It's been a busy start to the new academic year for Engineers Without Borders (EWB). Here President David Streather tells us more:
The 2013-2014 year was a good one for EWB here at Birmingham. We had a lot of new volunteers engage with the society and the committee is growing and growing! 2014 also saw the Birmingham City University (BCU) and Aston University EWB branches open up which makes Birmingham the second most active city in the UK!
2014-2015 has started with a huge honour for our branch and the current committee. Each year EWB-UK hold a national training weekend for all the volunteers and our winning bid saw the conference come to Birmingham in September 2014. Over 100 volunteers from every corner of the UK came to learn from each other and share their stories. It was a wonderful event and one that brought me a lot of personal pride. It was a terrific effort by the committee and really gave us some momentum for the coming year.
The autumn term has seen EWB-Birmingham hold a number of meetings to try and spread the word about what students can get involved in. We saw huge numbers turn up for our introductory meeting (we even ran out of seats!) and equally large numbers appeared for our introduction to outreach and the EWB placements scheme. The term has also seen greetings from the Government’s ‘Know Before You Go’ training scheme as well as representatives from Teach First as we try to engage with like-minded groups all over campus. Hopefully we’ll be able to keep working with similar societies.
Looking forward into the year we’ll be having our termly (and award-winning) PearJam charity band night on 7 November. We’ll also be watching thought-provoking TED talks, going bowling and taking part in a rope and washer water pump fundraiser later in the term. After the winter break we’ll be taking people to the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales and the Oxfam Logistics Warehouse.
The Cameroon Catalyst partnership is getting underway for it’s second year and we’re hoping to start with some real momentum. We’ve elected heads of the design and fundraising/publicity teams and are working with the Southampton-based charity to start to make a real difference to the people of Cameroon through sustainable engineering.
If you want to get involved in any of our activities please look us up online. Here’s to a great year!