Corporate Citizenship Report 2010

Sharing our Expertise

Engineering life-saving solutions

Noah McColl joins children in Kikoo Village, Cameroon, standing at construction site.

Photo: Jeremy Smith

Noah McColl (left), co-president of the Engineers Without Borders-USA student chapter at Yale University, joins children in Kikoo Village, Cameroon, to look over the results of a day's work of excavation by EWB-Yale colleagues and community volunteers for a water tank site.

Engineers Without Borders grants help provide basic necessities worldwide

Clean, disease-free water. Soot-free air. Electricity. These are taken for granted by Boeing employees. But many people in developing countries are without even these basic necessities, a situation that can lead to illiteracy, poverty and higher disease and mortality rates—especially affecting children.

Engineers Without Borders-USA is working to change that. A nonprofit humanitarian organization that partners with developing communities worldwide, EWB-USA volunteers, mostly professional engineers and engineering students, work with each community to identify, design and perform low-cost, small-scale engineering projects that improve basic quality of life.

“I am humbled by the stories of what these individuals have accomplished and the lives they've touched by providing the necessities that we may take for granted.”
—John Tracy, Boeing chief technology officer and senior vice president of Engineering, Operations & Technology.

Established in 2002, EWB-USA has more than 12,000 members in 250 dedicated chapters through the United States, including university chapters on 180 campuses. The organization has completed more than 350 projects addressing clean water, renewable energy and sanitation in more than 45 developing countries. Each EWB-USA chapter makes at least a five-year commitment to a partnering community. The experience also helps volunteers develop and further their skills.

As a major sponsor, Boeing has awarded EWB-USA more than $1.1M in grants over the past four years through its Global Corporate Citizenship organization. The grants align with both the company's engineering culture and GCC's strategic focus on developing economically independent and sustainable communities.

Boeing has received letters from several of EWB-USA's 2009 grant recipients, providing an update on their projects, as well as thanking the company for its financial support. "I am humbled by the stories of what these individuals have accomplished and the lives they've touched by providing the necessities that we may take for granted," said John Tracy, Boeing chief technology officer and senior vice president of Engineering, Operations & Technology. "This is a shining example of what can be accomplished by engineers and non-engineers alike through volunteerism."


Letters of Thanks

Engineering change

Engineers Without Borders grants help provide basic necessities worldwide

Clean, disease-free water, soot-free air, electricity. These are taken for granted by Boeing employees. But many in developing countries are without even these basic necessities, leading to illiteracy, poverty and higher disease and mortality rates, especially affecting children.

Engineers Without Borders-USA is working to change that. A non-profit humanitarian organization that partners with developing communities worldwide, EWB-USA volunteers, mostly professional engineers and engineering students, work with each community to identify, design and perform low-cost, small-scale engineering projects that improve basic quality of life.

Established in 2002, EWB-USA has more than 12,000 members in 250 dedicated chapters through the United States, including university chapters on 180 campuses. The organization has completed more than 350 projects addressing clean water, renewable energy and sanitation in more than 45 developing countries. Each EWB-USA chapter makes at least a five-year commitment to a partnering community. The experience also helps volunteers develop and further their skills.

As a major sponsor, Boeing has awarded EWB-USA more than $650,000 in grants over the past three years, through its Global Corporate Citizenship organization. The grants align with both the company's engineering culture and GCC's strategic focus on developing economically independent and sustainable communities.

Boeing has received letters from several of EWB-USA's 2009 grant recipients updating their project status as well as thanking the company for its financial support. "I am humbled by the stories of what these individuals have accomplished and the lives they've touched by providing the necessities that we may take for granted," said John Tracy, Boeing chief technology officer and senior vice president of Engineering, Operations & Technology. "This is a shining example of what can be accomplished by engineers and non-engineers alike through volunteerism."

Excerpts from these letters can be found below:

 

Solar-powered learning

We would like to show our appreciation for your grant for our project at the Orkeeswa Secondary School in Ashura in Northern Tanzania. Orkeeswa started in 2008 with 40 students and has grown to more than 80.

Most recently our project constructed a 60,000-liter (15,850-gallon) concrete water tank for the school; our next project is solar panels, which your funding is helping make possible. The solar panels will be used for electric lights as well as powering a small computer room for the students--an outlet for language growth, research and more.

Portland Professional Partners
Portland, Ore.

 

Added value

The grant you have awarded will help better the lives of those in need in Soroti, Uganda, by providing them with access to clean water supplies and improved sources of income.

