Study here, build abroad.
Student members of EWB—Princeton design and implement high-impact engineering projects around the world.
EWB partners with developing communities to improve their quality of
life through the implementation of
environmentally sustainable, equitable, and economical engineering projects while developing internationally
responsible engineers and engineering students.
Engineers Without Borders contributes to meeting the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through capacity building in community projects. Capacity building is defined in that context as "..the building (or strengthening) of human, institutional and infrastructure capacity to help societies develop secure, stable and sustainable economies, governments and other institutions through mentoring, training, education, physical projects, the infusion of financial and other resources, and most importantly, the motivation and inspiration of people to improve their lives." (Hatch, 2004)
Although other organizations provide technical aid to disadvantaged communities, EWB-USA is unique in its own ways.
1) EWB works in long-term partnerships with various community stakeholders to solve their critical needs. Community participation and training are crucial to success.
2) EWB develops holistic and systemic solutions to the communities it serves using an Adopt a Village (TM) approach. The emphasis is on providing sustainable and appropriate solutions to the community problems while respecting natural and cultural systems.
3) EWB does not provide quick technical fixes but instead builds capacity for communities to solve their problems. Technology is not seen as an end in itself but instead as a mean of creating sustainable communities. Technology must be simple, affordable, sustainable and appropriate to the community being served.
4) EWB recognizes that issues such as water, energy, shelter, health, job creations, etc. are interrelated and that solving one issue is often not enough. A more global system approach is required instead. EWB-USA also recognizes that efficient and cost-effective delivery of basic necessities to disadvantaged communities can break cycles of poverty, open doors to better health, education, and provide opportunities for employment.
5) EWB understands that there is more than one solution to a community problem. Communities are dynamic systems that change over time. What works for one community does not necessarily work for another. Therefore, there is no single solution that fits all, fits all the time, and that works at all scales. Solutions need to reflect the scale of implementation.
6) EWB develops a new generation of engineering students and professionals who are internationally educated and aware of the problems faced by the majority of the world's population.
7) Finally, EWB sees poverty as relating primarily to the limited access of people to the knowledge and resources with which to address their basic human needs and promote sustainable development in such areas as water supply and sanitation, food production and processing, housing and construction, energy, transportation and communication, income generation, and employment creation. <\p>