Karibu! Welcome!

Since 2004, EWB@ MSU's professional and student volunteers have worked with community members in Khwisero, Kenya to provide water and sanitation infrastructure at the district's 58 primary schools, making it easier for Khwisero's children to avoid waterborne disease and get an education.

In that time, the group has grown from a small club to one of MSU's premier student organizations, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund seven borehole wells, six composting latrines and a biogas latrine that serve thousands of community members.

Thank you for joining us as we continue to work hand-in-hand with local partners to make a difference in one small part of our world. As Western Kenya's limited internet access allows, we will update this blog while in-country with the successes, stories and lessons provided by our work.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Field Notes: Our Kenya Board and Fellowship Program

Matt Smith

Editor's note: The following represents a portion of a piece written for kenyaconnections.com, a hub to facilitate networking between assorted EWB chapters and other development organizations working across Kenya.

It’s odd when good ideas emerge: usually at odd times in odder places. The idea for the EWB-MSU Fellows Program came up on a country-bus somewhere in between Nakuru and Kericho, Kenya. Our organization (Engineers Without Borders – Montana State University) had been working on water and sanitation projects in Khwisero District, Kenya for six years at that point and we had built a substantial network of Kenyan partners since we began. In fact, we established a Board of Directors in Khwisero in 2008 as a way to direct our projects to schools with the most critical sanitation and water needs as well as balance out project distribution across political boundaries. Our EWB-Khwisero Board is currently composed of school-teachers, government officials from the ministries of water, education and health as well as interested community members.
We found that the Board was a way that we would be able to navigate the political, familial and other cultural complexities of a region that was wholly unfamiliar to outsiders. We also had hopes that the Board would be a way to integrate more partners into active roles in our programs. In many ways, the Board has been a successful idea, though...

Finish reading here: http://kenyaconnections.com/2011/07/field-notes-ewb-kenya-board-and-fellowship-program/

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