fellow for the South African National Research Foundation. Dr. Yeboah-Antwi is an assistant professor at BU’s school of Public Health. Sara Gille worked extensively in the Zambia Center for Applied Health Research and Development. And finally, Jacqueline Linnes currently works on the design and implementation of diagnostics for sexually transmitted diseases as a postdoctoral associate at BU. A great group provided great discussion between the panelists and between attendees about implementing projects in Africa. Dr. Linnes suggested: “there needs to be a strategy and an exit strategy [when going into a community], so that the community can sustain these projects after we have left.” This idea is a huge part of EWB’s goal as an organization, we try to create sustainable and easily maintained projects in order to leave our community fully prepared to maintain and sustain them.
This inspirational panel was followed by an lively, interactive drum circle called DrumConnection. Led by Alan Tauber, the group performed as people jumped in to try the drums and other instruments right along with the drummers. This was the perfect way to end our celebration of culture! Zambian Cultural Night marked the largest fundraising event of the year for EWB at BU. Expanding on the Silent Auctions we held in previous years, this event will hopefully be repeated in years to come! We appreciate all the support from local businesses, BU professors, students, and the members of Engineers without Borders! If you missed our event and would like to help us fundraise for our fourth trip this summer to Zambia, please visit http://www.ewbbu.com/donate.html.
Beyond traveling to Zambia to implement EWB at BU’s cell signal amplification system and Biosand water filtration system this past August, the travel team experienced a culture much different from our own. The first main difference between life in Naluja and life in Boston is the environment itself. Naluja has two main seasons: wet and dry. “I think we saw 2 clouds the entire trip,” said Scott Nickelsberg, a member of the team, about implementation during the dry season. The photos above provide a small window into Zambia’s dry-season environment.
In addition to the environment, the way of life is very different in the community of Naluja. The team collectively described the culture as ‘welcoming’ and Donovan Guttieres, another team member and this year’s E-board President, remembers the “sincere human-centered relationships” that contrast our often “distracted” lifestyle. What was even more distinct about their way of life was their pace of life; according to Scott, “Eventually, we got used to it taking 2 hours to have lunch, and it was good to slow down and take it all in.” Their slower pace proved a large adjustment for the travel team; but learning how the Nalujans live helped the travel team understand their needs and difficulties that we, as an EWB chapter, can try and remedy. Retrieving water from a well or other source usually requires a long walk and a taxing trek back with barrels of water in tow. Below is a photograph of a community member standing in a well. Only by seeing the community’s needs can we come up with solutions.
The travel team also experienced some of the more recreational aspects of the community’s culture. Mentor Josh Das remembers, “We were able to socialize in the community – through soccer, a cook-out, and then dancing– and I think the community felt that we were part of them, not just coming in for a short time.” Soccer is a huge part of Zambian culture and travel team members played right along with the community. The photo below depicts one of these soccer games where community members got the travel team involved in their favorite sport. In addition, the travel team learned to the cook the traditional Nshima, a staple in Zambian cuisine. Lauren Etter, pictured cooking Nshima below, remembers, “We all loved it, Donovan and I ate it straight up sometimes but it is traditionally served with relish and either fish, steak, chicken, or goat.”
To share our appreciation for Zambian culture with BU and the surrounding community, we are gearing up for our largest fundraising event of the year: the Zambian Cultural Night. We are looking forward to sharing Zambian culture, food, and music with students, professors, and anyone interested in learning more on November 13th! You can attend Zambia Night: A celebration of Culture and Sustainable Development in Sub-Saharan Africa by going to: zambianight.eventbrite.com to buy a ticket. We look forward to seeing everyone there!
Our travel team of three students and two mentors recently returned to the United States after our 2014 Implementation Trip in Naluja, Zambia. Students Lauren Etter, Scott Nickelsberg and Donovan Guttieres along with mentors Josh Das and Balaji Kamakoti successfully implemented the cell signal amplification system we developed and tested at BU this past year. In addition, the team completed a Pilot Implementation of the Biosand water filtration system while conducting water filter training workshops within the community of Naluja. We would like to share some of their experiences by posting this small photo gallery. Congratulations 2014 Travel Team! We are all excited about the great progress accomplished in Zambia and look forward to further improving our student-run organization and sustainable projects.
Photo 1: Tamika, Balaji, Donovan, and Josh posed at Victoria Falls, located in Zimbabwe just south of Zambia.
