Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Upcoming Summer of 2017 Trip

With summer fast approaching, many people are planning to go to the beach, have barbeques, and do other fun things with friends and family. For members of the University of Florida's Engineers Without Borders Nepal Team, this summer's plans consist of a trip to Khanalthok to assess and upgrade the water irrigation system that was previously installed during the implementation trip last summer.

During the last implementation trip, a wash station, new female latrines, rainwater catchment system, and a temporary water tank were installed in the community. However, the water tank needs to be upgraded so that it can act as a more permanent solution. The new tank is going to 30,000 liters and reinforced with concrete. With a much larger tank, the community will be able to collect and store more water that can be used during the extremely dry season. Moreover, the Nepal Team plans to implement new filters to complement the wash station and rainwater catchment system that were previously installed at the Shree Janahit Secondary School.

In addition, the team will also enrich the community through other means besides engineering. We will also educate the local children about water safety, basic health and hygiene, and practical skills that they can use to improve their quality of life. We look forward to once again meeting with the people of Khanalthok, and cannot wait for the exciting adventures and opportunities to improve the lives of the people! Stay tuned for more updates as this summer quickly approaches!

Engineers Without Borders Nepal Team Receives $10K Grant

Earlier this month, the EWB Nepal Team received excellent news after multiple years of diligence and hard work. Our team received a $10,000 grant from the Davis Program after applying for the Projects for Peace Grant this year. This is a huge step for our team in terms of funding our project in Khanalthok. Thank you to everyone on our entire team for the hard work that you continuously do for this organization, and a special thanks to Sulav and Harsh for putting in the extra time and doing an outstanding job with submitting the Projects for Peace Grant. We are extremely grateful for all of the hard work and support from the Davis Program, University of Florida, and the public. We will continue to focus and put all of our efforts towards improving the lives of the people of Khanalthok!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Implementation Trip - May 2016

Hello Everyone!

We wanted to provide an update on our most recent trip to Nepal. Shree Ram, Santosh, Kiran, Ricky, Sulav, Matt, Gina, and Maurice made the trip to Khanalthok in May of 2016. Our goals during this implementation trip were to reevaluate the new buildings, find a location for the wash stations, analyze the need for a flush system, coordinate the gutters with the tank, educate the faculty on the use and maintenance of the system, and determine an exact date and plan for the implementation of the latrines.

On the first day of assessment and excavation, the team chose an area for the wash stations and got to work shoveling. The team completed the foundation for the hand-washing stations.

Next, the team assessed the condition of the gutters, and removed the gutters from the old building, repaired them, and then added them to the new building. We also began the process of implementing the tank by digging a hole and placing the tank.

We also showed the workers of the community how to begin the completion of the wash station. The team made significant progress with the piping, and dug trenches to allow the piping to be connected to the wash station.

After the completion of the piping of the tank, the piping was covered with barbed wire to prevent people from damaging it.

During our wonderful trip, we took part in activities outside of engineering and construction. One of the days of the trip was devoted to the education of the children. The girls were taught the power behind the transition from girlhood to womanhood, and received menstruation kits. The boys wrote notes explaining why women are important.

We had many unforgettable experiences, and truly enjoyed the beautiful town of Khanalthok. We rented scooters and went down the mountainside, hiked to watch the sunrise in Sarangkot, and went paragliding. We look forward to returning to the village in 2017 and implementing a larger, more permanent tank. Be sure to check back for more updates!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

2nd Annual Runners Without Borders 5K

On Saturday, October 22, over 40 runners laced up their shoes to run on a brisk, early morning and support the EWB Nepal team. These runners came to participate in the second annual Runners Without Borders 5K, which is hosted by the EWB Nepal Team and takes place on the University of Florida campus. The 5K was a fun experience for all of the participants, whether they were seasoned runners or the average person just looking to come out and support a great cause.

The male and female winners were awarded prizes, and there were several other prizes raffled off that added to the fun. These prizes included gym memberships, gift baskets, and other prizes donated by our sponsors.

