How Students Could Be Involved

SummaryAcknowledgementIntroductionWhy Should We Help?The BenefitsThe Venture ItselfHow to Avoid the Marie Antoinette SyndromeThe Action PlanConclusionSelected Bibliography

BCIT students could get involved in this venture in numerous ways. This section gives some suggestions but is by no means exhaustive. Many other ways could surely be found as well.

As mentioned earlier, students could get credit for taking part in the project itself, by doing research at school, and/or by doing field work in the village. Participating students would bring the skills of their respective technologies to contribute to the whole. Here are some examples:

— Civil engineering students could design water management, catchment, conservation, and irrigation systems and techniques, and analyze and test soils for possible well-boring and agricultural uses. They could teach basic water management techniques to the villagers.
— Civil engineering and architecture/building students could design structures for agricultural storage, water management, schools, clinics, communal kitchens, etc. They could also possibly teach basic carpentry techniques.
— Electronics and electrical students could set up and operate computer systems, mobile phone systems, and geographic information systems (GPS), develop alternate energy sources and/or connect to existing electricity or other energy sources. They could also teach basic computer, GPS, and electrical skills.
— Mechanical students could design and/or modify simple machines for farming and other needs and teach basic usage.
— Management and accounting students could research the feasibility of microcredit and possible funding sources and assist in the implementation and maintenance of a microcredit program and in the set-up of a credible recordkeeping system. They could also research and recommend the integration of the village into the greater local and national economy, including marketable crops and goods, transportation, taxes, etc. They could also teach basic bookkeeping and business principles.
— Health sciences students could assist in setting up and maintaining a basic heath clinic, ordering supplies, caring for patients, and setting up and maintaining medical and patient records. They could also teach basic hygiene and healthy living techniques, including the use of anti-malarial mosquito nets.

This brief, preliminary list shows that the opportunities for students to get involved are almost unlimited and fit together well with nearly every technology that BCIT offers its students.

The students should be required to write a paper (possibly for the Communication course) describing their experiences in the field and making recommendations on how to improve the program itself, specifics about the delivery of services and products to the village, and/or the student component. Any student presenting reasonable recommendations could receive a $5.00 coffee gift card or other token reward.

Read More: Other PartnershipsForming Partnerships and Getting FundingWhat Is NeededAdopt a VillageThe Earth Institute at Columbia UniversityAdopt An Educational InstituteHow Students Could Be Involved