What projects can I get involved with?
Political Advocacy is focused on holding Canada's government accountable for the allocation and use of the foreign aid and development budget. This year, the goal of Advocacy within each Canadian chapter of EWB is to engage local MP candidates in critical discussion about Canada's role in aid and development assistance so that this issue is given significant attention on the agenda leading up to the federal election. In the Queen's and Kingston communities, EWB advocacy engages the students and community members in thinking critically about the how to improve the systems that govern international development through workshops, speakers and events. Pushing for more responsible, sustainable and transparent aid and involvement of governments, businesses and organizations overseas is the complex challenge that Political Advocacy seeks to address.
Fair Trade Campaign
Queen's Engineers Without Borders Fair Trade Venture is working hard to make Queen's a fair trade designated campus. Fair trade is a new way of trade; the system ensures that producers of raw goods receive a fair wage for their products. Standards also involve: fair working conditions, environmental sustainability, and cooperative empowerment. To qualify as a designated campus, each student-run retailer on campus must sell solely fair trade coffee and at least three fair trade tea options. QEWB Fair Trade aims to promote change within our own community and encourage students and faculty to make socially conscious purchasing decisions. We have held dozens of events ranging from Fair Trade Beer Night at Clark Hall, My Fair Valentine, and Fair Trade Campus Weeks. Schools all around Canada have gained fair trade designation status, including: University of McGill, University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser, and more. Queen's Fair Trade Venture is aiming to make our university the next fair trade campus location by November. For more information about fair trade, visit Fairtrade Canada's website.
Food Systems is a new portfolio that aims to increase our impact in our local Kingston community. This has included work with the campus grocery store, Grocery Checkout, and the Food Centre. Recently, the team ran a successful food drive in collaboration with the Engineering Class of 2017. This semester, Community Involvement will be running a couple of member learning sessions to raise awareness on food wastage and food systems within the Queen's community. There are also plans to raise awareness on campus by creating videos, conducting extensive research on the matter, and producing a report that will be available on the EWB website. Community Involvement is also aiming to help develop food systems within the Queen's community. Further connections will be made in the Kingston community in order to understand and improve the current food system.
National Engineering Month
This year National Engineering Month has become its own portfolio (it was previously organized by Global Engineering) and is working hard to provide engaging and thought provoking events in March. There will be a number of different events, like an interfaculty Rube Goldberg competition and an open discussion panel that will provide a unique opportunity to learn from students how have started their own ventures to better society. These events target a variety of audiences, including high school and university students, young and established professionals, and the general public. The goal of the month is to deliver the following different messages about engineering and technology to these audiences:
- Engineering and technology shape the world around us: yesterday, today and tomorrow.
- Engineering and technology are essential to the safety, health, happiness, comfort, and efficiency of our friends, family and distant neighbours. Locally and globally, people working for people. Engineering and technology make a world of difference.
- Engineering and technology provide solutions to the diverse set of 21st century challenges and require a diversity of thinkers. There’s a place for you in engineering!
- Engineering and technology apply creativity and imagination to turn ideas into reality.
National Engineering Month will challenge participants to stimulate discussions about how engineering technology can be used to drive social change within our communities.
Run to End Poverty
Since 2009, Run To End Poverty (R2EP) runs have taken place in 18 cities, raising a total of $555,000. These events are organized entirely by our volunteer base, engaging close to a thousand runners each year from coast-to-coast. People from all walks of life join R2EP with one common goal: to eliminate extreme poverty in rural Africa.
Today, R2EP is a national movement that continues to support the work of Engineers Without Borders Canada. With every dollar raised, every kilometre trained and every blue shirt crossing finish lines across the country, R2EP runners not only help to connect the skills and ambition of our African Partners to real opportunity, but also generate an immense level of awareness and understanding in Canada about poverty.
This year, the annual Kingston R2EP was held on Sunday, October 26th. There were 95 participants and $13,102 was raised! Thanks to everyone who came and ran the 10km. A special thanks to Bombardier Transportation Kingston who sponsored the run, and to their employees who participated.
For information about next year’s run visit us at: https://www.facebook.com/r2epTeamKingston
Special announcement: R2EP Co-Lead hiring will be taking place soon! Keep your eyes open for the application!
This crowd pleasing event involved a giant pumpkin weighing over five hundred pounds, hoisted sky high, that is dropped and smashed. This event helps QEWB raise awareness for our global economic and social inequalities with hundreds of students in attendance. Students who are new to the Queen's community can attend or volunteer with this event to get involved in Queen's EWB.
One of the biggest changes this year was moving the event from Leonard Field to Agnes Benedickson Field. We were able to gain more media coverage from the Queen's Journal and Golden Words, two campus newspapers, as the event was held during Homecoming weekend. Working with Queens Gives Back and Student Alumni Association, we were able to put on a successful event.
This year we concentrated our efforts on the Fix the Gap campaign from the national office. Instead of focusing on raising funds for Engineers Without Borders, we used this event to garner awareness. Our goals shifted from a fundraising focus to creating presence with social media. The #fixthegap campaign raised awareness about Canada's approach to development and instigated thoughtful discussion about our national policies.
Our portfolio focuses on engaging the Kingston youth in EWB initiatives by hosting workshops at local highschools and youth organizations. We want to create interest among Kingston youth about development initiatives, technology, and critical thinking so that they can become passionate contributors to the fight against poverty and inequality. To do this, we create informative, interactive, and interesting presentations specific to our audience so they can best understand the importance of development. Our goal is to educate today's youth about various development issues as they become the leaders of the future.