Group builds grinders for people in Ghana

Laura Haatvedt

Laura Haatvedt

The SDSU chapter of Engineers Without Borders is currently planning a trip to Ghana, Africa.

Engineers Without Borders is an organization that assists disadvantaged communities around the world by improving living and working conditions.

This December, five students from the group will travel to Ghana to deliver three bicycle-powered grinders they built.

These grinders will enable the Ghanaians to grind wheat, soybeans, corn and peanuts more efficiently. Currently, the females must spend all day grinding by hand to produce enough food.

“Female children get no education because they are grinding food all day,” senior electrical engineering student Jaime Haiar said. “We want to work with their community and their culture. We want to provide sustainable engineering solutions. They own it, they do the upkeep.”

Haiar is a student working on this project. She has been a member of Engineers Without Borders for about a year and a half. She said she has really seen the organization make an impact.

“I always knew I wanted to make a difference as an engineer,” Haiar said. “But Engineers Without Borders is not just for engineering majors; other majors can have an equally profound effect.”

Jesse Wolfe, a senior math major from Canton, couldn’t agree more. Wolfe is a co-founder of the SDSU chapter of Engineers Without Borders.

“I think this chapter can really be a good thing for the students and the school,” Wolfe said. “You get to see directly the impact you’re making.”

The chapter, which was founded January 2003, has about 20 active members now.

“The most challenging thing for me has been recruitment,” Wolfe said. “I don’t understand why more people aren’t involved. It’s amazing what students can do.”

Haiar agrees with Wolfe.

“It’s work, but you get to work with extremely motivated people; they are all very high energy and committed to the organization, which makes it fun,” Haiar said.

SDSU’s chapter is also currently working on a project for the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

For more information about the club, contact Bob Vaselaar, the club’s president, at [email protected]