Engineers Without Borders Canada is a vibrant community of thousands of innovative leaders working to create systemic change in Canada and Sub-Saharan Africa. Our Community is made up of students, professionals and fellows who apply our leadership model, Systems Change Leadership, to tackle these issues.
In 2015, we reached a major landmark with that model: we put Systems Change Leadership (SCL) to paper. Our 1300+ chapter members now have access to workshops and other materials that capture the leadership model we have been practicing and refining for years. As we head into 2016, this allows us to better understand how our members are learning about and practicing SCL, and begin to scale it more broadly to reach other organizations and allies.
Those chapter members, at our 39 student and professional chapters across Canada, which once again drove our local systems change action in 2015, working in unison to enhance EWB’s areas of collective impact. They threw their collective weight behind our #PoliticsAside campaign, raised funds for our ventures, and created change on their campuses and in their communities. Some highlights of their impact include:
- The University of Calgary became Canada’s 10th Fair Trade Campus.
- The first two recipients of the Global Engineering Certificate graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland.
- Chapters ran over 240 events and shared them with the community in a new Monitoring and Evaluation database called Podio.
- Chapters created goals in six impact areas, and tracked substantial progress in 2015.
- 17 Chapters engaged with the Kumvana Program, connecting with more than 280 organizations.
Some of the people who best embody SCL are our Fellows. In 2015, 55 Fellows supported a dozen ventures in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as five teams at our office in Toronto. They led the implementation of the Navigation Circle’s recommendations on environmental sustainability; spearheaded research on reaching women through mobile technology in rural Ghana; developed a resource library for the World Bank; and worked on many other projects in technology, agriculture, finance and development. As a part of our Pivot Program, we had 2 Fellows that championed innovations within their organizations. We’re now developing a model to scale the impact that we can have through this program on professionals, companies, and communities in Canada.
It was also the sixth year of our Kumvana Fellowship, and we were happy to welcome 16 Fellows—some at our conference in January, others in the summer at our regional retreats. Asayire Kapira, a program officer with the Water and Environmental Sanitation Network in Malawi, said his placement in Canada would have ripple effects beyond his own development.
“What I take back home will be the skills in networking, collaboration, engaging with the socially excluded, engaging with mainstream media. So I would say it has been a wonderful experience for me, because when I get back home, I will apply these things. As an individual I’ve gained a lot, and my organization has also gained a lot, because the skill and the capacity that I’ve gained here will go a long way in uplifting the efforts of the network.”
It was a banner year for our community, and 2016 will no doubt be the same.
Volunteer hours dedicated
Canadians directly impacted