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In 2017, the Houston-based Montana Cahill Foundation, led by OGS members and S&T alumni Peggy Cahill Montana, ChE’76, and Duane Montana, CE’75, awarded the largest gift in the history of Engineers Without Borders at Missouri S&T: a $500,000 challenge grant. To date, $350,000 has been raised in response to the challenge, much of it from OGS members, including a $250,000 gift from David, ME’93, and Ann Heikkinen, a $50,000 challenge from Rick Stephenson, S&T professor emeritus of civil engineering and longtime advisor to the chapter, and a $25,000 gift from Bipin, ChE’62, MS ChE’63, and Linda Doshi. EWB is only $150,000 away from reaching its goal of raising $1 million. For information on matching funds available, contact Tory Verkamp at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-341-6090.
-excerpt from the February edition of the Order of The Golden Shillelagh Shillelagh newsletter
The EWB Faculty & Staff Talent Show is a great time for our students, faculty, and community to share in a fun-filled night to show off some of the lesser known skills of our teachers! Come out and support Missouri S&T, while also helping our chapter raise the money needed to send our students to the communities they are working with. Ticket pricing for the show is as follows: for adults, premium seating is $20 and standard seating is $15, and for students/ children ages 5-10, premium is $15 and standard is $10.
This December 2017, the Guatemala team from the EWB-S&T chapter will return to Nahualate, Guatemala, to end a successful community partnership spanning ten years. In August of 2017, the team turned over the financial responsibility of the project to the Nahualate Water Committee. The project that was completed is a clean water distribution system which includes a 430 foot well, 15,000 gallon storage tank, chlorination system, and 8 miles of distribution pipe. The system is now servicing 500+ homes with clean, drinkable water every day. While in community, the team will inspect the system for proper maintenance and operation. This is the largest completed Engineers Without Borders (EWB) project to ever be completed by a student or professional chapter and was made possible by our team’s generous donors. Donors such as Boeing and the Salvador Foundation have ensured that Nahualate will have clean drinking water for the foreseeable future. Both the community of Nahualate and the Missouri S&T chapter are forever thankful for their support.
While in Guatemala, the team is hoping to start a new community partnership with Paraje Xecaxjoj. This community is in desperate need of a school. The team did a preliminary assessment in August 2017 to determine the community’s willingness and ability to support the project economically and socially. The new project will include a rainwater diversion system, gabion walls, and a school housing k-6th grade complete with a kitchen. Currently, the community has four separate single room buildings for classes; some grade levels share a single room due to a lack of space. Our team members, as well as the Paraje Xecaxjoj community members, are excited about working together on the project. During our December 2017 trip, the team will collect topographical survey data, soil strength and consistency data, and perform interviews with community members and community leaders. Using the data collected, our team will design a couple options. Using our alternatives analysis approach, the team will select the community’s best option and begin the construction process. Our goal is to begin implementation by August 2018. We are predicting the completion of the school project in two years.
Project For Awesome is a YouTube fundraiser that gives money to 22 non profit organizations around the world each year. Click here to watch our video!
The Missouri S&T EWB Puerto Pando, Bolivia Team began their partnership with the community in the summer of 2016 with a goal of providing Puerto Pando a sustainable potable water system. Just one and a half years later, approximately two-thirds of this project is now complete! From November 16th through November 27th, during Missouri S&T’s Thanksgiving break, ten students and two mentors traveled to Puerto Pando to implement a pipeline suspension bridge and a new water distribution system. The community has an existing water system serviced by a spring located in the surrounding jungle. However, this system, which delivers untreated water, had several points of failure that proves the water system will not be sustainable for the community in years to come. While battling the summer heat and humidity of the Bolivian jungle, students and community members worked side-by-side to connect the main water pipelines from the current water storage tank in the jungle to the distribution system in the community. The team ran out of time to complete the connections in individuals’ homes. However, prior to leaving, the team empowered the community members to complete the connections themselves, and they will soon be able to have water flowing to their homes. The pipeline suspension bridge spans approximately 226 feet and supports the water pipeline as it crosses the Arroyo Mayaya, a stream which separates the community from the spring source. Its completion was a huge engineering accomplishment for the team and took an extreme amount of effort and coordination between the travelers and the community members, all while communicating across two different languages. The team is extremely happy with the overall success of the trip and the steps that were taken towards completion of the overall goal of providing clean water to Puerto Pando. The team plans to travel again next summer to implement the water treatment components (improved collection dam, sedimentation tank, and slow sand filter) and complete the project.
