The student chapter of Engineers Without Borders-USA at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo was founded in 2005 by a core group of students dedicated to making a global impact. Cal Poly’s EWB chapter has successfully implemented projects across the globe, impacting the lives of thousands. We are working towards improving sanitation in India, providing clean drinking water in Thailand, and improving overall health in Nicaragua. Our chapter was recently honored as the Premier Student Chapter by EWB-USA, demonstrating the commitment of our members. The enthusiasm and passion of our students is not only seen in our successful project history, but also the growth that our organization has realized in the past two years. In less than two years, our membership has tripled to a total of over 200 active members who are looking to make a difference in purposeful projects.
We currently have projects in four countries: Nicaragua, Malawi, Thailand, and India. Each project is tailored to the communities needs and we go to great lengths to work with the community to produce sustainable solutions.
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Since 2005, EWB Cal Poly Thailand has maintained a lasting relationship with the community of Huai Nam Khun, Thailand in an effort to improve their quality of life through sustainable development projects. The team recently completed successful monitoring of a slow sand filtration water infrastructure, providing the 3,000 Chinese and Burmese refugees with access to treated drinking water. Currently, the team is working with the village of Maejantai to design a micro-hydroelectric power generation to provide access to reliable electricity and an organic composting station to improve the soil structure for the village’s coffee farms.
In the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, Sainji is nestled in the majestic foothills of the Himalayas. Inhabited by Jaunpuri subsistence farmers, this remote community displays a need for advanced sanitation facilities and agricultural endeavors. Through collaboration with the Garhwal Organization for the Upliftment of the Needy, a local NGO, we are working towards sustainable solutions. Our team of approximately 25 students, professional mentors and Cal Poly faculty are currently implementing a sanitation system for the community of Sainji.
Since 2008, we have been striving to promote healthy living conditions in the community of William Galiano, our partner community of about 2500 in Nicaragua. Past projects include the construction of a health clinic and various educational workshops. A September 2013 implementation provided community members with a means to create their own cheap, efficient concrete latrines.
Aiming to tackle the community's greatest need, that of a public school, we are finalizing designs for a July 2014 implementation trip. Having held a successful fund-raising concert, we are excited to raise more money and return to our friends in Nicaragua.
The Malawi Team has been working in the community of Kumponda since 2013. The primary needs of the community relate to food security, water accessibility, and nearby healthcare. Potential projects being looked into include maize milling, organic composting, household bio-sand filters, and hospital construction. The team strives to develop a multi-beneficial design that will not only alleviate an issue, but also provide economic opportunities for the community. Despite Malawi being one of the poorest countries in the world, the people of Kumponda have high spirits, are hardworking, and will surely take full ownership of any project.
Our student chapter strives to better our own community as well. We will be hosting several local projects over the next school year as well as a few major projects in the San Luis Obispo area.
An integral part of our success as an organization comes from the support of our ever extending network of donors. Over half of our funding comes from YOUR support. Whether you are our family, friends, or a company supporter – you can help make a difference. 100% of your donation will go straight to supporting our project teams implement low-cost, practical engineering designs that are assisting an estimated 23,000 people. Below are some statistics you might find shocking – all of which we are directly addressing:
80% of the world lives on less than $10 per day.
1.1 billion people have inadequate access to clean drinking water.
2.6 billion people lack basic sanitation.
Close to half of all people in developing countries suffer at any given time from a health problem caused by water and sanitation deficits.
We challenge you to help be a part of the solution. So, give up coffee for a week and donate the money saved to our projects – it could buy a toilet for a family in India. Instead of driving to school or work this week, bike instead and donate the money saved on gas – it could be used to build accessible health care in Nicaragua. That tax return you got, give it up and donate it to our projects – it could install a slow sand water filtration system for an entire village in Thailand.