Poverty Tourism

By ewbexec

Poverty TourismPoverty tourism. It’s one of the biggest concerns we have as an organization. Cathy Leslie, the EWB-USA Director,¬†specifically addressed it in her Annual update, and we felt it was fitting to kick off the series on the topic. So, what exactly does this term mean? It has a few layers but in a quick sentence, it’s when people visit impoverished communities and, usually, drop off ‘solutions, snap some photos with locals, and leave..never to be heard from again.

For EWB, we do not accept this system.¬†We cannot accept being tourists. We must be engaged, committed, and honest in our intentions and efforts. How else can we expect to make change? How else can we expect communities to have hope? Cathy Leslie reminded us that this is what we’re striving to attain–a sustainable and lasting impact. As an EWB chapter, we reside in the “big picture”.

For our own budding program in Zambia, we’re still learning. For a lot of us, this is our first attempts to really step into the arena of global development in a working relationship. As an Executive Team, we’re trying to relay that distinction between international development and poverty tourism to our members. Because even if they drift away or never do anything related to EWB after college, they’ll still have that exposure to the complexities folded into the work of development groups.



NE Regional Conference 2011

By ewbexec

NE Regional Conference 2011EWB-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.



World’s water event 2009 – AWWA

By Paolo Belfiore

The American Water Works association is organizing an international conference on water in San Diego.