Two members of Walla Walla University’s Engineers Without Borders club and three faculty sponsors made their second assessment trip to Tanzania in early September as part of their long term water supply project in the village of Manda. The team prioritized collecting data and forging strong connections with Manda locals.
With the goal to provide Manda residents with safe, economical, and reliable water, the team got straight to work after their arrival in the village. Meetings were held with village officials to find the areas of greatest need, the entire current water system was inspected, and large amounts of technical data were collected.
“Building the relationships is a really important part of the project,” said Samuel Schafer, sophomore mechanical engineering major and this year’s Manda project manager. “Through those relationships, we gain a true sense of their needs and what we can do to help.” According to the trip’s sponsors, taking the time to worship with the people of Manda allowed them to help fulfill both their physical and spiritual needs. From boat rides together to soccer matches, the team was able to connect with members of the Manda community on multiple levels.
WWU’s EWB chapter adopted the project in 2019 and has conducted two assessment trips since launching the initiative. Schafer explained that the project doesn’t have a foreseeable end date and strives to help the people in Manda as much as it can. After their first meeting of the year earlier this week, Schafer and his team are actively constructing workable solutions for Manda that can be implemented next year. The EWB team plans to make their first trip to install the water management systems they are designing next summer.
As a project manager for EWB this year, Schafer has enjoyed learning to negotiate and lead meetings with the potential to make a difference in the world. He said that the EWB club is a very practical, hands-on experience and a great option for students who want to serve others in a tangible way.
The mission of the EWB club is to not only use their engineering skills to provide aid to communities in need, but to share God’s love in the process. By partnering with local communities to foster lasting solutions and integrating academic knowledge with humanitarian work, their efforts closely align with WWU’s mission to spark generosity in service around the world.
Learn more about the work being done by WWU’s EWB club or make a donation to help projects like this continue at ewb-wwu.org.
Posted Oct. 9, 2023