News

Special Thanks to the Family of Grace Schmid

Posted on: April 23, 2010

The family of Grace Schmid made a generous $10,000 donation to Engineers In Action from her estate this past month. The donation will go toward the salary and administrative costs of an engineer for EIA.

Grace Schmid lived an incredible life. Her parents were Swiss farmers who came to the US at the end of 19th century. Grace was born in the US in 1903 and passed away in January of 2009 at the age of 106!

Grace was born on a farm, but didn’t stay there. She went to college in the early 20s and graduated with a degree in social work from the University of Nebraska.  Grace later went on to the University of Chicago where she earned her Masters in social work. At the time of her death, she was the oldest living alumni of both universities!

She began her work in Wyoming with the Department of Social Services.  During WWII Grace worked on an Indian Reservation in Wyoming, providing care and support for the poorest and most desperately in need persons in the state.  Grace advanced in the ranks of the Department of Social Services and eventually was named the Director of the State Agency, a position she held until her retirement.

Retirement from the State of Wyoming didn’t mean she was going to slow down. As a single woman, she had the opportunity to travel – and she loved to travel. She had a passport in the 1920s and traveled the world before WWII broke out. When she retired in 1945, she and another single woman decided to drive the newly built Alaska Highway. The “highway” turned out to be a dirt/mud road cut through the Canadian Forest. In several places, GIs had to push them out and through the mud. Grace’s last trip to Alaska was when she was 94 years old. She didn’t stop driving a car until she reached her 101st birthday!

Grace was too active to stay retired. She did several other jobs and eventually bought and ran her own small apartment complex. She managed that apartment complex until she was 102 years old! At 102, she finally decided it was time to retire!

Grace obviously had a great heart for those in need. She spent the majority of her working life supporting and encouraging the neediest folks in Wyoming. She spent a significant portion of her resources helping family members to go to college.

Grace Schmid’s combined interests of helping those in need and her love of world travel inspired her family to share a portion of her estate with Engineers In Action to help improve the quality of life for the poorest people in South America.

EIA is honored to be the recipient of this generous donation from this remarkable woman.

Thank you to the family of Grace Schmid.

Music Of Bolivia Concerts

Posted on: February 26, 2010

Engineers In Action is sponsoring a Concert & Banquet Tour to raise funds for the four EIA engineers in Bolivia (who make from $450-600 a month). EIA facilitates projects in potable water, sanitation, irrigation, mine waste water clean-up, bridges and other basic infrastructure projects in remote areas of Bolivia… LEARN MORE

Potential Grant Opportunities for EWB Chapters in Bolivia

Posted on: October 22, 2009

USAID (the Foreign Development arm of the US Government) made available a “Community Development Activities Fund” to provide grants to develop small infrastructure projects in rural communities in Bolivia. EIA applied to be the administrator of these funds, and lost. VOCA, which has a long-term relationship with USAID, was awarded the grant as administrator. (Shoot!) However, we believe that EWB chapters should have a definite shot at some of these grants.

 Because we applied to be the administrator of these funds, we can share some additional information regarding these grants. VOCA has been chosen by USAID to select and give out 20-25 CDAF grants a year over the next 5 years. These grants will range from $2,000 to $15,000, with most grants averaging $10,000. These funds will be for materials and/or sub-contractors such as drilling rigs, only! These in-kind small grants will be complemented by substantial in-kind or financial input from local communities. The recipient will also provide training to communities as required, ensuring they can properly manage and sustain the assistance provided.

 The objectives that USAID has for VOCA and these CDAF grants are to:

  • Provide rapid in-kind small grants that respond to the immediate needs of poor Bolivians.
  • Promotes sustainable development and basic services
  • Finance small development activities which respond to immediate needs of poor Bolivians in ways that build local problem-solving capacities,
  • Contribute to promoting better understanding of the US Government.

 The CDAF program may include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Small-scale irrigation systems, small agricultural activities (e.g. irrigation pumps, tools, seeds).
  • Improvement of water and sanitation systems (e.g. small water pumps, toilets, sinks).
  • School completion, remodeling, provision of furniture (e.g. desks, chairs, tables, bookshelves) and educational and teaching materials.
  • Technology equipment (e.g. computers, software and peripherals/accessories).
  • Small community improvement projects (e.g. sports and recreational equipment, meeting rooms, health post remodeling, and community facilities).
  • Handicrafts production (e.g. processing equipment and tools).

 The use of local materials and local labor provided by the participating communities is crucial. And the communities must take ownership of the project once it is completed. The overall goal of the CDAF program is to support communities throughout Bolivia in meeting their basic needs. The purpose is assisting underdeveloped communities to resolve specific, self-identified problems through small grants.