Photo 2: This photo depicts the first chance the travel team had to address the community; expecting a small group of community members, the entire team was shocked and excited to greet over 800 residents. Lauren Etter reflects on this “incredible” experience: “within five minutes of arriving, we were handed a microphone and told we had 45 minutes to speak to the community about our project. We had 45 minutes to transfer valuable knowledge; 45 minutes to help the community begin to make a difference. Our team realized that we had 45 minutes to establish an important base of knowledge in the community; this was an opportunity to connect with the community, and provide them with necessary knowledge about how they can construct a filtration device and use other methods of sanitation to help prevent diarrheal diseases. This first workshop put the entire project into perspective…we were not just providing these people with knowledge about how to construct a water filter…we were, rather, providing them with knowledge that they will use to make an immediate difference in their daily lives. “
Photo 3: Scott, Lauren, Balaji, and Donovan stood on the community’s water tower to perform preliminary testing of the network booster system. The team needed to test the system to locate the directionality of the strongest signal. The team utilized sustainable sources of power for use in the active booster system by also installing a solar panel to supply energy.
Photo 4: This depicts an educational session held with community members to transfer essential knowledge about the Biosand water filtration system. The team focused on providing information about the construction of the filters along with information on personal hygiene.
Photo 5: Community members help collect rocks for use in the water filters built for testing water quality. We must ensure the design provides high water quality before replicating it throughout the community for everyday use.
Photo 6: The travel team talked with the 25 headmen of the community at a meeting on their second day in Zambia. Donovan recalls: “It was quite humbling to receive their positive feedback and support, especially since the health clinic staff and ZCHARD were their to emphasize the importance of meeting halfway in terms of commitment to the projects.”
Starting the semester off with even more projects to consider, research, and prototype, we are looking forward to another year of work with the community in Naluja!
This summer marks the third trip to Naluja, Zambia, our partner community, and exciting progress for our chapter of Engineers Without Borders at BU. As we approach our August 2014 Implementation Trip, the travel team begins their preparation in anticipation of spending over two weeks in Zambia. This trip provides an invaluable opportunity to immerse in a different culture in order to understand the community’s needs and then provide for their needs with our sustainable projects. Over the past year, both the cell signal amplification and water-sanitation projects have seen much progress and project development, a testament to our dedicated members and technical groups. Our focus on this trip is a Pilot Implementation for our filtration system and secondImplementation for the cell amplification project. The travel team will embark on their journey to Zambia August 11th and return the 27th!
Our water-tech group made great strides with the filtration project this year and hopes to continue this success with water testing this summer. Next year’s E-board Vice President, Kayla Trexler, helped by providing Agar plates to compare water from the Charles River with water filtered by one of our prototyped Biosand filters. The summer plan is to get a fully functioning Biofilm layer on top of the filter—this layer is the most important part of the filtration process as it removes much of the bacteria present in the water. Water must be continuously added to the filter each day as the Biofilm layer forms as it requires continuous moisture to grow a microenvironment for bacteria to flourish. This aspect of the design will be a focus of education workshops with local members of the community and will therefore require close monitoring from our travel prep team.
As for the Cell Signal Antenna, this summer will be used for testing active boosters and considering the best way to get the most gain from the antenna. This summer’s trip will see great change from last year’s Yagi antenna system, replacing the passive system with a more functionally consistent active booster device. The improved design will use solar panels to provide an energy source for the active boosters, thereby preserving its sustainable features. But, with two main weather seasons present in Naluja—dry and wet—the dry season will see great use of the solar panels while the wet season brings threats of lightning to the antenna. Clearly, the summer months will be used to finalize the Signal Amplification design and to anticipate any obstacles the group may come across in country. The team is very excited to implement this device in the local health clinic where phone service is essential to communicating with patients and returning HIV test results to the mothers of newborns, as part of CGHD’s Project Mwana. To learn more about Project Mwana check out this link: http://unicefinnovation.org/projects/project-mwana.
