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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.
The EWB-BU organization is ready and excited to present the first ever Film Festival! We have compiled a series of short films and feature length movies that will discuss both global development and the humanitarian work we do. As we continue our partnership with the community in Naluja, Zambia this film festival is intended to reach out to more people in order to raise awareness for global health and community development.
- When? March 2, 2013, starting at 11 a.m.
- Where? BU Photonics Center: 8 St. Mary’s St. Boston, MA 02215
- How Much? FREE!
- Why? There will be food from Cane’s, great movies to watch, exciting things to learn, and many people to meet!
- Films? We’ll have some excellent titles, including “The Shape of Water,” RX for Survival: A Global Health Challenge,” “AIDS Warrior,” and “Kids Living with Slim.”
The film festival will be a fun experience that will give you the opportunity to meet other students that are compassionate for helping communities that lack essential resources. We hope to unite all the organizations that are involved in global work and community-oriented efforts. This will establish a common ground platform for making connections, spreading awareness, gaining contacts from professional groups, and meeting motivated students through an entertaining and unique setting.
Guaranteed a great experience and meeting interesting people!
The end of the fall semester is always a hectic period with finals and the winter recess, but we want to get you connected with the most recent activity going on with EWB. Every November we look forward to the Northeast Region Conference hosted for all EWB chapters in the New England area. This year it was our privilege to have a group of six devoted attend the conference. They learned a lot of information from distinguished speakers and had the opportunity to interact with neighboring chapters. The students had only great things to say about their experiences, so we want to tell you about it also!
Our EWB-BU Team!
As we continue our partnership with the Naluja community in Zambia, the presentations helped understand the essential features needed to build an optimal relationship. Such a relation is vital in finding the core issues in a community and proposing long-term solutions that will fit the needs of the people. We must be knowledgeable of the social and cultural identity of our community; one of the ways we’re doing this is through close contact and open communication. Also, they emphasized the notion of embracing every step of a project as a special bond is formed between the EWB chapter and community. Furthermore, a synchronous relationship should build as teams of students will be mentored and in turn educate the people in communities on the issues and proposed solutions.
Another takeaway from the conference were the many professional speakers who talked about specific projects they were working on with their respective chapters. This was very informative and helpful to us as it provided a breadth of extra information for us to consider as we begin to model and prototype our own projects. For example, when implementing a water filtration system, an important attribute to consider is the presence of natural sources, such as hills, that would ease accessibility and movement of water. Also, community choice is vital in ensuring that the engineering solutions we are proposing will satisfy their needs.
One of many interesting lectures
We hope that this will give you some insight on the exciting relationship between EWB-BU and our partner community in Zambia. We are looking forward to using all of this information to improve our projects and relation with our partners, as we seek to make a change!
This year, the Boston University chapter of EWB has teamed up with ENG GOV 2015 to bring you the Marshmellow Challenge! The objective is the make the tallest tower using just spaghetti noodles, tape, and a marshmellow. E-week is a tradition that was brought about in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers to highlight the important contributions engineers make to society. This year’s E-Week, which runs from Tuesday, February 21st to Friday, March 2nd, features a host of excitingevents such as the Egg Drop Contest, the K’Nex Roller Coaster Design Contest, a Wii Tournament, and the Marshmellow Challenge!
We’ll also be accepting orders for our new EWB T-shirts! Come by and place an order and drop by for some engineering fun!
The Marshmellow Challenge is on Thursday, February 23rd at 5 pm – 6:30 pm in CAS B14. We’re looking forward to seeing you all there!
Additional details about the events can be found at:
EWB-Boston University has successfully returned from a jam-packed weekend of workshops, speakers, and subway rides in the Upper West Side. The 2011 Northeast Regional Conference was hosted by the Columbia University chapter, and they did a great job of lining up speakers, organizing the attendees, and facilitating the event’s success. In particular, the conference heralded speakers like the Executive Director of EWB-USA and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. There were workshops spanning member and leader training, cell phone application in Sub-Saharan Africa, fundraising, and the EWB program application process. Just like the Millennium Campus Conference, we’ll be posting a series of articles featuring some of the key takeaways we identified for our chapter and the lessons shared by the speakers. So stay tuned!
In the meantime, we’re gearing up to travel back to Boston and share our new ideas with the group so we can see what their take on it is and how they think we can customize it to fit our group’s needs.
