University of Waterloo
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Third year Systems student Stephen Young did his third co-op placement working in rural Tanzania through Engineers Without Borders. Stephen spent his time helping to train farmers and entrepreneurs on constructing and implementing technology to improve their livelihoods - such as solar powered food dryers.
EWB partnered with a local non-profit organisation in Tanzania to implement a solar food dryers for farmers. With no access to electricity, food security and preservation is a major concern. Improved solar designs provide an alternative form of preservation and allow farmers to store food for the dry season. Stephen also worked to design and open a training centre for community youth who do not have access to traditional schooling.
Stephen highlights the benefit of being able to experience a wide variety of engineering work through the coop program at Waterloo. "The satisfaction of being able to put my engineering skills to use in a helpful way was amazing!", says Stephen.
"Particularly in Systems Design, we learn a lot of different course material from other programs, such as project management and human factors design. These skills were surprising the most useful I brought with me." This year three more Systems students will be going overseas with EWB.
Engineers Without Borders aims to promote human development, improving quality of life in the poorest countries in the world. In Canada they promote awareness of global poverty issues and inspire Canadians into action to support the world's poor. EWB is having a real impact - directly through volunteers and indirectly though work in Canada. Find out more at: http://waterloo.ewb.ca