2008 Junior Fellows

The next round of EWB's overseas Junior Fellow volunteers are preparing to depart! Be sure to check out what Sylvie, Olivia and Sam will be doing this summer and visit their blogs for regular updates.

Sam in GhanaSam in GhanaOlivia in ZambiaOlivia in ZambiaSylvie in MalawiSylvie in Malawi2008 Junior Fellows

Sylvie Spraakman

Sylvie Program: 2B Environmental Engineering
Country: Malawi
Partner: CPAR (Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief)
Blog: sylvieinmalawi.blogspot.com
E-mail: sylvspraak@gmail.com

I'm going to Malawi this summer! I will be working for CPAR, which stands for Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief, on a water and sanitation project with a number of community and school groups. I will be located in Chinteche, near Nkhata Bay. It's right by the lake (Lake Malawi is HUGE), very remote, and will probably be just gorgeous. I will be working on drawing out and documenting best practices, challenges, and lessons learned, as well as helping to improve communications between the field office and the head office by working on the reporting formats and structures. I'm excited to start, and learn more about what this position is about!

Olivia McGuire

Olivia Program: 2B Environmental Engineering
Country: Zambia
Partner: Water Aid Zambia
Blog: livinzambia.blogspot.com
E-mail: omcguire@gmail.com

Hey everyone!! This summer I am working with "Water Aid Zambia" (WAZ) in Milenge, Luapula, Zambia. WAZ works on water and sanitation projects through many other organizations. EWB has worked with WAZ since 2005 but my JF position is brand new! I will post more information on my position once I know more about it!! I'm excited to hear from you throughout the summer, if you want to get in touch e-mail me.

Sam van Berkel

Sam Program: 3B Civil Engineering
Country: Ghana
Partner: Ministry of Food and Agriculture
Blog: hesghanaway.blogspot.com
E-mail: sam@uwaterloo.ewb.ca

I will be living and volunteering in the Tolon-Kombungu District of Northern Ghana, 45 minutes outside the city of Tamale. While there, I will be working with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture. EWB and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture are partnered through a project called Agriculture as a Business. The goal of the project is to increase the effectiveness of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture's existing programs by incorporating business and market messages alongside agricultural technology. I will be working with rice, likely on the following three projects:

  1. Rice Cooperative - NILRIFACU (Northern Region Intensive Lowland Rice Cooperatives Union) is a farmer group that is about three years old. I will be helping them gain computer skills, develop a rice packaging, labeling and inventory system, establish a selling point in the market and generally be better organized and function more effectively.
  2. Comparative Study of Rice Varieties - NERICA (New Rice for Africa) is a project of the African Development Bank which seeks to introduce a new variety of rice that can be grown upland (no need for the intensive water of lowland varieties). Free seeds are already being distributed to farmers, but will the project work? Will the new rice really have higher yields? Will it produce the quality of rice demanded by consumers?
  3. Eat Ghana Rice Campaign - A behavior change campaign aimed at increasing the local demand for Ghanaian rice. The current social trend is to buy imported rice because it is whiter, free of imperfections and generally perceived as higher quality. Unfortunately, imported rice is not only less healthy than Ghanaian rice, but does not support the Ghanaian economy. I will be helping partner with market women, restaurants, schools, and other groups to promote the positive aspects of eating local rice.