Engineers Without Borders-USA partners with developing communities to improve their quality of life through the implementation of environmentally, equitable, and economically sustainable engineering projects while developing internationally responsible engineers and engineering students. EWB-Missouri S&T is a student based chapter, currently partnered with four communities in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Guatemala. The main goal in all four of these communities is to provide clean water and sanitation.
EWB-USA’s vision is a world where all people have access to adequate sanitation, safe drinking water, and the resources to meet their other engineering and economic needs. The scale of today’s problems necessitates a new way of thinking and a long-term approach.
These problems require the dedication of a new generation of professionals and students, working hand-in-hand with local communities, social scientists, public health officials, economists, businesses, human rights organizations, non-government organizations and international development organizations. It requires:
- Change that can contribute positively to the communities in which we work through common action in existing systems, and that changes started now will provide new solutions over time.
- Culture and people in host communities who define the development projects and ensure ownership, appropriateness, and long-term effectiveness – people who can solve their own problems, if they are aware of the technical options, who can build new skills, who can assist significantly in the solution through labor, financial, and in-kind contributions, and who are supported with reasonable financial assistance.
- Partners with a broad cadre of institutional, academic, development, and engineering professionals who are willing to assist in building toward a equitable and sustainable world.
- Environmentally sustainable projects that are symbiotic with the environment, society, and culture.
- Education that will develop a new generation of engineers – professionals who will benefit from seeing the many facets of engineering solutions to problems in developing communities, beyond the technical skills obtained in their curriculum – and in the education of host-community partners.
- The understanding that the non-engineering components of local needs are almost always more complicated than the engineering aspects. We seek to instill this reality within the engineering students that are an integral part of the entire process.