News

$10,000 grants soon to be available for EWB-Chapters working in Bolivia

Posted on: January 12, 2009

Bolivian grant update

On January 12, 2009, David Stephenson, Director of Operations at EIA, met with the President of Bolivia, Evo Morales and Sacha Llorenti, Evo’s Chief of Staff. In that meeting David requested the support of the Bolivian Government in funding EWB projects in Bolivia.

The Bolivian National Government has given millions of dollars (US) to the municipalities (like county governments) to do projects, similar to EWB projects. However, the Municipalities often don’t have the experienced people to hire someone to come in to their community and do the work. We also found out that the Municipalities can give up to $10,000US without bidding, to projects which have been through a prioritizing process.

So here is what David proposed to the President. That our EIA engineers go to some of the Municipal governments and look at the projects and see which ones would work as EWB projects. We then work in partnership with the Municipal and local community leaders to develop the project as EWB projects (fill out the form #501). Then once it is adopted, the Municipal Government will give $10,000 to the project, and EWB provides free engineering design and will raise the additional funds needed to finish the project, with a maximum of $30,000 per project ($20,000 from the chapter).

President Morales and his staff were quite positive about this approach. In addition to that, they pointed out that the Government has designated 30 specific Municipalities as the poorest in the country, and they asked if we could focus on them. David said that it would, of course, be possible.

This was followed up a week later with a meeting with David Churquihaunca, the Foreign Minister. Mr. Churquihuanca was fully aware of the previous discussions (he had obviously been briefed) and completely supportive.

This should be a good deal for everyone. The Bolivian Government gets up to $30,000 in materials and free engineering for a project which only costs them $10,000. And the EWB chapter doesn´t have to raise the first $10,000 of the materials cost. And finally, we can tell people that they will be working in one of the 30 poorest Municipalities in the second poorest country in Latin America.
 
Sacha Llorenti, who is the equivalent of the Chief of Staff to President Morales, will be bringing together those 30 municipalities and discuss this project and get back to David. We will keep you informed.

Engineers In Action Bolivian Internship Report

Posted on: September 25, 2008

Bolivian Internship Report

Our Bolivian intern, Chayla Rowley, talks about her work in Bolivia this summer:

"I had the opportunity to examine relationships grow to fruitful outcomes in Potosí. EIA teamed up with a group from the University of Oklahoma to hold a course on Passive Water Treatment Systems. The course was held in the University of Potosí and was a joint effort on the parts of the University of Oklahoma and the University of Potosí."

"Students, me included, were taught of the devastating outcomes of mine contaminants on water and how to build and use Passive Water Treatment Systems for managing these contaminants."

"I also had the chance to accompany the Oklahoma University team in their field work outside of the classroom. As a Civil Engineering Major with a focus on Water and Sanitation Engineering I was most interested in the water contamination from the mines scattered throughout Potosí."

"I helped collect water samples, read pH, and learned the meaning of the different pH’s in respect to contamination in the water. In addition I gained a general knowledge of the affects of the contaminants on the land and in the crops, which explained a great deal about the communities’ health issues and sanitation problems."

"My experience in Bolivia gave me a greater comprehension of various aspects of civil engineering and a better grasp on the importance of collaboration. The work being done in Bolivia and those working on it are incredible testaments to growth, and the education and insights I received are information I will continue to pull from…"

(click here to read more of Chayla’s report…)

EWB Radio Interview

Posted on: July 28, 2008

Listen to EWB on the radio! David Stephenson explains the incredible work of Engineers in Action for Results Radio in Tulsa.

Listen to the interview here: EWB on Results Radio

Bridges in Rio Colorado

Posted on: July 20, 2008

EWB MST replaced two of the three bridges on the campus with materials and plans left for them to complete the third. Our students went out into the community and in the classroom to teach about UV water purification methods that use the sun to disinfect water.

We got up to the second level with the self composting latrines with plans and materials left once again to complete it. The generator housing was completed, rewiring around the school, light instillation, and a new generator on the way. Last, about seven valves were put in the existing water lines.

Opening EIA Office in La Paz

Posted on: June 20, 2008

We reached our first milestone. On Thursday June 20th, EIA opened its first international office on the the 11th floor of the Cosmos Building, which is located on the main boulevard of La Paz, the capitol of Bolivia. There were 20-30 persons present including, of course, our Bolivian team of Milton de la Cruz, Dr. Ruben Mamani, members of the Board of Directors in addtion to Dr. Mamani: Mike Keyse, Bishop Carlos Poma, and myself; representatives of the Skiatook First United Methodist Church who funded the pilot project for EIA, plus various members of the Evangelical Methodist Church of Bolivia who had partnered with us in the development of this organization.
 
Short speeches were presented by our EIA staff: Milton de la Cruz and Dr. Ruben Mamani. Dr. Rolando Yanapa, Secretary of Services for the Methodist Church (who was in Oklahoma in April), and the Medical Doctor who runs rural development for the Methodist Church also shared short speeches.
 
And then there was a long rambling speech by the Director of Operations —-ME; which inlcuded sharing some of our dreams and goals for the work of this office for the next 5 years. To avoid any jealousy or competition, the gifts to the office (GPS, camara and IP phone) were given in private at a later time. It was an important milestone for our organization and all went well; as we honored the Bolivian tradition of having formal meetings about EVERYTHING!