 Sustainability

One important component in evaluating the advisability of any sub-award will be assessing sustainability prospects of the activities to be financed. Thus, the implementing partner will have to ensure that planning requirements such as maintenance, repair, and operational costs that might be required are duly covered or programmed by the beneficiaries.

 Information you may choose to use in your application

EIA collected the following information for its (failed) attempt at administering these funds. You should be able to use some of them in your grant request, but will need to adjust them to fit your specific project:

 Community Contributions:

  • We estimated that for an average EWB project, about 20 community people will work an average of 20 days at $10/day equaling $4,000 contribution to your project.
  • We need to expect local communities to approach their local Municipal (county) governments and/or Prefecturas (Governors) to get additional funding for materials. While we cannot require this of the communities, since they don’t make the decision, we can require that they ask. What we’d suggest is to tell VOCA and the community that you wanted the local governments to fund approximately 1/3 of the materials/sub-contractor costs.

 EWB/EIA’s special contributions:

What makes a grant request to VOCA from you especially strong (it seems to us) are the special contributions you will provide to this project:

  • The EWB chapter will (we’d suggest) match any grant for materials by VOCA to the project. This will cut in half what the materials/sub-contractor costs are for you, and cut in half what it will cost VOCA, thus allowing them to do more projects.
  • EWB and your EIA partners will visit each community to hear what their self-perceived needs are. The local community determines what type of project will be done, not EWB or EIA.
  • The EWB project will give in-kind contributions of engineering design. This means that each project will be carefully engineered for that specific situation and location. This will include an Assessment Trip significantly before any implementation to discern the exact needs of the community, any suggested engineering solutions and designs they may have seen which work, and helping in the formation of a local Water/Sanitation Committee. We estimate the value of the in-kind contribution of the Assessment to be $3,000 (12hr/day x 3 days x $12/hr for students and $50/hr for professor). We also estimate about $10,000 of in-kind engineering at $125hr x 80 hours.
  • EWB will provide up to $13,000 in in-kind labor on the project (12/hr/day x 7 days x 1 prof at $50/hr + 9 students at $12/hr = ~$13,000)
  • So, for example, a project that costs $21,000 in materials will only cost VOCA $7,000; with $7,000 coming from the local community and $7,000 from EWB; plus $4,000  in in-kind labor from the community, $13,000 in in-kind Assessment and engineering design, and $13,000 in in-kind labor from EWB. Their $7,000 becomes $51,000

 Promoting Understanding of the US Government

By bringing young US engineering students and professionals into these remote communities, a VOCA grant to EWB will dramatically improve the image and understanding of USAID and the US Government. The cultural exchanges and interaction will do more to improve the understanding of the US than the money provided.

 Sustainability

EWB/EIA projects require the creation of a local community Water/Sanitation Committee which will be responsible for proper running of the infrastructure and its regular maintenance and repairs. Because of your relationship with EIA, you will be providing one more crucial layer to the sustainability of the project. Following completion of the project, EWB, EIA and the community will develop a Sustainability Plan which will involve frequent trips by Bolivian EIA engineers to the community over the ensuing 3 years, to monitor the infrastructure, do on-going education regarding its proper use, maintenance and repair; and to oversee any major repairs that are needed. Following the end of those 3 years, the project will be the complete responsibility of the community, with EIA engineers serving as consultants.

 Schools

One of the things USAID required VOCA to do is support schools. We’d recommend that you consider visiting the local schools and seeing what furniture, infrastructure, computer etc needs they have and ask for a small $1-2,000 for that.

 

I would also recommend that you ask them if they’d prefer your grant to be in English or Spanish.

 Please send EIA a copy of any grant request (English) you make to VOCA and let us know what their decision is. We hope this helps and you get a grant.

 Below are English and Spanish copies of VOCA CDAF applications.

 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY FUND PROGRAM (C D A. F. )

FUND FOR COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES

APPLICATION FORM

Send your application filled a:

CDAF, ACDI/VOCA, attention Street 11 # 480, Esq. Sánchez Bustamante, La Paz, Bolivia, box 574,

Tel/fax (591-2) 279-3206, info@acdivoca.org.bo

(READ IN DETAIL BEFORE COMPLETING THIS FORM)

The primary objective of the Fund for the provision of Community development ( C D A F) is the offer direct assistance to communities/organizations that are in the process of developing projects of socio-economic value of prime necessity that will improve your standard of living. This assistance is a modest contribution to the Government United States from his Agency for international development (USAID), communities/organizations that have shown interest in helping you to themselves.

In summary: this Fund supports that grouping communal, once scanned your needs is willing to find them solution to improve their quality of life.

BASIC REQUIREMENTS

1.Project/initiative must be of good use and benefit to as many people as possible of the community.

