Engineering without Borders Argentina (EWB-Argentina) is an interdisciplinary non-profit organization working for the development of socially deprived local communities through engineering projects.
2. What does it aim for?
EWB-Ar aims for collaborating in the creation of a fair, inclusive, and caring society, and for promoting engineering projects regarding sustainable human development, compliance with Human Rights, protection of nature, and strengthen of socially deprived communities.
3. What does EWB-Ar do?
EWB-Ar carries out engineering projects regarding the sustainable development of socially deprived communities. It also shares its approach and experience through training courses and activities.
4. What does differentiate EWB-Ar?
EWB-Ar is an innovative space in Argentina, as it considers the articulation of the skills of engineers, professionals of other disciplines, and workers of other areas in order to promote the sustainable development of most socially deprived communities in the country. In Argentina, there are social and technical problems that have not been regarded, and that EWB-Ar wants to tackle jointly with the Government and civil associations.
5. When was EWB-Ar created?
The organization was created in March 2012, as a result of the union of three groups who wanted to begin this initiative in the Argentine Republic.
6. How is EWB-Ar organized?
EWB-Ar is divided in a board of directors, a general coordination office, and an advisory board. It is also organized in departments which deal with general operation (communication, administration, funding, volunteer work, and training and incidence), and technical areas which carry out the projects (infrastructure, energy, water, productive development, and information and communication technologies).
7. How many people work in EWB-Ar?
There are 4 hired people and 230 active volunteers.
8. Why do you promote voluntary wor?
EWB-Ar promotes voluntary work with the aim of creating a space for community participation, with the idea that taking part in this kind of projects generates a special incidence and makes it possible to have future professionals who are familiar with the concept of sustainable human development.
9. How is the organization financed?
Most part of the funding comes from donors who make monthly contributions. We also receive support from professional councils, universities, and associations interested in sustainable development. In the last two years, for each dollar that financed the EWB-Ar structure, five dollars for project resources were generated. For each project, different sources of funding are used.
10. Does EWB-Ar receive donations from private companies?
There are some companies that make specific contributions for the projects. Some of these companies provide construction profiles and electric materials for the construction of the projects; some others provide the place to stockpiling materials or they contribute with expenses and insurance for the volunteers’ travel.
11. ¿What type of projects do you carry out?
EWB-Ar carries out projects oriented towards the fulfillment of Human Rights such as the right to water, participation, housing, work, education. Most of these are Infrastructure projects consisting on building, expanding or repairing works, such as: schools, soup kitchens, work cooperatives, community halls, and bridges. Renewable energy and water quality projects are being carried out as well.
12. In which part of the country do you work?
Currently, EWB-Ar has projects in 5 provinces: Santiago del Estero, Chaco, Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Tierra del Fuego and the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires. We are always looking forward to being able to build an even widen our network. We work in isolated rural areas, farms, slums and urban settlements.
13. What projects do you prioritize? Why?
EWB-Ar prioritizes projects that target communities in vulnerability position, where there is also a process of community development in progress with referrals ready to commit to the project. It is important that the community gets involved in the design and implementation of the project, so that it is truly sustainable.
14. Which projects have you finished over these years?
Some of the completed projects are: the construction of a community hall in the neighborhood of Ramón Carrillo in CABA, the construction of a metal carpentry, the repairing of a soup kitchen in the neighborhood of La Cárcova, Great Buenos Aires, and the construction of two bridges in Colonia Dora, in Santiago del Estero province.
15. ¿Do you have the support of professional and academic entities?
In terms of professional councils, we count on the support of the Professional Council of Civil Engineering (CPIC), Industrial Engineering (CPII) and Architecture and Urbanism (CPAU) of the City of Buenos Aires. As for universities, we have agreements with different universities such as UTN, ITBA, UNLaM and UNSE among others.
16. What is the relationship with the Government?
In each project we try to articulate with state agencies at local, provincial and national levels. It is important that the Government is present to guarantee the fulfillment of the Rights of the communities with which we work.
17. Is there any international EWB or global entity which you belong to?
EWB-Ar is an autonomous and independent association but we share a series of EWB characteristic global values (such as: voluntary work, cooperation, sustainability and social equity).
18. How is the relationship with other EWBs in the world?
We work informally with different EWBs. In the case of IngOG + (EWB- Switzerland) we have achieved an articulation from projects we developed together. For example, in the construction of classrooms and a bridge in Santiago del Estero , as well as the expansion of an infant daycare center in the province of Buenos Aires.
19. What courses do you offer?
We offer a postgraduate course together with Technological University of Buenos Aires (UTN): “Strategic management of social projects: towards sustainable development” and a certificate with the National University of La Matanza: “Energy and Sustainable Development: tools to put them into practice”. In addition, we have a virtual school and we give the course “Sustainable Development: tools for the management of social projects” together with the National Technological University of Santa Fé (UTN – FRSF).