Mission Statement

Engineers without Borders (EWB) is an organization that was started by George Roter and Parker Mitchell, two Canadian engineers. This organization has four areas of focus: Supporting rural African capacity, Advocating for improved Canadian policies toward Africa, Engaging Canadians to contribute and connect to Africa, and Helping the engineering profession serve global society.

In Canada, EWB’s main responsibility is to raise awareness about international development issues. In order to do this, EWB hosts multiple events in different Canadian cities and chapters present at high schools nation-wide. Educating the public is a major focus. This organization also advocates the Canadian government for better foreign aid policies and a more coherent development focus. EWB uses the power of the national network to campaign for these reforms.

In Africa, EWB has a network of workers and volunteers based in several countries. Their effort is focused primarily on working with local government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the communities in which they are based. In doing so, they are able to determine which technology will most likely lead to the development of the country. However, EWB is very aware that it takes more than technology to boost a country, and this is why EWB focuses on building capacity rather than the simple delivery of technological goods. They do so by having personnel present on a regular basis. The University of Waterloo Chapter sends two students every summer to work with community members for four months. Waterloo also supports long term volunteers who work overseas for at least thirteen months. Many stay for several years.

Engineers Without Borders Canada Mission Statement:

We are EWB.We don’t accept the status quo. We combine passion and pragmatism. We challenge and invest in each other to learn continuously, because that’s what is needed to create change together.

We are outraged and hopeful. Our fellow human beings continue to live in extreme poverty, with dramatically diminished choices and opportunities; a mother who can’t feed her family, her husband telling their son that he can’t pay for school. This is an affront to our beliefs about what is right. Her hopes are our hopes. His drive is our drive. We serve their dreams to allow all of us to truly prosper.

We create systemic change wherever it’s needed to accelerate Africa’s development and unlock the potential of its people.
We incubate systemic innovations – investing rigorously, proving what works by having the courage to fail, and transforming the way people and organizations behave. This ensures the change we create is meaningful and lasting.

To do this, we invest in people who will lead systemic change – they do whatever it takes, working tirelessly to learn and grow and transform how people think and how things are done. These exceptional leaders are able to act in the face of ambiguity and drive change together with all EWBers.