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Making a profound impact in today’s developing world takes more than just one skill set, but rather the collaboration between groups to achieve success. In his book “The World is Flat”, Thomas Friedman vehemently claims that the world is smooth and the playing field of the world’s different countries has been flattened to a one-dimensional plane. Of course, this is just a metaphor to explain the global mechanism of today’s developing world in the twenty first century. Now are the days of increased competition for resources and knowledge. With that must come interpersonal connections and collaborations for optimal success.
The nature of Engineers Without Borders maintains a principle of multidisciplinary teamwork. Especially in our chapter at Boston University, we collaborate with a wide range of students, ranging from English majors to health professionals and mechanical engineers. As we look to make an impact on the world, currently focusing our efforts on the community of Naluja in Zambia, we must collaborate. However, the interactions do not stop here. As we move towards our goals of fulfilling humanitarian work, we must build even more “bridges” in this flattened world. Our partners in Naluja have become some of our closest allies in helping us achieve and implement our models for sustainability.
Moreover, donators and philanthropic sources are another set of people to whom we feel close to and must maintain relationships with. In order to successfully implement our projects, our multidisciplinary knowledge is not enough. The funds are needed to help us achieve and actualize our goals. As we have been discussing for the past month, the Year-End Campaign for EWB is a fantastic way for any person to become a philanthropist and take action to be part of EWB-BU’s success and change in the world. Any new teammates would be greatly appreciated, so if you are interested please check out our Year-End Campaign website. Our mind set is not limited in scope, but rather comprehensive and universal in nature as we strive to help native people ameliorate the lifestyle of their communities around the world. We are all global engineers that should unify and collectively, through collaborations, make a positive change.
We’ve been approved by Project Mailbox for a February fundraiser! As a “charity for other charities”, Project Mailbox is a new organization that was founded on Boston University’s campus. Each month it helps raise both awareness and funds for different non-profits. Luckily for us, we’re partnering with them for this month! If you’re wandering down Comm Ave, you’ll notice a red and white mailbox standing by Warren Towers that’s right outside of University Grill at 712 Commonwealth Avenue. You can drop in change, cash, or checks to support our work in Zambia! So if you find yourself jangling with spare coinage in your pockets, swing by the mailbox and drop it in! Every bit helps, and we are so excited to see the small acts of generosity total up as we roll into March. You can also donate online directly to our chapter here (just make sure you select “Boston University Chapter” under the “Allocate your funds” section!)
So, before you toss your change onto your dresser where it’ll be lost in the chaos of your room, think about swinging by 712 Comm Ave to help out the Naluja community in Zambia.
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!
We’ve been horribly negligent in updating this, but we’re back and ready to renew our blog’s web presence. Hopefully, you haven’t completely forgotten us
To get you up to speed:
We closed our project in Peru and are working to open a new program. Students from the BU School of Public Health continue to work with the community and were just finishing up some more health surveys this past spring. For our newest program, we’ve been building connections with clinics in the Mazabuka district of Zambia via the Center for Global Health & Development (CGHD) and its local representative the Zambia Center for Applied Health Research and Development (ZCAHRD).
CGHD has started a pilot program in these rural Mazabuka district clinics to speed up the transmission of infant HIV/AIDS test results from dried blot spot (DBS) tests. By using SMS messaging, 1-3 weeks of waiting time can be trimmed. This means a quicker turnaround for a treatment plan, and acts as an incentive for mothers to return to the clinics for post natal care while their test results are arriving. The problem is cell phone reception. Because the clinics are rural the reception is very weak and unreliable. If we could offer a method to increase the reception, this program would be much more successful and relevant.
We are extremely excited at the prospect of collaborating with ZCAHRD. However, we still need to work with EWB-USA to be sure our project matches their mission and gets approved. Until then, we cannot ‘officially’ start any work on a project.
While we continue to work through the red tape and talk with national, our technical lead, Saeed, has been working to find a mentor on our campus with knowledge of cell phone reception.
The next item on our agenda is to throw our Annual Silent Auction Reception. This will be held on Thursday, October 27 at 6 pm on Boston University’s campus. We’d love to have all of our supporters turn out, so save the date!
Boston University-EWB Executive Board