Engineers Without Borders

Engineers without Borders International

 Engineers without Borders is an international organisation which seeks to link enginering students with qualified engineers to engage in developmental projects. In most first-world countries like the USA and UK, EwB is an established group, flying its members all over the world to help the poorest and most needy in developing countries.

EwB International website:

EwB South Africa

EWB UCT Website:

In South Africa, EwB has just begun as a student chapter at the University of Cape Town. 2010 was the first year we've been engaging in projects and its been awesome so far! The new 2011 committee has been busy setting the foundation for the organization, the building blocks on which we can grow and flourish.

Our Mission
The purpose of Engineers without Borders UCT is to create a platform for students from the Engineering and the Built Environment (EBE) Faculty (including architects, urban designers and city planners) whereby the skills acquired through study can be applied to real-world problems in under-serviced communities. EWB UCT serves the dual purpose of making engineering and design a medium through which the pressing issues of poverty and climate change are tackled, while simultaneously instilling socially conscious behavior into the work practice of students. 

While EWB UCT originally began as a service organisation, students and faculty have become increasingly more interested in using engineering and design as tools for sustainable development. While service projects are still undertaken by students who cannot commit more than a few hours per semester to the organisation, long term projects that address socio-structural issues are also taken on and topics such as long term accountability, continued maintenance and management are addressed.

Our Values

One of the fundamental principles of EWB UCT is community partnerships. This is expressed through the commitment to thorough contextual analysis before embarking upon design projects, as well as continued engagement with the communities wherein we work throughout the implementation process. 

EWB UCT is fully committed to sending only well informed, socially aware, and competent students into the field. This means that additional training, translators, contextual analysis and literature reviews are necessary to get all the students ready for this experience and ‘on the same page’ with regards to the social, economic, and environmental issues they might, by virtue of the complexity of the city, have never been exposed to.

      My Project

      I love this photograph!

      The 'Township Caterers Project' involves 20+ students finding clean-energy alternatives to the burning of harmful, treated wood by caterers in informal settlements. We're looking to roll out high-efficiency stoves at a subsidized rate, using community champions to sell them for commission. We hope that with continued funding, this can become a long-lasting and sustainable endeavor. Any help/ advice is more than welcome!

      Other Projects

       The Group has been involved in a number of exciting projects this year, with more in the pipeline. Here are some of the initiatives we've been involved in recently:
      • Baphumelele Ventilation Project:  This project is to install a ventilation system for the
      • Zithulele Hospital Water Filter: We recently travelled to the Eastern Cape to install a energy-saving water filter to utilize rain water for hospital use.
      • Shelter builds: these are our smallest and most frequent projects, where we go out to a night-shelter or childrens home and just fix it up! Engineers love DIY so we're more than happy to be handy-men and women for the day! 
      If you're interested in the work we've done so far, email me for out First-Semester Report.

      How You can get Involved

      We're looking to make a push for EwB SA to get going, after more university chapters get off the ground. Its really exciting times for us, so if you're a student and want to know about starting/ getting involved a chapter at your university or tech contact me!
      If you're an engineer and want to get onto our database, or want to help get EwB SA going, contact me!

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