The 5K was an immense success, with numerous sponsorships and participants helping to raise over $1,800 that will go straight to enhancing the water irrigation system established by the EWB team in Nepal. The EWB Nepal team thanks all of our participants, volunteers, and corporate sponsors for helping us make this 5K a great success. We couldn’t have done it without them!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Perspective from a New Team Member

Fresh in university and in a foreign country far from home:  stepping onto UF campus to begin my undergraduate degree was both exciting and frightening at the same time. Everything felt foreign, strange and unfamiliar. But in addition to the many peculiarities I had to learn and adapt, I found great friends sharing similar dreams and ideals. In the beginning of the fall semester, I joined the Nepal Team, a part of UF’s Engineers Without Borders (EWB) chapter. Over the span of these months, I have gotten to know a passionate, hard-working and outgoing group of people from all over the world, pursuing a wide range of engineering degrees, with a diverse plethora of cultural backgrounds and different goals for their own future. Yet they all share a common trait: a strong passion for helping those who do not have the opportunities that we enjoy here at UF.

Becoming a member of the EWB Nepal team is one of the best decisions I have made at UF, and I felt included from day one. While many engineering clubs meet only in their labs, with members rarely seeing each other outside the club, the Nepal Team has a strong, compassionate atmosphere. We bond over car-washes and fundraising events, take care of each other and make friends for life. The enthusiasm for the project is great, and knowing that there is a purpose greater than oneself adds another dimension to our work.

I decided to join the UF’s EWB Nepal Team because the team’s values resonate so well with the perception I have of my major: I believe that engineering is the answer to many of today and tomorrow’s challenges, ranging from freshwater scarcity to land-mine victim prosthesis. Global engineering requires a global perspective, and this is what makes EWB so unique: it offers not only a peek into the challenges faced and the solutions engineered by peoples across the world, but also a unique insight into their very culture, thinking and way of life.

I believe that challenges faced by one people in one country rarely are unique for that country, and rarely have a cause confined to that area solely. Solutions are best formed through collaboration across cultural, ethnical and geographical backgrounds. The examples are numerous. Every day, in every part of the world, innovative engineering is pushing the world forward.

The Khanalthok community is no exception. Despite being faced with shortage of necessities such as clean, reliable drinking water, the villagers in Khanalthok get up every day and work hard to ensure food on the table, take care of the elderly, and to provide education for the young.  Nevertheless, there are many burdening difficulties, and the earthquake in May had a shattering impact on the fragile community. Many suffer from severe back problems because of heavy loads from carrying weighty baskets of drinking water from remote springs.

However, simple solutions can make a big difference. I work alongside incredible colleagues in the Nepal Team, and we are making rapid progress. The work is both inspirational and educative, and I feel lucky to have the opportunity to learn about the peoples in Khanalthok, their culture and their ways of life. I am a part of the UF EWB Nepal Team both to learn and to contribute, and I am incredibly excited for the up-coming year.

Andreas Noer (Norway)

Mechanical Engineering Sophomore 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Pizza at Blaze

On Thursday November 19, 2015 from 6pm to 9pm, the EWB Nepal Team held an event at Blaze Pizza in Gainesville, FL. Each flier presented to the cashier donated 20% of the profits from that meal to our team.  

All profits help our team fulfill our mission of providing Khanalthok, Nepal with a safe source of potable water.
Thank you to everyone who came out to support the EWB Nepal Team!

Check back soon for more dinner fundraisers you might be able to attend.

Monday, November 9, 2015

How Our Team is Broken Down

Our team consists of 15 students of different engineering disciplines. Within the EWB UF Nepal team we have formed three sub-teams--Communications Team, Design Team, and Fundraising Team--to better organize our efforts.

Communications Team
The goal of the Communications Team is to keep in contact with citizens of Khanalthok, our local NGO partner, and other contacts based in Nepal. The team updates them with any news or advances we have made on our project. The communications team interactions revolve around the past, current, and future state of the community. 

Design Team
The design team plans to implement a sustainable solution to the lack of readily available, potable water in combination with low sanitary practices at the secondary school. They are designing a rainwater catchment system to be implemented at the secondary school to provide an additional source of water. We are also proposing to repair the current water tank and link the rainwater catchment system to the water tanks. This will also help distribute water for washing practices and drinking use. The purpose of the team is to ensure the design of our project works efficiently, and is sustainable in the long run.

Fundraising Team
The purpose of the fundraising team is to raise the funds necessary to properly implement our design. In order to help raise the funding for the upcoming implementation trip, our team is working on establishing partnerships with local rotary clubs and corporate engineering companies, completing grants, and hosting fundraising events. The events hosted are used to not only raise money but to also raise awareness about our project.