Engineers Without Borders
EWB-ISU is requesting your donation to fund Zack Saeed’s travel to Iowa State University in September 2019.
Who is Zack?
For those of you who have not had the privilege of meeting Zack in person, Zack is one of the sons of the Chief of Ullo. Zack has a bright and shining personality and cares immensely for his community. He is trained as a physician assistant and currently lives and works at a clinic in Tamale, Ghana (a 6-hour drive from Ullo) where he is responsible among other things for the maternal and child health and nutrition program.
The EWB-ISU chapter has sent travel teams to Ullo on four different occasions, and for every trip Zack accompanies the team on all parts of their journey. He arranges in-country travel, vehicles, accommodations, food and the itinerary for the team while in Ghana. He is essentially the team’s travel guide for the entire duration of their stay. Zack has to take unpaid leave from work to be with the team and remains in constant contact with the chapter throughout the year keeping us updated on the project and answering questions for us. Zack serves as the main point of contact between the Ullo community and EWB-ISU.
Zack is a special person who cares deeply for his community. Every travel team member that has come back from a trip to Ghana has developed a strong friendship and connection with Zack. Zack holds a place in all of the travelers’ hearts and is an essential part of the Ullo community. It is safe to say that the water distribution system would not have been successfully implemented and would not be functioning today if it was not for the help of Zack.
The purpose of this fundraiser is to raise money to support Zack’s travel to Iowa State University. We would like to invite him to ISU as a visiting scholar so he can further his professional development by learning more about maternal and child health and nutrition which are essential parts of his job as a physician's assistant in Ghana. He will be able to take his learnings back to Ghana with him to improve the lives of his patients and community.
All of the travel details have not yet been finalized, but it is expected that Zack will stay at ISU for three to four weeks in September and October of 2019. Dr. Maier, an ISU engineering professor as well as a faculty advisor and travel mentor to the chapter, has graciously offered to invite Zack as a visiting scholar and host him at his home for the duration of his stay in Ames.
During his time at Iowa State, Zack will also have the opportunity to attend the EWB-ISU chapter meetings including the future travel team meetings, general meetings and executive board meetings. Since the chapter is limited as to how many members it can send to Ullo as part of the travel team, it will be a unique experience for all members of the organization to meet Zack and interact with an Ullo community member in person. It will also provide Zack, as well as the Ullo community, insight as to how operations are run here at ISU.
Bringing Zack to Iowa State will enhance and strengthen the bond between EWB-ISU and Ullo.This exchange will not only provide a professional benefit to Zack, but will also bolster our ability to complete more projects in partnership with the Ullo community. Our chapter is asking for your help in funding Zack’s travel to Iowa State. Your donation will help support various travel expenses for Zack, while his living and lodging expenses in Ames will be covered by Dr. Maier. Please help us in making this wonderful opportunity into a reality as the chapter looks to deepening our partnership with Ullo and broadening our impact on the community by implementing the next project by end of this year. Thank you in advance for partnering with us in making a difference in the lives of the people of Ullo in the Upper West region of Ghana!
The Engineers Without Borders student chapter at Iowa State University was established in 2008 and consists of around 80 students that assist impoverished communities by designing and implementing sustainable engineering projects, empowering them to better their livelihoods. EWB-ISU is currently partnered with a community in the Upper West region of Ghana, called Ullo. The chapter is helping the Ullo community improve their basic infrastructure, most of which we take for granted. This chapter is fully student driven and supported by fundraising from Iowa State, corporate sponsorship, grants, individual donations and outreach events. EWB-ISU provides students with a unique experience to utilize their leadership qualities and applying them towards fostering a strong community partnership, implementing self-driven technical projects, and managing peers.
Communities are at the heart of Engineers Without Borders’ approach to improving livelihoods. Engineering expertise can only be put to work effectively when a true partnership with a community in need has formed. Together, members identify and implement appropriate technologies that communities are equipped to maintain for years to come. EWB believes that communities are the most effective agents for lasting, positive change. Engineering solutions create opportunities for communities to thrive, and leadership is fostered through multidisciplinary, crosscultural and hands-on interactions.
Ullo is a community of five small villages in the Upper West region of Ghana with about 10,000 permanent residents and capacity for 1500 students who travel from all over the region to attend the local Senior high boarding school. Ullo is an impoverished community where most villagers practice subsistence farming with others practicing artisan trades, or working as teachers, nurses, drivers or day laborers. On average, people live on less than $1 per day. Ullo is a traditional community and has a chief and sub-chiefs that preside over the villages. They also have an elected assembly, representing the people in the district assembly. Despite their hard way of life, they have strong, optimistic spirits and are proud of their community and their people.
The goal of the initial project of EWB-ISU's partnership with Ullo was to provide the Senior high boarding school (and ultimately the community) safe and accessible drinking water for their daily needs. Additionally, the goal included providing students with a better environment for learning in which they are more rested and productive in the classroom because they no longer have to fetch water from scattered hand-pump wells at all hours of the day and night. This project allowed the people of Ullo the means to improve their livelihoods and take an important step in lifting themselves out of poverty. The current water project achieved this goal by making daily access to clean drinking water available for the 1500 students that can attend the Senior high boarding school in Ullo. This project was completed in January 2019 by mechanizing an existent borehole powered by solar panels and implementing a distribution system that made 12,000 gallon water storage capacity available at three distribution points on the school grounds (girls dorms, boys dorms, school kitchen).