My name is David and I am a third-year Civil Engineering student at Memorial University of Newfoundland. This blog will detail my thoughts before, during and (briefly) after my time in Ghana as a Junior Fellow with Engineers Without Borders Canada.
I have lived in St. John’s, NL, Canada, my entire life and before I joined EWB just over 2 years ago, had limited knowledge of the international development sector. So I am far from a ‘pro’ when it comes to humanitarian work, but that’s not to say I am oblivious to how aid projects work (or, alternatively, how they should work).
I have been given resources to review and reflect upon during the 6 months prior to my departure, and have access to past Junior Fellows from the EWB MUN chapter. But even given this, odds are I won’t have a significant impact overseas.
I won’t be able to come back saying I built a school for needy, desperate and hopeless African children. I won’t be able to say I built a well and then show off photos of Africans relishing in their suddenly improved livelihoods. Nor do I plan on spreading my high-and-mighty ideas of what encompasses a ‘developed country’ to Ghanaians in a grand scheme to increase the quality of life in Ghana.
But I’m fine with that. While those projects come to mind for many people when I tell them I’m going to work in Africa this summer, in many instances they are ineffective.
As per the goals of the JF program, I am going overseas to create lasting change in Ghana through working with local initiatives and organizations; to evolve into a better-abled agent of social change; and to create positive social change in Canada upon my return. This blog will serve as a medium for you all to witness (and participate in) my pursuit of these vague goals.
Feel free to leave questions in the comments below if you want to know more.