Moving from the projects to the team itself: our travel team consists of three Boston University students and two mentors, one for the Cell Amplification Project and one for the Biosand Water Filtration Project. We are happy to announce the selection of Joshua Das and Balaji Kamakoti as this year’s tech mentors who will both be helping lead the group in Zambia this August. Of the students prepping for implementation abroad, Lauren Etter and Scott Nickelsberg are rising sophomores, while Donovan Guttieres is a rising junior and this coming year’s E-Board President. The preparation is quite time-consuming as each member needs to apply for a Visa, get vaccinations, and fully understand the construction process for both projects. Yet, the process will pay off because, as Donovan puts it, “successfully implementing our two current projects will hopefully initiate improvements in the community and education programs that will make our local partners self-dependent in order to expand projects on a community wide scale over the next few generations.”
Lauren shares what she anticipates will be the most exciting part of the implementation trip:
“I am most looking forward to meeting and interacting with the community on this trip. What we do at Engineers Without Borders is a collaborative effort, and being able to meet the community that we’ve been working with for the past several years is going to be surreal. I am really looking forward to it!”
While Scott looks forward to “seeing our protoypes become functional tools” in addition to “see[ing] the impact our projects have on the health of the community,” he also foresees trials ahead:
“I think our greatest challenge will be adapting to whatever does not go according to our pre-trip plans. We will be in an unfamiliar environment with few resources and limited time on site, so we will have to think carefully and quickly about how to approach whatever problems arise.”
No matter the challenges, the team will be working all summer to finalize each project, prepare for life in Zambia, and bond with their team members in order to travel as a cohesive and well-informed group while proudly representing BU and our EWB chapter abroad.They are representatives of our chapter and will serve as an extension of our group’s efforts and contributions from the past year as we envision more progress in our Naluja Community Health Program.
We wish our travel team the best of luck on their trip this August! Special thank you to all members of the prep team and generous partners who will assist the group throughout the summer and ensure its success! Stay tuned for more updates on the trip as it unfold
This Summer’s Student Travel Team!
Guest Blog Writer: Abigail Rendos, Secretary-elect
Global health improvement: three powerful words that embody EWB USA’s main goal and our focus, as EWB’s BU student Chapter, while we work towards improving health standards in Zambia. Often, these goals become a guideline of our responsibilities as BU engineers as we attempt to better the lives of those in our partner community by developing and implementing sustainable engineering designs. One of our main initiatives within the field of global health is a project aimed at increasing the quality of cell signal in Naluja, Zambia. Our Yagi Antenna, in partnership with CGHD’s Project Mwana, serves to expedite the delivery of newborn HIV test results through SMS text messages to the new mothers of the community. By hastening this process, more mothers will be able to take the measures necessary to ensure the health of their children during the critical stages of infancy.
Flow chart explanation of SMS text notification process
(Image from Frog Design For United Nations Children Fund)
These efforts are meant to help the locals of Naluja and to serve as an example for other communities as they also try to combat the prevalence of HIV using m-Health initiatives. Much of the health concern in Zambia revolves around the passing of HIV from mother to infant, which accounts for 21% of HIV contraction in Zambia overall (Steidenberg). Giving an expectant mother anti-viral medication can help prevent them from transferring the disease to their children, but if the infant does contract the disease, we hope that our antenna will ensure the infant starts receiving treatment as soon as possible. Early detection decreases the rate of mortality later in life, thereby increasing the standard of living for people with HIV/AIDS. It is a great way to positively impact lives in Zambia, as much of Africa is attempting similar programs to help lessen the impact of HIV. That is why we, within our EWB-BU chapter, are so excited for the progression of the Yagi Antenna project and are looking forward to bettering our current model during our upcoming Summer 2014 trip to Naluja!
A promising study conducted by the United Nations in multiple African countries shows a huge decrease in infant contraction of HIV/AIDS in recent years. Among others, Zambia “reported reductions of at least fifty percent” since 2009 (Stuart). This is an amazing feat for these countries whose main health concern has been HIV/AIDS for many years because of the inability to completely treat an infected person. Even more surprisingly, Ghana reported a 76% reduction of HIV in infants. These are breakthrough statistics for countries in Africa, as they set a great example for other developing regions struggling to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
Even more encouraging is the use of a similar text message program by the World Health Organization, which has been implemented in other countries and regions of Zambia (Thea). The WHO’s use of text message transmission reassures our organization that the work we do does have an impact on our partner community and has the potential to change statistics. We hope our progress with the antenna in Zambia will help improve the chances of even more children surviving HIV and further reduce the amount contracting the disease in the first place. Global health improvement is at the core of our organization and is an integral part of increasing the standard of living for the people in Naluja.
