Service to Humanity: Extending Engineers Without Borders
By Kathryn LoConte
The organization that aims to change the world one village at a time has undergone its own change. Dartmouth Engineers Without Borders (EWB) has broadened into “Humanitarian Engineering Leadership Projects worldwide” (HELP).
The new organization plans to conduct multiple humanitarian engineering service projects each year, according to its president, Michael Bolger Th’05, an M.E.M. candidate. “Thayer School students realize that they have the knowledge, means, and resources to provide people in need with valuable technical assistance,” he says.
J.J. Johnson ’06, an M.E.M. candidate who is one of HELP’s project managers, explains that “flexibility and independence are the two major advantages of this change — and we still have access to the EWB network.”
“We’re creating our own model,” adds Jeffrey Spielberg ’10, the HELP’s fundraising coordinator. “We can send our own technical advisors to projects, and we have more freedom.”
EWB/HELP is supporting four projects this year. This spring Bolger conducted a feasibility study of energy usage and storage at a micro-hydropower facility in a remote village in Nepal. This summer EWB/HELP members will complete the clean water distribution system installed at Nyamilu, Kenya, in 2005. Another clean water project, led by Spielberg, will get underway in Kipingi, Kenya, this summer, with completion scheduled for 2008. And in a renewable energy project at a health care clinic in Biasata, Rwanda, a team led by Johnson will implement a biogas anaerobic digestion system that will convert human and animal waste to methane fuel for cooking stoves.
-Kathryn LoConte is assistant editor at Dartmouth Engineer
For more photos, visit our Dartmouth HELP collection on Flickr.