2.La community/organization must have a group, Committee, policy, or other, that, properly organized, manage, manage, and monitor project.

3.Project must be described in clear terms, with responsibilities and contributions of the Community/Organization (NGOs), other public or private bodies and C D A F clearly established.

4.La community/organization must contribute to the maximum extent possible with costs of the project could include: local labour, ground, material or cash for the purchase of materials and operating expenditure as example local transport. Also, to seek the cooperation agencies Government / respective NGOs in those needs outside the scope of the CDAF to ensure the success of the project.

5.La community/organization shall submit studies or feasibility record of the project.

6.If the project requires assistance technical, written evidence thereof shall be attached (e.g. letter of) intention of the organization that will provide this support when the (project is running).

7.Aid will be given one one-time community/organization.

8.Not expenses are funded recurrent as wages, food, services, transport of staff, etc; or ineligible expenditure under regulations of USAID.

9.Project must show an effect to the broadest possible reach, multiplier.

10.Pro forma invoices must be attached to the request to justify the request to C D A f.

11.Project must abide by national environmental regulations (Act 1033) and regulations the Government of the United States (regulation 216)

12.Township counterpart commitment and the Community up to 30 % of the cost total.

Send your application filled a:

CDAF, ACDI/VOCA, attention Street 11 # 480, Esq. Sánchez Bustamante, La Paz, Bolivia, box 574,

Tel/fax (591-2) 279-3206, info@acdivoca.org.bo

 Use letter mold, computer, or typed.

 PROJECT NAME: ………………………………………………………………………

Date of preparation: …………

Department of the project: ………..

The project province: ………..

Municipality of the project: ………..

Beneficiaries not: women: ……………… men: ……………… total: ………….

Name of the applicant: …………… ……….. ………….

Name of the Organization: …………… …………… …………… …………… …………… ……….. ……

Dirección:                                …………………………………………………………………….….

Teléfono:                                 ……….………

Celular:                                    ……………….

E-mail: …………… …………… ………..

 This project is included in the plan? Operational annual (POA) of the municipality or plan of municipal development (PDM)?

□            Si                                 □          No

EXHIBITION OF THE PROBLEM

Describe the context and current problems: (add information about amount of) (recipients)

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

 

 

 

OBJECTIVE PROJECT

What is the ultimate success will have? does the project:

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

 

HOW WILL SOLVE THE PROBLEM PROJECT

Relate the purpose of the project with the problem described earlier:

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

 

DESCRIPTION TECHNICAL PROJECT

Describe the necessary materials, and the implementation plan:

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

 

BENEFICIARIES PRIMARY PROJECT

Note the number and people to benefit and explain how benefit:

Number

Beneficiaries

How benefited by the project

     
     
     
     

 

ESTIMATED COST PROJECT

What are required for the project and cost articles and/or activities of each:

Article/activity

Unit

Amount

Cost per unit

Total (BS)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL PROJECT

 

CONTRIBUTIONS FINANCIAL AND NO-FINANCIEROS

For be able to make a financial contribution, the contribution that provides the community must be at least 10 % of the total cost of the project. The contribution of the community may be in cash, labour, raw materials, provision of facilities, etc.

 

 

Form of contribution

BS.

US $ (type of change: 7,07)

Total contribution C D A. F. requested

Money

 

 

Total contribution Municipality (25-30 %) cash

 

 

 

Total contribution Community (5-10 %) Hand of manpower and aggregates.

 

 

 

Other inputs

 

 

 

Total Contributions:

 

 

 

Note: remittance attachment a counterpart of the community and/or municipality commitment letter

 Signature of applicant: _        Date: _

Spanish version of Application 

 COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY FUND PROGRAM (CDAF)

FONDO PARA ACTIVIDADES DE DESARROLLO COMUNITARIO

FORMULARIO DE APLICACIÓN

Enviar su aplicación llenada a:

Atención CDAF, ACDI/VOCA, Calle 11 #480, Esq. Sán

Engineers In Action Newsletter, Vol. 1 Issue 1

Posted on: August 15, 2009

Download the Engineers In Action Newsletter, Vol. 1 Issue 1

Message from the Director

I’m going to try to produce an Engineers In Action Newsletter about once a week for the next month or so. Each Newsletter is going to be short and cover only one subject. I’m going to embed it in the message so you can look at it quickly and either delete or read it. But in the process, I will lose some formatting, so I’m also going to attach it so that you can print it out and show it to others if you wish. You are also welcome, of course, to forward the Newsletter to whomever you feel might be interested in EIA and its work.

This first newsletter is simply going to be “what we do”: explaining exactly what EIA does and how we are organized.

