Engineers without borders …. Active builders of the Future
Engineers Without Borders Lebanon (EWB-Lebanon) saw the light through the initiative of a group of young engineers sharing the same beliefs and values. These young engineers believed in the necessity of making a change to make the world a better place and expressed the will to use their scientific and technical knowledge to help unfortunate and disadvantaged communities in Lebanon and the region.
EWB – Lebanon was founded as a recognized start-group working under the close guidance of Engineers without Borders – International (EWB- I), a non-profit corporation established in November 2002 in the State of Colorado, USA with regional offices in Mexico, India, Belgium, and Egypt.
Engineers Without Borders – International (EWB-I) is an international association of national EWB/ISF aiming at being recognized and respected as an international organization whose members deliver sustainable solutions to developing communities worldwide and make use of their diverse technical expertise to solve critical problems affecting the health of our planet.
EWB-I sees a world where ALL people have access to the knowledge and resources with which to meet their basic human needs and rise out of poverty.
EWB-I also facilitates collaboration, exchange of information, and assistance among its member groups that have applied to become part of the association. EWB-I helps the member groups develop their capacity to assist poor communities in their respective countries and around the world.
Who are they?
Established as a start-up group, EWB-Lebanon aspires at establishing a well recognized organization in Lebanon and implement projects all over the country to help the unfortunate people and communities with the basic needs and requirements for living.
Their mission is to make “Survival a Right no longer a Target”. Through sustainable development, education, and technical support, they aim to help improving the quality of life of disadvantaged communities not just in Lebanon, but throughout the globe, without borders.
Their motivation emanates from the UN-Poverty Center’s report dated 2004-2005, stating that 7.97% of the Lebanese population lives under conditions of extreme poverty, meaning that almost 300,000 individuals are unable to meet their food and non-food basic needs.
In addition, 20.59% live in the poor zone, and thus 28.56% of the Lebanese live below the poverty line.
This inequality spreads all over the country; people in rural areas are in desperate need for help and support from the government and local authorities to maintain a comfortable standard of living for all individuals.
A- Environment Awareness Lectures
In 2010, EWB-Lebanon’s team volunteered to offer in youth camps Environment Awareness Lectures to young people aged between 7 and 15 years old on the Environment Protection through Energy conservation, renewable energy, recycling and waste reduction.
B- Participation in SEEM2010
From March, 3 to 6, 2010, EWB-Lebanon, represented by its founder and acting president, Mr. Nader Hajj Shehadeh, made the first appearance within the EWB-International Network in the Second Annual Meeting of the Eastern Mediterranean Region at EWB held in Larnaca, Cyprus under the title “Sustainable Engineering in the Eastern Mediterranean”. EWB-Lebanon was introduced to the other groups and discussed with the participants the future plans of the newest EWB group.
C- Development of “Turbocycler I”- Human-Powered Water Pump
EWB- Lebanon Team developed a unique multi-purpose bicycle kit that is used for cycling, water pumping, and electricity generation. The “Turbocycler I” was developed as a demonstration kit to illustrate electricity-independent power generation in its mechanical and electrical forms.
This model is designed to assist farmers and other users in rural and non-electrified areas in their agricultural and non-agricultural uses. In addition to being a mean of transportation, the human-powered water pump is used for water pumping purposes.
It is able to pump water to an elevation of 2.5 meters at 12 liters per minute by pedaling at normal running speed. Water is pumped through a 3/8 inch pipe to the desired elevation and then flows through a water wheel chained to an electricity generator that lights an LED lamp with no use of grid electricity.
Turbocycler I illustrates the efficient use of a normal mountain bike bicycle for transportation as well as water pumping purposes; all sustainable, carbon free, and environmentally friendly.
The model is built using an old mountain bike plugged into a frame with a 0.5 hp centrifugal pump attached to the flywheel of the back tire through a metallic chain.
EWB members admit that their project is more than just an engineering project, it is an ideological activity.
Hope that, we were able, through this article, to shed the light on this new initiative, an initiative that we should be really proud of, an initiative that is quite remarkable. May all interested engineers, senior and junior, join hands and cooperate to the improvement of the living conditions of many unfortunate Lebanese across the Lebanese Territory. May they use their knowledge to improve other’s lives!
Let us all follow the leads of these young and professional engineers, who truly and genuinely believed that Survival should no longer be a Target, it is a Right; that Borders were established for Political Reasons not for Humanitarian Work; and that the Education is a Gift that shall be implemented for Good.
Let us follow the leads of these young engineers who are using their technical knowledge in voluntary humanitarian work and initiatives to help the poor and the disadvantages communities.
We at Business Lobby express our great pride in EWB-Lebanon and wish them the best of luck in their endeavors.