This past summer, seven Columbia University student EWB-USA members traveled to Soroti to develop training modules for villager use of two newly installed Multi-Functional Platforms (MFPs). These essentially are a diesel engine that has been modified to run on straight vegetable oil. Various agricultural attachments can be connected to the engine, which add value to local village produce.

In addition, after extensive interviews and assessments, the students identified a need to provide a water management system to Beacon College, a 500-student secondary school there.

Your grant will allow the purchase of supplies needed to complete this project in the summer of 2010. During the trip the students will monitor the MFPs to determine a timeline for installing more engines at other villages. They also will be developing additional training materials for the operation of the MFPs.

The majority of the grant, however, will go toward the implementation of the water distribution system currently being designed by students this academic year. To supplement the unreliable tap line current providing water to the school, Columbia University EWB will install a rainwater collection system with water storage tanks, as well as a bio-sand filter, to provide the cleanest water possible to the students.

While the Boeing grant will change the lives of Soroti citizens, it is also changing our lives. The hands-on and practical experience of applying engineering in innovative ways in new environments has been an unforgettable experience for our members.

Columbia University chapter
New York, N.Y.

 

Natural filter

As aspiring engineers who dream of making a difference in the world, we are grateful for the support and recognition from a world leader such as Boeing.

This grant will support our chapter's first program in war-ravaged Perquin, El Salvador. The project is to design and implement a wetlands natural filtration system for the community of Caserio La Tejera. There is currently no wastewater system, causing exposure to many parasitic diseases that affect the children of the community the most.

A successful design is expected to be replicated by neighboring communities.

Through EWB, students develop skills that will influence the rest of their careers. It also nurtures ethical growth and encourages responsible engineering.

Polytechnic Institute of New York University chapter
Brooklyn, N.Y.

 

Smoke out

It is truly inspiring to see how far a donation can go in a developing country! Your grant will enable EWB City College of New York to implement a clean air project in the small village of La NuevaSuiza in Omoa, Honduras.

We plan to eliminate air debris in the homes caused by wood-burning stoves. Our construction plan involves installing small chimneys in the kitchens so that the smoke can escape. The presence of such soot is a known irritant to developing lungs and, according to UNICEF, is responsible for 2 million infantile deaths in the developing world each year.

Such experience allows our student members to learn engineering skills through hands-on implementation of the design. It also allows students to gain a new perspective and inspires them to become future leaders.

City College of New York
New York, N.Y.

 

Clean, safe water

We are writing to thank Boeing for supporting Yale's student chapter of EWB in our project to build a system to provide clean water for Kikoo, a village of approximately 1,000 people in the northwest province of Cameroon.

The village of Kikoo historically has obtained water from streams that are contaminated by agricultural runoff and other activities, and the community has experienced severe health problems in the form of water-borne illnesses such as gastrointestinal infections and dysentery.

Recognizing the need for clean water, villages located a potential source 3 kilometers (2 miles) from Kikoo, but were unable to connect to the spring using their own resources and funds. After an assessment trip in 2007, our chapter, working with local engineering students and community members, began to design and construct a gravity-fed water distribution system.

The system begins at a sealed catchment box, which protects an uncontaminated and abundant source of water and extends into a network containing 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) of pipeline which distribute water to 14 public standpipes located throughout the community. Two storage tanks modulate water flow.

Our current trip represents, in many ways, the conclusion of the project. A final sector of the system, containing six standpoints and one storage tank, have been designed and need to be constructed. And before we depart from Kikoo, we will ensure that the village understands how to maintain each aspect of the system. Given the astounding dedication and effort that the local community has contributed, we have no doubts that the completed system will provide clean water to Kikoo for decades to come,

Yale student chapter
New Haven, Conn.

 

In school and healthy

We would like to express our gratitude for the support Boeing provided to further our chapter's water and sanitation projects in Kenya.

Our project is located in the Khwisero District of Western Kenya. Girls in this part of Kenya miss school for up to two hours per day to collect water for their schools and families. The water comes from shallow springs that often are contaminated by agricultural runoff, animal and human waste. Pit latrines at the schools are also of poor quality and pose health concerns and maintenance problems for the schools.

Our chapter is working to address this situation by providing potable water and improved sanitation facilities at all 58 primary schools in the Khwisero District, thereby increasing the time girls spend in school and reducing waterborne diseases. This is a multi-year project and to date we have successfully provided six deep-water wells, four composting latrines and a biogas latrine for the schools, providing nearly 3,000 students, teachers and staff with improved water and sanitation facilities.