Future Newsletters will cover:

  • On-going projects update
  • Report on the opening of the EIA office in La Paz
  • Report of the EWB-MST work in Rio Colorado
  • Report of OU’s work in Potosi
  • A new opportunity in Concepion
  • and so on.

Let me know what you think about this. If you want to opt out of the Newsletter mailing list, just contact me at dstephenson52 (at) hotmail (dot) com

Chou

David Stephenson
Director of Operations

(Click here to read Engineers in Action Newsletter, Volume 1, Issue 1)

Latest News from Engineers in Action

Posted on: July 29, 2009

The Chiquitano Forest is the largest tropical dry forest in the world, covering 44 million acres, roughly the size of state of Florida. Because of its remoteness, between 80-85% of the 60,000 inhabitants live in extreme poverty*.

200 Chiquitano Communities Suffer as Water Wells Fail

From 2000-2004, the Bolivian government, with funding from the Japanese government, drilled an estimated 200 water wells throughout the Chiquitano at a cost of more than $3 million.

San Juan de la Bella near Concepcion

However, they did no testing of the water, and simply left the well with open casing, often welding a lid on top. So, while a potable water well had been drilled in their community, people had no access. In a few locations, ingenious locals actually pried off the lids and developed their own crude bucket system just to get at the water.

Efforts to Salvage These Wells Fall Through

In 2004-2008, Hermes Justiniano, the Director of the Chiquitano Forest Preserve Foundation and a Rotarian in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, found $1.3 million in funding from Canadian Rotary groups to put 96 hand pumps on these wells. However, in 2008, they discovered that over a fourth of the hand pumps that had been installed were not working because of the lack of maintenance.

Hope for Real Change in Chiquitano

In January 2009, a new partnership was formed between the Chiquitano Forest Preserve Foundation (FCBC), Rotary Clubs of Canada, and Engineers In Action (EIA). This partnership seeks to repair, inspect, and maintain the 96 wells with hand pumps. We will also install hand pumps on the wells which don’t have them.

Our Bolivian Rotary Connection

Posted on: January 25, 2009

The MiraFlores Rotary Club

The Rotary Club of Mira Flores (a neighborhood in La Paz) has agreed to be our "Bolivian Connection" to Rotary Clubs throughout Bolivia. EWB chapters often raise money from Rotary Clubs in the US but need to partner with an "in-country" Rotary Club to get additional funding from Rotary International and additional support from the clubs.

We asked the Rotary Club of Mira Flores to be the partner for the Rotary Clubs of Kansas who are supporting the EWB-KU team. But they went even further!

Rotary Mira Flores has said that they will coordinate partnerships for any EWB chapter that needs a Bolivian Rotary Club `partner.They will try to match up a Bolivian club which is closest to the where the EWB project is. This should greatly facilitate fund-raising from Rotary Clubs in the US.

In addition to that, we discussed with the MiraFlores Club the possibility of supporting the fund raising efforts of the EWB-UMSA (Universidad Major de San Andres of La Paz). Unfortunately, there isn´t a culture of donating to good causes by Bolvian individuals and Bolvian businesses.

The Rotary Clubs of Bolivia are trying to change that. Fund raising by the Bolivian Engineering students of UMSA has been very difficult. They made a great presentation of their joint work at Azacilo with EWB-KU to the Mira Flores Rotary and really impressed these business men and women. They will be speaking as a club about how they might help fund the costs for these young bolivian engineers.

If your EWB chapter is raising money from a US Rotary Club for a project in Bolivia and they need a Bolivian Rotary Club to partner with, contact David Stephenson by email at: tulsadstephenson (at) yahoo.com

Thanks to all of the Rotarians who are helping EWB and EIA. “Service Above Self”

Our New Engineering Intern

Posted on: January 21, 2009

Will Kirby

Will Kirby graduated as one of the top 5 Civil Engineering graduates from the Missouri University of Science and Technology in December. Will has worked on several EWB trips to Bolivia.

He has had several lucrative job offers, including his “dream offer”. But Will has managed to delay this offer until early June so that he can come to Bolivia and work as an intern for EIA.

He arrives around the middle of February, and will be staying until the end of May. We will have some pictures and more information on this fine young man later.

Welcome aboard Will!

Our Fourth Engineering Position

Posted on: January 15, 2009

EIA continues rapid growth

We had one engineer a year and half ago, two engineers up until January of 2009. With Will’s addition in February we will have three. And now it appears likely that we will be adding a Fourth engineer in April.

This engineer will be working with the huge Chiquitano Clean Water Project that will be a joint project between EIA, the Chiquitano Forest Preserve Foundation, the Canadian Rotary Clubs, and the Municipalities of the Chiquitano. Visit Chiquitano Clean Water Project for more information.