Breaking Borders

By: Shelton Fitch Staff Writer

Engineers Without Borders MC Raising Funds to Help Belize Community

The Engineers Without Borders-U.S.A., Montgomery College Student Chapter, is a group of MC students at the Rockville Campus with a huge goal. The chapter, which is a club at MC, is composed of around 15 students with an aptitude and interest in engineering and philanthropy.

This group of students is determined to help make a difference in our world by sending its most active and serious club members to Belize, a Central American nation, in order to design and construct a water pumping system which will create better sanitation means through a community latrine, and cleaner drinking water for a disadvantaged neighborhood community.

This goal will not be easy to meet. Before even stepping out of the country, the Engineers Without Borders club will have to propose their ideas and objectives to the Engineers without Borders National Chapter. Engineers Without Borders, or more commonly known as E.W.B., is a philanthropic organization composed of around 250 chapters. These chapters are made up of 12,000 professionals and students alike.

All groups involved in the E.W.B. are devoted to creating a better world, whether it is crafting an irrigation system, building schools or constructing bridges. Their mission is as follows: “E.W.B.-U.S.A. supports community-driven development programs worldwide by collaborating with local partners to design and implement sustainable engineering projects, while creating transformative experiences and responsible leaders” (E.W.B.-U.S.A.org).

Now the E.W.B. MC Student Chapter is motivated to show that they can make a difference as well. In order to look presentable and get their Belizean project underway, the E.W.B. MC Student Chapter has teamed up with Global Giving, a national organization composed of a network of nonprofit charities and groups.

Global Giving is an organization committed to solving international problems that deal with an array of issues. From hunger, to lack of education, to homelessness, Global Giving works with different charities, groups and philanthropists to address these issues.

The E.W.B.-MC Student Chapter was given the opportunity to enter a challenge orchestrated by Global Giving. If they can raise $4,000 by the end of this year, they will be featured on the Global Giving website. Not only will they have raised a lot of money for Global Giving, which will, in turn, use that money to fund projects around the world and created some publicity for themselves, but the E.W.B. MC Student Chapter will have something to show the E.W.B. National Chapter.

Doing something like this would require much effort and passion. The E.W.B. MC Student Chapter has that effort, and they are indeed passionate about what they’re doing. Raising this money would show that they have demonstrated an initiative and effort in reaching a goal.

They have a long way to go, but their goal is not unreachable. Robert Forcha, member and Vice-President of the Student Chapter said, “We originally were going to go to Mexico, but after learning about the drug cartels and information from the State Department, we decided not to go there.”

Of course, safety comes first, and after searching for a new location, the student chapter received advice from the E.W.B.-Chesapeake Professional Chapter about Belize, and it seemed like an appropriate place to venture.

Currently, the E.W.B. MC Student Chapter is raising money, and in the process of completing numerous applications and forms. The money they are raising will go to Global Giving and to help cover living and lodging costs when the Belizean project kicks off. If you are interested in joining the E.W.B. MC Student Chapter, they meet every Tuesday in the Science Center room 412 (SC412) at 5:00 p.m.

All students are welcome to join. You do not need to be an engineering student, and you only need creative ideas and the will to participate. When asked why he joined the club, MC student Edward Kostreski said, “What attracted me to this club was the sustainable living projects that the club was doing, and that they were not just temporary fixes, but real changes.”

The E.W.B. MC Student Chapter has stated that it will go back to Belize and fix any defects in their finished community projects within a five year span, to ensure that this is an effective solution. If you are interested in donating money to the E.W.B. MC Student Chapter, or learning more, you can go to their website at “www.montgomerycollege.edu/departments/ewbmc.” You can also subscribe to their mailing list on their website to receive updates. If you have any questions, they can be reached via e-mail through their website.