It’s all over folks! Our Silent Auction was super successful and we were so happy to see faculty, members, and students coming out to join us as we shared a little bit about what our mission is as a non-profit and our newest project in Zambia. Our spectacular faculty advisor, Professor Muhammad Zaman, gave us a peek into what engineering global development looks like and whythese projects are so important to those living in places and conditions so unlike our own.
Our Executive Team also gave a short presentation on their history and current direction as a group. An emphasis was placed on our effort to strengthen our bonds with groups like the EWB Boston Professional
Chapter and the Millennium Campus Network. Plus, the Center for Global Health and Development was recognized as a critical partner for our newest project in Zambia. However, our Co-President was quick to remind the crowd that we are a student organization made up of 19 and 20 year olds. Sowhile we may be “saving the world” we’re also trying not to take ourselves too seriously.
After the final call for bids was made, the winners were announced and we had some great prizes including a $100 Best Buy gift card and an overnight stay for two at Hotel Commonwealth. Our final tally was a $1000–that’s money we can now dedicate to funding our project! Just like every year, we could not have done this alone. The generosity of our donor
s and supporters never ceases to humble us: Saana McDaniel, our mentor and cheerleader as we planned this event and took a few risks, the BU Engineering Alumni Office who was kind enough to add us to their Alumni Weekend events, and all of the guests who attended to hear a little more about us. Finally, we’d liketo recognize our Treasurer and Silent Auction Chair, Grace Wang, who dedicated hours and hours to the planning of this event. From the catering menu to the background music, she did an incredible job–way to go! We’re so excited for next year and we hope to see you all there!
“Dig Deeper” -Sam Vaghar
It’s only fitting that we end our MCC 2011 features on the man who started it all, Sam Vaghar. At 25, Vaghar has already spread the Millennium Campus Network to include more than 20 campuses in Boston, New York, D.C., and Chicago since its founding in 2007. By gathering already established student chapters to meet on common ground, Vaghar has created an incredible opportunity for student leaders to network, collaborate, and learn from their peers. In events like the Millennium Campus Conference, its blatantly obvious that these groups are seeking fellowship among others who are struggling to end poverty and accomplish the Millennium Development Goals.
However, when he spoke to the MCC 2011 attendees on Saturday morning at Harvard he asked for more. “Dig deeper,” he stated. While the desire to do good and make change is crucial to our movement, it’s not enough. Settling for the intention isn’t going to make actual progress. Taking it a step further, maybe we can even think about Sam himself. Rather than joining a non-profit or volunteering at a single place, he thought of a bigger picture. He created a way to contribute to global change by helping other students gain access to each other–something that wasn’t really being done in a consisten manner. The effect that MCN has had on the various projects done by its members is uncountable but undeniable.
“How” -Sam Vaghar
After asking students to “dig deeper”, Sam pushed even harder and asked us to think of the “how”. “How do we get results? How do we measure success? How do we implement?” While Vaghar agreed that these were difficult to answer, they are also necessary pieces of our work. Without taking our “why”–the things that inspire us, that fuel us, that sustain us–a step further to planning out the “how”, our intentions are wasted and forgotten. So, while floating in the land of whys may soothe your conscious, it will not contribute to the tangible development of solutions.
“1.4 Billion Reasons” -Hugh Evans
As one of the first speakers at the 2011 MCC Conference, Hugh Evans was a powerful opening act. This Australian Co-Founded the Global Poverty Project and is working to eradicate extreme poverty for the 1.4 billion people still stuck living in these wretched conditions. It’s this number that resonated with us as we sat in the audience in the Kendall Square Marriott.
Utilizing technology as an incredible tool for awareness, his non profit has created a multimedia presentation called 1.4 Billion Reasons in order to “engage and inspire audiences” in the fight against poverty. While his beachesque accent may fool you into thinking he’s happy to saunter along, his words and actions say otherwise. In his presentation, Evans articulated the irrationality of extreme poverty’s prevailing existence. In his words, “the money is there [to end it], but is the will?”
As another arm of his group’s campaign to raise awareness and catalyze action, Global Poverty Project has created a fundraising event called Live Below the Line. A challenge to people across the world to live on under $1.50 a day in order to catch a glimpse of extreme poverty’s reality. Not only does Hugh Evans act as a major figurehead of the Global Poverty Project, but Hugh Jackman, another native Australian, has stepped up to the plate to help end extreme poverty. As a member of the group’s Global Activation Advisory Panel, he’s visited the UN with Evans, presented on the Global Poverty Project’s mission, and even filmed a short clip for the Live Below the Line challenge.