Steidenberg, Phil, Donald Thea, Stephen Nicholson, Merrick Schaefer, Katherine Semrau, Maximillian Bweupe, Noel Masese, Rachael Bonawitz, Lastone Chitembo, and Caitlin Goggin. (n.d.): n. pag. World Heath Organization. WHO, 15 Mar. 2012. Web. 13 Mar. 2014.
Stuart, Elizabeth. “How to Achieve an AIDS Free Generation? Ghana Has a Few Ideas.” Global Post. Global Post-International News, 6 Dec. 2013. Web. 13 Mar. 2014.
Guest blog writer: Laura Windmuller, former president of EWB-BU (2012-2013)
If you’re not already involved with Engineers Without Borders, you should be. People may offer a lot of different and valid reasons why, but I’m going to give you a few of my own.
You will meet new people. For freshmen or transfer students, it’s the cheesy “get involved and make friends”. Like other groups, you will get to meet people outside the sphere of your normal interactions in the dorms or classrooms. Particularly for engineers, the chance to meet upperclassmen can be extremely helpful when navigating the perils of a rigorous undergrad course load. However, EWB doesn’t just limit you to people on campus. You get to work with people even further outside your sphere. You can email with community health workers about our partnering community’s health burden. You can hear from world-renowned speakers like Jeffery Sachs at the Millennium Campus Conference. You can network with engineering professionals who oversee our projects. Pushing yourself outside of the normal collegiate routines and experiences by joining EWB will offer an incredible opportunity to make new friends that have a hugely diverse perspective.
You get hands-on and practical experience in both engineering and non-engineering matters. Since our group is student-led, we handle everything from fundraising to project management to travel logistics. This means, you don’t get locked into either the technical or administrative unless you want to. We offer options. What makes our group unique from others is the high-stakes client-facing nature of our work. We are not cutting checks to foundations or completing projects at the directive of a professor. These are meaningful projects that are directed by the needs of a “client” (i.e. our partnering community). In these circumstances, you will grapple with ambiguity and unknowns since it’s no longer a professor creating a problem statement or stating design requirements that guide your work. You have to ask the right questions and make the correct assumptions in order to succeed. I can tell you that you won’t experience this type of scenario until your senior year at most universities. When I say “high-stakes”, I mean that the results of your work affect more than your GPA; it will affect the daily lives of citizens thousands of miles away. We make promises to our partners and we have to deliver on them. Your participation and work affects our ability to do so. This is about much more than just a grade. It’s about our credibility, our partnering community’s health, and our supporters’ trust. Everything from the airline tickets to the first aid prep to the technology testing contributes to our success, and all of this work is done by people like you.
It is the perfect topic for interviews. I can’t guarantee you will get a job or into graduate school just by joining EWB, but I can say that it has helped a significant number of alumni during interviews. EWB act as a perfect and unique case study for showing off your experience, skill set, and personal interests. While some people may be in a sport or cultural group, you get to discuss how you raised $2000 at a silent auction or designed a Yagi antenna for a public health initiative. For a select few, you may even get to discuss your personal visit to a partnering community and the various challenges you faced there. However you participated in EWB, you can easily impress any interviewer by discussing our work and your unique contribution to it. Now, some people may be upset that I raised this point since it doesn’t necessarily reflect the core values of our group. However, I don’t think anybody remains a part of EWB as a resume builder. It’s not a strong enough motive to have people put in the time and effort we require. I think it’s only fair that those who commit to our work feel free to discuss all the wonderful skills and experiences they have gotten from it—guilt free!
During my time with EWB, I have found dozens of reasons to care about this group. If you’re hesitant to join, please don’t be. There is so much you can do as part of our team. Don’t miss out because you never tried.
Find out more by visiting our site, blog, twitter, and facebook page!
Entering the new year of 2014 has given us a chance to re-evaluate the progress of our student chapter and development of our program in Naluja, Zambia. Recounting the successes of 2013, we were fortunate to send a travel team to Zambia during the month of August in order to implement the Cell Phone Signal Amplification project. During that trip, we were also able to complete an assessment for the water filtration system we are working on, as well as strengthen the bond with our many friends in Naluja, Zambia. We have made great strides in project development and growing our student chapter at Boston University. It has been a time of more learning, planning, and building as we look forward to another potential trip during the summer of this year.
