The UA student chapter of Engineers Without Borders, EWB-UA, is hosting a dinner and silent auction Dec. 2 to raise money for its humanitarian project in Bolivia.
"Our chapter is currently in the design phase of an exciting new sanitation and bathhouse project in Marquirivi, Bolivia," said club vice president Kelsey Newman. "The project will benefit about 600 people living in this agricultural community high in the Andes Mountains."
Since the UA chapter's inception in 2005, club members have made six trips to Africa, where they helped deliver clean water to more than 30,000 people. They have also worked with Tucson Habitat for Humanity, built homes in Mexico with Agua Prieta Family Shelters, organized major fundraisers, presented at human rights forums, and participated in numerous other volunteer activities.
EWB-UA will host Noche Boliviana Dec. 2 at The Fat Greek restaurant at 3225 North Swan Road, Tucson, AZ 85712. The fundraiser will include a silent auction and buffet dinner provided by The Fat Greek. Tickets are $30 per person. "There will be two presentations about our club and our project, and attendees can come and go between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.," Newman said. "This event will be a great way to learn about and support our project, as well as to mingle with others who care about our cause."
Marquirivi lies at an elevation of 12,655 feet in the Bolivian Andes. About 300 people live there year-round, but the town's population doubles during seasonal planting and harvest. The community suffers heavily from ineffective irrigation and low economic opportunity, urban migration, and nonexistent sanitation infrastructure.
"Marquirivi only has one shower and one toilet, both associated with the town's health clinic and only used by its patients," Newman said. "In order to promote hygiene and sanitation, EWB-UA will design and construct community bathhouses with latrines, showers, and sinks." EWB-UA will also provide hygiene education in an effort to improve community sanitation and decrease the incidence of water-borne disease.
EWB-UA completed an assessment trip in 2012 and is now in the process of designing, and raising funds for, latrines and solar-heated showers and sinks that they want to start building in 2013.
"Funding permitting, we want to return to Marquirivi in August 2013 to implement our infrastructure improvements," Newman said. "In the years to come, we will be doing more assessment trips to do repairs and make sure everything is being maintained properly."
• Download the invitation.
• Reserve Noche Boliviana tickets by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meetings are open to anyone and held every Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. in Old Engineering, room 210.