The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Mexico fans react after Mexico F Julián Quiñones 73rd-minute goal during the MexTour match between Mexico and Brazil at Kyle Field on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
‘The stuff of dreams’
Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter • June 11, 2024

As soon as the Mexico-Brazil soccer match at Kyle Field was announced, Jacob Svetz and Caitlin Falke saw an opportunity.  The match was scheduled...

The Fighting Texas Aggie Band performs at halftime during Texas A&Ms football game against ULM at Kyle Field on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023.
Gridiron glory to multi-event marvel
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • June 7, 2024

Special teams: Special events  “My favorite thing about an event is seeing the people come into the stadium and seeing their excitement...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Chris Hemsworth as Dementus in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.
Review: ‘Furiosa’ is a must-see
Justin ChenJune 4, 2024

My jaw dropped open in 2016. Rarely in life does that happen, but the viewing experience of “Mad Max: Fury Road" was something to behold....

Texas A&M pitcher Chris Cortez (10) reacts during Texas A&M’s game against Oregon at the NCAA Bryan-College Station Super Regional at Olsen Field on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
One step away
June 8, 2024

Engineers Without Borders serve rural Rwandan community on newest project

Photo by Provided

Over the holidays, Engineers without Borders made a trip to Matyazo, Rawanda to discuss sanitation needs of the area.

Texas A&M’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) has begun a new project to help build latrines in Matyazo, a rural community in northwestern Rwanda.
Engineers Without Borders USA is an international program of engineers who volunteer in communities around the globe to help meet basic human needs, according to their website. The A&M chapter of EWB was founded in 2005.
EWB began their current Rwanda Project about a year ago when they reached out to EWB-USA and discovered the need for basic sanitation in Matyazo, biomedical engineering sophomore and co-project lead Ruby Ross said.
“The project is a sanitation project in a rural community … that has requested 500 latrines for the poorest households in the community,” Ross said. “What we have been doing this past year was designing a few different options so that whenever we traveled to the country, we were able to meet with the community members and see exactly what they wanted and needed from these latrines.”
During this past Christmas break, three current students and two professional mentors from EWB traveled to Rwanda to complete the assessment phase of their new project, Ross said. The chapter plans to send another team in January 2021 for the implementation phase, where they will be teaching local community members how to build the latrines to suit their individual needs.
Ross said the goal of the next trip is to share the skills required to construct them with the community members. They will have the community members build the latrines themselves with tools and materials available in Rwanda so they can continue to do sanitation work in the future, Ross said.
“We have such a focus on this assessment trip where we go in and really try to figure out what the central needs are of the community,” Ross said. “[We want] to do something that’s sustainable not just for a few years, but something that the community can keep doing even whenever we’re not there years and years from now.”
Civil engineering senior Bertrand Ndizeye is a member of the A&M EWB chapter and a Rwandan citizen. Ndizeye said he is a permanent resident of the United States and transferred in the fall of 2017 to A&M, where he discovered EWB at MSC Open House.
“I knew I wanted to join that organization because growing up I had heard about Doctors Without Borders,” Ndizeye said, referencing the international non-profit organization similar to EWB that provides humanitarian medical aid around the world.
“As someone who wanted to be a civil engineering student, it was the right thing to join because it aligned with my civil engineering career, which is a people-serving profession,” Ndizeye said.
Ndizeye said he had the opportunity to share information about his native country to his fellow chapter members when they first adopted the Rwanda Project.
“It is exciting for me, not only just to serve, but to serve in my home country,” Ndizeye said. “I’m excited to see the impact our work will have on that community … during the implementation trip, and to share the culture and history of my country with the whole team.”
Ross said A&M’s chapter of EWB is starting up a new monthly event of all-day community service projects every last Saturday of the month. She said this follows the Rwandan tradition of “umuganda,” which translates to “community work” in English, that began after the Rwandan genocide to help rebuild the country.
“Umuganda is a nation-wide service day,” Ross said. “Here in College Station, we are going to try to have our own sort of umuganda … to do local community service projects and have our own little piece of Rwanda here.”
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article contained invalid information regarding Bertrand Ndizeye’s citizenship and immigration status. This information has since been edited at the request of the source.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *