Access to clean, drinkable water is something that many of us take for granted. This isn’t the case for one mountaintop village in Nepal where women and children were spending 4-5 hours a day traversing steep terrain to retrieve water for their daily needs.
T h at’s where Pratt & Whitney’s involvement with Engineers Without B orders USA (EWB-USA) comes in. A team of engineers from the Hartford Professional Chapter designed a water system that would transport water from a stream source at the base of the mountain, up 1000 vertical feet to the community center. The system included solar-powered pumps, sequenced holding tanks and seven tap stands. Now the women in the community can use these hours to create handicrafts that generate income for their families or to work in the farmlands and spend time with their children.
United Technologies employees have supported 85 Engineers Without Borders projects in 37 developing countries like Nepal, Cameroon, India and Guatemala. Volunteers working on these projects are committed to long-term sustainable solutions. EWB-USA requires a five-year commitment to each project, with regular in-country visits to conduct customer needs assessments, social surveys, and monitoring.
Mary Perkins, Public and Donor Relations Director at EWB-USA, said, “Pratt & Whitney’s commitment to service shines through its employees’ deep engagement with EWB-USA, and has produced a lasting partnership that has grown year-over-year and a pipeline of dedicated, expert volunteers that are integral to the organization’s success.”
“Volunteering with colleagues on trips to our partner community built a strong sense of teamwork, and it also pushed me to grow as a leader. I made executive decisions in the field under intense pressure – skills that I brought back to Pratt & Whitney,” said Thomas Rebbecchi, a Pratt & Whitney engineer who has volunteered with EWB-USA for six years.
The mission of EWB-USA is to build a better world through engineering projects that empower communities to meet their basic human needs and to equip leaders to solve the world’s most pressing challenges. United Technologies, United Technologies Research Center and Pratt & Whitney, through financial contributions and volunteers, have supported them in their mission since 2010.