Our chapter had a call tonight with our Junior Fellow this summer, Alycia Leonard. Alycia is in Ghana working for the EWB venture VOTO Mobile. VOTO is a social enterprise which amplifies the voices of the underheard. They do surveying and information distribution to enable smarter, more responsible development. Check out VOTO’s website here and their EWB venture page here for more information on what they do. We’re so excited for her and to learn from her experience this summer.
On March 30th, our chapter held a successful Beat the Crap Out of Poverty fundraiser. If you’re not familiar with the concept, this is how it works:
We acquire a written-off (yet mostly intact) car
We park it near the University Centre
We bring a sledgehammer, safety goggles, gloves and waivers
We let you do the rest
For $2 a smack, $5 for a 30-second brawl or $10 for a full-minute smack-down, this event drew students from far and wide who came to vent their pre-finals frustration. It was a great day with lots of laughs.
Our chapter hosted a retreat on Saturday, March 12 for our members. We had a fantastic time doing workshops in systems mapping, food systems, collaboration through movement, chapter goal-setting and planning for next year. Our members found this a very beneficial opportunity to bond and collaborate. We hope to make chapter retreats a more regular occurrence! Special thanks to Grace Marcoux for organizing such a wonderful day.
In January 2016, our chapter hosted our first ever Kumvana Fellow – Esther Ekua Amoako.
The Kumvana Program builds the capacities of African leaders and EWB partners in systems change while fostering collaborations between Canadians and African professionals. It involves dynamic African leaders travelling to Canada for an intensive four-week experience that combines participation in EWB’s national conference, leadership programming and a two-week visit coordinated by EWB chapters where they connect with organizations that support their learning and capacity-building goals. Read more about the program here.
During her visit to Newfoundland, Esther – a lecturer at one of Ghana’s leading technical universities – collaborated with various individuals and organizations, with a particular focus on learning about how women in Canada work in male-dominated fields. Some highlights included:
Speaking at the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Statoil Speaker Series about her work to improve the financial stability and land-ownership rights of women in Ghana
Meeting with a group at RCMP headquarters in St. John’s and giving a short presentation about her efforts in Ghana, as well as developing connections with various women in policing and exploring the struggles they experience while working in a male-dominated workplace
Connecting with Dr. John Quiacoe, a professor in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and former dean of the faculty, to learn about his views on equality in engineering and in Newfoundland, as well as his work in Africa
Attending an EWB MUN chapter meeting and providing insight into situations such as Widowhood Rights and the politics of tribes in Northern Ghana.
A huge congratulations goes out to our chapter’s Kumvana Coordinator, Taylor Chalker, for organizing all of Esther’s logistics and connecting her with amazing partner organizations. We are very proud of her efforts which made Esther’s visit such a success.
This January, our chapter sent nine chapter members to EWB’s National Conference. National Conference is a keystone in the organization’s mandate to invest in its people and leaders. It brings together members and leaders from university chapters, ventures, national office and the professional community to connect, collaborate and learn. Conference not only features in-depth learning about EWB as an organization, but also about topics like international development, innovation, the engineering profession, and oppression. This learning is complemented with intensive personal development, including training in leadership, systems thinking, communication, and personal alignment among many other topics.
Our members gained so much from this experience to bring back to our chapter. We are thankful for the support of EWB and of Memorial University for their contributions which allowed us to bring so many chapter members to this amazing learning experience.