The preparation necessary for another trip involves more thorough project prototyping, development of education manuals for local villagers, correspondence with our NGO partners on the grounds (ZCHARD), day-to-day itinerary, equipment management, lodging, and much more. All these steps are necessary for a smooth and successfully trip. However, the two most important that come to mind are project development at BU and raising funds for sending students and mentors to Zambia. The first is essential for effectively installing the most sustainable and cost-efficient design for any particular project we are working on. Our goals for this next trip are to implement the water filtration system, monitor and improve the Yagi Antenna that was implemented last year, and continue to collaborate with our partners on any additional projects such as undergoing a more thorough health assessment.
The fundraising aspect of our organization is the second pillar that enables us to fulfill our goals and help bring development to the Naluja catchment in Zambia. With the ever-growing prices of airfare, gas, lodging, and project equipment it is always a struggle to raise the necessary funds for our trips. Therefore, we make it a priority to have fundraising events, such as Project Mailbox and our annual Silent Auction, to help with the allocation of funds for our projects and trip. Indeed, without the support from our large EWB family, comprised of several departments at BU, ZCHARD, partners, and members and their families – we would not be able to achieve all that we have done so far. Currently, we are in the midst of our Year-End Campaign – a season long effort to help our student chapter acquire the necessary funds to make this year’s trip possible and goals met. We are excited to embark on another journey of development and relations with our partners in Zambia, as we are sure that this year will also bring successes. Finishing the holiday season, we ask you to contribute to our campaign and joins us as we GEAR UP to finalize projects and plan a summer trip. Any small donation, letter of support, or technical advice has a significant impact, so we are more than happy for you to join our cause to help bring global health to some remote areas of Zambia!
Please feel free to read more on this campaign on our EWB-USA page and contact us with any questions!
Our Boston University chapter of EWB made significant progress towards raising funds for our next implementation trip after hosting a ninth annual silent auction on Thursday October 24th. This wonderful event featured many exquisite and fun items to bid on, which can be categorized into three very different categories:
Many of the items up for bidding were generously donated by corporations or restaurants from the greater Boston area. These include a discounted stay at the Hyatt Harborside hotel, the newly opened Pavement Coffee House, exhilarating passes to skyzone, and much more. The range of items auctioned and the affordable prices, made many of these appealing items to those who attended.
Boston University faculty
We were very happy to showcase delicious assortments of pastries prepared by several of the faculty at BU, who have supported our organization for many years. Their help and dedication is always appreciated as we are a growing student organization that is always looking to reach out further into the BU community.
Items from Zambia
The travel team that returned to Boston in august was able to acquire several authentic items from the local regions where our partner community is located. These include wood-carved penholders, beautiful and colorful paintings, and a fierce lion figure, among others.
Along with the bidding of the items, we were fortunate to have a guest lecture from Dr. Christopher Gill, a faculty of international health and infectious disease. He has worked on maternal health projects around Zambia for the past several years, undergoing clinical trials for improving neonatal survival in developing regions that are prone to early child mortality due to a range of diseases. His presentation focused on CGHD’s Lufwanyama Neonatal Survival Project (LUNESP), for which he was a principle investigator for, which sought to teach local birth attendants proper techniques to take precautions and treat infants to reduce neonatal mortality in the region of Zambia. This gave us a wonderful perspective on another aspect of global health development near our partner community of Naluja.
The students and professors who were able to attend and support our work in Zambia demonstrated our success at the event. Ultimately, after finalizing our finances, the $1200 we were able to raise from the event pushed us forward in our efforts in planning a third trip to Naluja, Zambia during the summer of 2014. We are currently undergoing design modifications and prototyping to determine the most applicable and sustainable water-filtration system that we will be able to implement in Zambia during the summer of 2014. Furthermore, we are looking into improving the Yagi antenna that was implemented this past August in order to maximize the impact it can have by increasing cell signal to support project Mwana and local communication.
We would like to thank all of our sponsors, companies that donated items, professors, and students in our organization for helping make this event possible and successful in moving us one step closer to our goals of improving the community health of Naluja, Zambia! We would like to note a special thank-you to Saana McDaniel and Kara LeFort, our fundraising chair, for putting all their efforts in organizing this event. We look forward to working with all of you in the future, as we continue to move forward in our partnership with the local community of Naluja, Zambia.