We’re only two days away from The Boulder Modern Home Tour and we couldn’t be more excited! After doing a few tours throughout Colorado, we love everything the state has to offer so I’m sure this weekend will be no exception. Don’t forget, you still have time to purchase tickets for this weekend at the discounted price of $25. Get them while you can! If you miss the deadline of Friday at 8pm, tickets will be available for sale at all the homes on the tour for $30 on Saturday.
For this week’s feature, we wanted to try something a bit new. Usually for the feature before a tour, we give our readers a sneak peek at what they can expect on the tour that weekend. However, this week, we wanted to focus on something else that means a lot to us at Modern Home Tours. As most of our readers know, it’s important to us to try and partner with a nonprofit in the cities with host tours in. Boulder is no exception. We stumbled across an incredible organization that we’re very honored to partner with: Engineers Without Borders – University of Colorado Boulder Chapter. I was lucky enough to speak with Doug Winter, the Outreach Coordinator for the chapter. I told him we’d love to share the message and mission of his organization as well as some personal experiences he’s had with them and he was delighted to share.
“Engineers Without Borders (EWB-USA) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support community-driven development programs across the globe. Each chapter of EWB-USA collaborates with local partners to design and implement sustainable engineering projects and coordinate community outreach activities. Engineers Without Borders engenders responsible student leaders through transformative experiences in project planning, design, and construction in the developing world.
Engineers Without Borders currently has more than 250 chapters working in 45 countries around the globe, but the first chapter was founded at the University of Colorado in 2002. The CU chapter is comprised of three programs; one working in Peru, another in Rwanda, and a third in Nepal. Each team is run entirely by students at CU, with the ongoing support of numerous professional mentors.
The Peru program recently completed a multi-year project designed to bring clean drinking water from a spring high in the Andes Mountains to a community in the valley below. Students are monitoring that project while beginning a new project in a nearby community. The Rwanda program is embarking on a long-term project to construct new facilities for an orphanage, including a school and dormitories. The Nepal program has undertaken various projects in the past six years to assist a community in rural Nepal to improve their drinking water supply. Each of the teams at the University of Colorado is fully engaged in their host communities; we strive to provide robust engineering solutions alongside relevant educational programs, all with local support.
For the past decade, our chapter has continuously supported sustainable community development programs around the world. As a team we have achieved many of our goals, and we have learned invaluable lessons from our failures. We impart a sense of local ownership in each of our projects, and we work relentlessly to ensure that our projects meet the needs of the communities we work in. Engineers Without Borders is unique because we are firmly grounded on the principle that long-term success can only be achieved with full local buy-in; we work with, not for, each of our host communities.
I have been involved in EWB at the University of Colorado for three years. During that time, I have helped with engineering design, fundraising, chapter organization, and numerous other functions. In the winter of 2010 I travelled to Ilam, Nepal to help construct a passive wastewater treatment system for a public hospital. My favorite memory of that trip was shoveling gravel into burlap sacks while singing songs with the local workers. Shoveling gravel was not the enjoyable part—what made an impression on me was the devotion that those workers showed to the project. Although participating in EWB involves a lot of hard work, the reward of seeing a community excited about sustainable development is well worth the effort.”
We at Modern Home Tours extend a special thanks to David and to all of the members of Engineers Without Borders for all they do to help make the world that much better. To learn more about the efforts of Engineers Without Borders – UC Boulder and to get more details on what they do, head over to their website here.