“Don’t Apologize for Being Unreasonable” -Hugh Evans
In his final words as the evening concluded, Evans offered one final piece of advice, “Don’t apologize for being unreasonable.” While the rest of the world may say we’re asking for too much too soon, Evans emphatically disagrees. It’s not too fast. It’s not too much. “There are 1.4 billion reasons,” he reminds us. Extreme poverty has no place in the modern world. Our fellow human beings are being subjected to unimaginable circumstances–circumstances that make a $1.50 daily budget a reality. So we’re justified for seeking an “unreasonable” label. Evans urged us to push for more for everyone because nobody should live below the line.
“Release the Burden of Being Perfect” -Robert Kaplan
At Saturday’s opening ceremony, Robert Kaplan, a renowned leadership professor at Harvard University who has held too many positions outside of academia to list, focused on advising the 1000 students squeezed into Memorial Church on how to become better leaders. Most of the ideas he discussed had a distinctly philosophical flavor. After talking about his ‘critical questions’, he noted that all leaders need to forget this idea of perfection. It can only create a crushing weight that nobody can hold up for long. We must be honest with our faults and realize that perfection is a goal that isn’t a goal–it’s a trap.
Kaplan placed four main suggestions and questions before us to answer in order to grow as leaders.
1. Write down your strengths and weaknesses.
While this may seem innocent enough, it’s the opposite, argued Kaplan. This simple list requires leaders to truly delve to the core of what they have to offer and what they need to work on. He also noted that if you don’t know what you’re struggling with, how can you possibly make a change? So, if you can’t list off your strengths and weaknesses, don’t assume you’ll make any improvements anytime soon.
2. Write down your passions.
How do you know what your passion is? “It’s when you’re at your best,” Kaplan stated. This is the moment where we are free of all outside forces and can simply embrace the sensation of being completely engaged in life. However readers be warned, things like peer pressure and ‘conventional wisdom’ will always seek to plant seeds of doubt. Be strong.
3. Write down your values.
Okay, so maybe you think that this is the piece you can skimp on. I mean in the seconds it took you to read #3 you probably had 4-5 words pop into your head. But, do you actually live by those values? Put another way, “what are your boundaries?” asked Kaplan. If you don’t seriously think about what lines you aren’t willing to cross (ex. I won’t…lie, cheat, steal, sabotage, coerce, etc.) then, “when the moment comes to make the decision, it’s too late,” warned Kaplan. As a leader, you have to think about your boundaries before the moment to act arrives or else, almost inevitably, you’ll rationalize any partially constructed boundaries away.
4. Do you practice…
The final piece of Kaplan’s Four was the idea of practice. Can you look yourself in the eye and honestly say you practice…”self-disclosure, listening, asking for advice” etc. Leaders cannot claim to be strong leaders without practicing the traits of robust leadership. What do you practice?
Finishing his practical advice for the future leaders sitting in the pews, Kaplan ended on a final piece of food for thought, a favorite quote of his by Albert Einstein.
“Not everything that counts can be counted, and what can be counted doesn’t always count.”
So take a chance, complete the Kaplan Four and see what you discover.
“Don’t Confuse Motion with Progress” -Paul Ellingstad
If you’ve read our last post featuring Jason Russell of Invisible Children, you know he urged us to action and to take a chance by being a little crazy and doing what it takes right now to face the largest issues facing our generation, today.
In contrast, Paul Ellingstad from HP’s Office of Global Social Innovation asked us for patience. He agreed that critical action needed to be taken now in order to begin turning the tide on the fight against extreme poverty. However, “lasting change takes time,” he said. If it doesn’t stick, then what’s the point? All you’re left with is a whole lot of wasted energy and effort. Be deliberate. We can’t accept the feeling of movement as a marker of progress. We must always check ourselves by asking the hard questions: Is this valuable? Is this effective? Is this efficient?
“We must strive to live by the ‘Rules of the Garage'” -Paul Ellingstad
At the end of his presentation, Ellingstad pulled up a slide of the HP “Rules of the Garage”. These concise 12 rules are the foundation of the HP philosophy. Ellingstad left them with us as a reminder that the most basic truths found in the most mundane of circumstances can be used to build an empire. Stay true to the things you’ve learned and be honest about what you can accomplish. And always work like you’re still in your garage just trying your best to build something new.