LATICRETE has announced its support, in the form of a substantial donation, to Connecticut’s Trinity College Engineers Without Borders (TC-EWB) student chapter. The national organization Engineers Without Borders-USA (EWB-USA) has a defined mission to “support community driven development programs worldwide by collaborating with local partners to design and implement sustainable engineering projects, while creating transformative experiences and responsible leaders."
According to Joedi Brown, LATICRETE International Regional Manager-Africa, "Under supervision from the national organization, Trinity College was assigned a five-year program that addresses sanitation and infrastructure in Tanzania (Africa). This summer, the club has sent five students and three professionals (mentors) for the pre-assessment trip in which they collect data and talk to the community to gauge project feasibility. LATICRETE frequently supports local colleges and universities… and, in particular their engineering students."
Mark Yanagisawa, a native of Woodbridge, CT, is the project lead for TC-EWB club. He stated, "For its first program, Trinity College Engineers Without Borders was paired with the Ngaruma Parish in the Marangu village of Tanzania for a five-year collaboration seeking to expand and improve the infrastructure of the educational complex, currently composed of a preschool and vocational school. For the first project, TC-EWB will work on construction of safe and sustainable latrines, to replace the existing pit latrines that are dangerous for the preschoolers."
At the end of May 2013, TC-EWB visited the parish in Tanzania for an assessment trip to understand community priorities and concerns, investigate existing latrines and explore alternative systems. The team worked very closely with the pastor of the parish in meeting with community leaders, mapping the area and collecting data allowing the team to thoroughly assess the existing system, propose a design for new latrines and sign a memorandum of understanding with the community.
"Most of us had never been to Africa before," continued Yanagisawa, "and those of us who had, simply visited as tourists. Becoming involved in a project like this allowed our team members to grapple with the complex challenges faced by communities and individuals in developing countries. We certainly appreciate the generous contribution from LATICRETE."