Global Engineering Brigades is the University of Birmingham chapter of the non-profit organisation Global Brigades. We focus on poverty-driving factors and implement different project teams (brigades to us) to help fully empower rural communities around the world to rise out of poverty permanently. We’re part of an international movement of university students that partner with community leaders to design and engineer clean water systems in the developing world.
Our aim is to empower communities in Honduras to resolve health and economic disparities through the use of a holistic and collaborative model. We ensure that we're not only building water systems but teaching local people how to maintain them so they have safe and sustainable water. There is also an in-country team who support the communities year round, following the brigade itself.
We’re a very new society, only having formed at the University a year ago so we’re still growing out community and reputation. This term we have been recruiting many new brigaders to travel with us to Honduras in July! Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 we have not been able to hold events or activities in person, but we have organised several virtual events. We’ve also been able to attend online events held by the national Global Brigades such as the Student Leadership Conferences and information evenings, which have been a very exciting opportunity and being online enabled more our of members to join in.
There has also already been a TeleBrigade! We may not be able to travel, but we can still carry out our important work virtually! This first TeleBrigade involved training on how to use software such an EPANET and MapSource, and doing most of the things we will do on our in-person brigade including the follow up activities such as the cost recovery model. We worked with a community called Guayacan and determined the pipes required, plus tanks and pumps to ensure every house in the community has access to clean water. Prior to this, a clean water source was over an hour away.
Additionally, there have been regular meetings with people who work for Global Brigades for the early stages of planning our next in-person brigade. This will be further developed next term when fundraising begins!
We’re looking forward to the annual Global Brigades Week which is taking place virtually in February 2021! GB week is a celebration of the impact Global Brigades has, it involves Instagram takeovers, workshops and information sessions. This is a great opportunity if you want to learn more about Global Brigades and meet other people involved internationally!
President, Global Engineering Brigades Birmingham
To find out more about Global Engineering Brigades visit their website www.birmingham.ac.uk/eps/engineering-brigades.