York Chapter of Engineers Without Borders takes a hammer to poverty today

Members of the York University Chapter of Engineers Without Borders, including students, faculty and staff, will be taking a hammer to poverty today. They’ll be gathering in the green space south of Vari Hall and just north of Atkinson College to participate in Car Smash 2008. From 10am to 4pm, for a small donation, you can watch as a four-door sedan is reduced to scrap metal.

The event has been created to draw attention to and dramatize the defeat of poverty. Each year the York University Chapter sends one to two volunteers overseas as part of the EWB Junior Fellow program to assist developing communities in gaining access to technology and eliminating poverty. The Junior Fellowship takes place  from May to August. Volunteers will spend a few hours each month preparing for their journey, which will culminate in a week-long pre-departure briefing in Toronto in advance of their placement. After four months, the volunteers return to Canada and undergo a reintegration program in Toronto.

In the months after their return, they deliver presentations about their experience. Previous Junior Fellows have visited Ghana, South Africa and Zambia. Funds raised from Car Smash 2008 will go toward sending a Junior Engineering Fellow overseas to gain first-hand knowledge and experience in sustainable development initiatives.

Everyone is welcome to attend. For more information, contact Tyler Ustrzycki, president, Engineers Without Borders by e-mail to president@yorku.ewb.ca.

About Engineers Without Borders

For the 800 million people who go hungry each day and the one billion who lack access to clean water, poverty is an absence of opportunity.

Engineers Without Borders responds to this need, helping people in developing communities gain access to technologies that will improve their lives. Members believe that technology, when appropriately incorporated into each community’s social, cultural, economic and political context, can drive extraordinary change.

The organization promotes human development through access to technology by:

  • partnering with developing communities to help build the capacity of their technical sector;
  • raising awareness among Canadians about how they can make decisions that positively impact communities overseas;
  • encouraging the Canadian government to become a model global citizen by taking on a leadership role in poverty alleviation.

For more information about this event or to read about the experiences of Junior Engineering Fellows, visit the York Chapter of Engineers Without Borders Web site.