Haiti Help, Engineering Style

The world seems to be focused on helping Haiti during this past week.  I thought I’d use the opportunity to highlight one of my favorite engineering organizations.

When I was younger, I wanted to be involved in medicine.  Not necesarily as a doctor, just in the medical field.  I learned about Doctors without Borders and was fascinated with the organization.  How cool is it to travel all over the world, visit new places, meet new people, and help them?

When I was in college I learned that there was a similar organization called Engineers Without Borders.  Just like doctors…but engineers who help build community infrastructure, bring electricity and water into their towns, and creating buildings to withstand the elements.  Quite a few college campuses now have EWB groups and there are professional groups all over the world.

There are 10 EWB groups n the US today who have ongoing projects in Haiti.  Check it out and maybe you’ll be inspired to check out a group near you…or donate to Haiti in a very engineering fashion. 🙂


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by TechnoViking on January 20, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    Unfortunately, although the sentiment is admirable, women serving overseas would face an uphill battle. My sister-in-law, a civil engineer focusing in water and waste management/treatment served in the Peace Corps in Honduras. She had multiple projects in the communities across the countryside. Unfortunately she was only able to ‘design’ said projects. When it came to implementation or providing advice to the various communities, the elders (always men) in the community would disregard her advice/expertease, ignoring her inputs and insight. They would only implement her projects (to further increase their standard of living mind you) if it was proposed by a man from her organization. Sadly, while women may face an upward struggle at home, it can be worse overseas, even when serving a noble cause.

    And please, this is by no means a warning trying to suggest people change their minds in wanting to serve aboard. But after a couple of years of discouragement she finally returned stateside but still never regrets having served.


  2. Posted by magoodma on January 21, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Thanks for the comment and insight. I haven’t talked to many women who have been working abroad in these engineering jobs. It certainly highlights the progress made in the US on gender equality versus other places around the world.


  3. I didn’t know about the EWB organizations. It really is inspirational to see all the different ways people can help those in need. I would definitely be interested in doing something along those lines someday. 🙂


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