by Shelbey Hernandez
The Lance – News Editor
In the past seven years or so since the Windsor chapter has existed, EWB Windsor has held many a Run to End Poverty where the money raised would go towards sub-Saharan Africa projects.
This was done for a specific reason. After all, EWB Windsor was not formed on its own but as a chapter of one rather large organization that is only 16 years old. The general organization is known as Engineers Without Borders and specifically looks toward helping those in developing countries, more often than not, those in the continent of Africa.
While EWB Windsor has been using its chapter to fund for such projects as well, this year, they decided to put aside a larger chunk for Windsor.
“EWB was more of like a global change but here, we wanted to deal with the situation at home as well. So we wanted to end poverty abroad and at home,” said Amera Khal. “One of our members had mentioned United Way and its projects then our co-presidents decided we could maybe partner up with them because they have similar ventures.”
The walk/run was a 5 k.m. and specifically, the money went towards the United Way. This was a new partnership the EWB Windsor formed this year during the walk/run they had on Oct. 16.
What they wanted to do was help with community gardens in Windsor, many of which are shut down because of the water systems breaking down.
Usually, this group supports hydroponic systems (a method of growing plants in a water-based, nutrient-rich solution using inert mediums like clay etc. instead of soil for planting plants in), in Africa so the EWB Windsor approached the United Way as a partner because of their already existing experience in hydroponic projects for Windsor.
The hope is by providing funds for hydroponic systems, they will help eradicate poverty by teaching others how to help themselves.
“If we can actually provide proper community gardens, even in the long run if poverty is eradicated, there’s still these community gardens that bring communities together, different demographics together, creates transferrable skills and trade and opens up communication barriers in individuals,” said Khal. “It’s not just building a water pump, it’s teaching locals how to maintain it. So it’s systemic change; give a man a fish, he eats for the day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for the rest of his life.”
Since the Windsor chapter began, a lot has changed.
“Our club has evolved over time as one that attracts more than just engineering students,” said Sanjay Maru, the co-president of EWB Windsor. “Our initiatives attract students from all programs. Our run has as well. I can guarantee that we had more non-engineers at this year’s run than any other.”
Thanks to the walk, the group raised $1,115 with around 34 participants. Those numbers are expected to increase since Khal said some people signed up but were unable to make it. Even though the run is over, Khal also said people can donate online at https://www.ewb.ca/donate.