Two major donors have stepped forward to provide $750,000 in funding for EWB – a $500,000 challenge grant from the Houston-based Montana Cahill Foundation and a $250,000 gift from Missouri S&T graduate David Heikkinen and his wife, Ann. The Montana Cahill Foundation challenge grant is the largest gift in the history of S&T’s EWB Chapter. It will match every dollar contributed to the chapter up to $500,000 to create a $1 million fund in support of EWB. The Heikkinens’ gift is the second-largest in chapter history and brings the challenge halfway to its goal of raising $500,000.
With $250,000 in challenge funds remaining, contributions are still needed. To take part in this limited matching opportunity, indicate on your check’s memo line, “EWB- Montana Cahill Foundation Challenge.” For credit card donations, see our Donate page for a link to give online.
Gifts designated directly to EWB will be used for much needed annual support until our $1 million match is fulfilled.
This summer the team returned to Nahualate to participate in a community commencement ceremony in which we turned over the financial responsibility of the project to the Nahualate Water Committee. The project is a water distribution system that includes a 430 foot well, 15,000 gallon storage tank, chlorination system, and 8 miles of distribution pipe. While in community, the team assessed the project and all systems are working as designed. The system is now servicing 500+ homes. Many community members commented on how the water project has changed their way of living as they no longer have to worry about the purity of their water. The Community also has constant access to water, even during the dry season, without having to walk miles to retrieve it from the river. Our team spent some time explaining the financial sustainability of the system to the community so that they are aware of the importance of recognizing leaks in the system as well as the importance of paying their bills on time.
While in Guatemala the team also visited a new community, Paraje Xecaxjoj. This community is in desperate need of a school. The team did a preliminary assessment of the community’s willingness and ability to support the project economically and socially. The new project will include a rainwater drainage system, retaining walls, and a school housing k-6th grade complete with a kitchen. Currently, the community has four separate single roomed buildings for class and due to a lack of space, some grade levels share a single room. Our team, as well as the Paraje Xecaxjoj community members, are excited about working together on the project. Overall the trip was a success. The team was thrilled to see Nahualate taking full responsibility of their water system and we are eager to begin work with Paraje Xecaxjoj.
This summer the team returned to Los Eucaliptos to monitor all existing projects as well as visited a nearby community, Erquiz Oropeza, to perform an assessment of a potential partnership. Everything previously installed in Los Eucaliptos is working as designed and all the homes with house connections have running water. EWB-S&T also talked to individual community members to see how the water has impacted their daily lives. Many community members commented about how they no longer spend long hours collecting water and are seeing little to no negative health problems due to the water. The team spent some time discussing shock chlorination and maintenance of the water system with the community before closing out the project and saying goodbye to all the friends made in Los Eucaliptos.
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The team then arrived in Erquiz Oropeza to a warm, traditional Tarija welcome, followed by a tour from the community’s leaders. The rest of the time was spent interviewing community members about their current living situation and health concerns. The team also conducted a topographical survey of the area to gather the pertinent data needed to design a water system over the next few years. The team as well as the members of Erquiz Oropeza are excited to be working together and are hopeful for a successful partnership. To top off such an incredible trip, EWB-S&T spent a free day exploring La Paz before heading back to Missouri. Overall, the trip went smoothly and the team was thrilled to see such positive results in Los Eucaliptos and eager to begin designing for Erquiz Oropeza.