In addition to making improvements, our chapter is committed to building capacity at the community level. We have trained over 100 Khwisero community members in Global Positioning System mapping, record-keeping, borehole repair and maintenance, and household survey data collection.

Thanks in large part to your donation, our chapter is continuing its work on a water distribution pipeline that will eventually provide water to four schools and two public health clinics, ensuring several thousand children, teachers and community members have access to clean water and adequate health services.

Over the past six years we have sent 40 of our members to Kenya to work on this project, where they have gained invaluable experience working on a hands-on, real-world project.

Montana State University chapter
Bozeman, Mont.

 

Granular solution

Thank you so much for your support of our slow sand water filtration project in Huay Nam Khun, Thailand. Thanks to you, this community of more than 5,000 in northern Thailand will have access to clean drinking water. Your grant will enable us to build multiple slow sand filters at water sources throughout the community.

We are honored to have the opportunity to use our skills and talents as engineering students to help people around the world.

California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo chapter
San Luis Obispo, Calif.

 

"Well" being

On behalf of the Central Ohio Professional and Case Western Reserve University chapters of EWB-USA, I would like to thank you for your donation to our project in Cameroon.

Your generous gift will enable us to drill wells and install two hand pumps in Batoula, Cameroon. The villagers there have no access to clean water, and they do not know the poor water quality is what makes them ill. Diarrhea, cholera, dysentery and malaria and serious water parasites are common in Batoula and contribute to the high infant mortality rate. It is my goal to reduce the incidence of malaria in Batoula by half.

The reason my team became engineers was to affect change in public health. Thanks to Boeing, we are able to make a direct impact by providing life's most basic necessity, water.

In addition to installing new hand pumps, my team is diligently working on an education curriculum for sanitation and proper hand washing. We will be surveying the community to track illness and the improvement this project has caused.

We will erect a plaque in your honor to be displayed at the hand pumps so the village will have a lasting reminder of your donation.

 

Central Ohio Professionals chapter
Columbus, Ohio

 

Building infrastructure, economy

With your grant we are able to provide clean drinking water to the rural village of El Convento, Honduras.

Last year, six Lafayette college students traveled to El Convento to begin the construction of a spring-fed, gravity-driven water distribution and sanitation system by building watershed protection to keep animals and other sources of pollution away from the water springs. On our return to El Convento, we will build water collection dams and clear the site for the eventual construction of a 5,000-gallon (19,999-liter) concrete storage tank.

Ultimately, the system will provide access to clean water at every home in El Convento, thus meeting one of the most pressing needs in the community. To make the water infrastructure project economically sustainable, we also have assessed the feasibility of a small economic development project in El Convento. The project will utilize the new water distribution system and cultivate economic industry in the community.

Lafayette College
Easton, Penn.

 

Road to health

On behalf of the University of Hartford EWB-USA chapter, I would like to extend our sincere thanks to all of Boeing for the opportunity you have provided us.

We will be sending a group of 12 EWB student members to Abheypur, India. Some of the main roads there have been flooded with "grey water," which has created an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes, and leads to potential waterborne diseases. Also, it makes some of the most important roads in the village impassible by foot. Our goal is to implement a system that will direct the "grey water" into a soak-pit, which will help recharge the village's diminishing water table.

We hope Boeing continues to support EWB in the future.

University of Hartford student chapter
Hartford, Conn.

 

Garbage out

Thank you for the donation to our EWB-USA project in Niona, Mali, West Africa. This community has a horrible flooding problem each rainy season. The seasonal flooding became worse a few years ago, and the waters started washing human waste out of the numerous open-pit latrines nearby causing, as doctors from the local hospital inform us, a skyrocketing rise of cholera and other diarrheal diseases.

We performed a full survey of the flood zone. A major cause of the flooding is local garbage and other solid waste being dumped in the middle of the drainage system.

Our goals for this trip will be to educate the community on solid waste management and gather suggestions. We will begin by hosting a social event to facilitate discussions with the community, government and village elders. We'll be giving a presentation on how solid waste has contributed to the flooding issue over the years — [and] why previous solid waste management systems have failed. We will conclude the event with a presentation on solid waste management engineering solutions. We also will be educating the youth of the community and creating an incentive plan to assist with achieving a sustainable solution.

Rocky Mountain Professionals Chapter
Boulder, Colo.