What is the connection between the field of engineering and sustainability? Apparently, everything! The not-for-profit International Organization of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) is an association of all the EWB chapters throughout the world. Its mission is to train engineering students to listen and better understand the deepest needs of the individuals in their communities. These individuals are almost never consulted about what they actually need, and what would benefit their lives.
This October, a delegation of students from Ethiopia and North America came to the Technion to design joint projects. In particular, they focused on the Neveh Paz neighborhood in Haifa, where the Technion is located, which is home to a large number of Ethiopian immigrants.
The group turned to the Heschel Center to train them on urban and local sustainability and assist them in integrating these models and values into their project designs.
Ran Raviv, Heschel’s Director of the Local Sustainability Centers Network, orchestrated and led the training. “There were fascinating parts of this gathering,” says Ran. “Especially when the Ethiopian students from the big city got together with the Ethiopians who came from rural Ethiopia and then immigrated to Israel. It was emotional”.
This week, the second cohort of the Galilee Fellows program begins with a new group of changemakers, consisting of a healthy mix of Jewish and Arab participants. The opening ceremony will take place in the Towns Association for Environmental Quality in Sakhnin.
The Heschel Fellows program opens next week with its 18th cohort. Additional courses and learning programs will begin this fall, including the Strategic Planning for Municipalities, Globalization and Climate Training for Teachers, continuing workshops with the Israeli Scouts movement, and more.