Namaste. Greetings from Nepal.
My name is Andrew Jehne and I am an engineering student studying part time by distance education. I have been fortunate to granted a scholarship under the New Colombo Plan to attend the 2017 Engineers Without Borders Nepal Design Summit.
I am one of a contingent of CQUni students who are attending the summit, which sees university students, academics and corporate partners from around Australia, attend an intensive but thoroughly engaging introduction to Nepalese culture, religion and the humanitarian engineering issues facing this diverse country.
The programme has been conducted through a series of workshops and challenges which are aimed at familiarizing us with life in Nepal. Stepping outside our comfort zone we have used the skills taught in workshops to interview and empathize with everyday Nepali’s.
These skills and understanding of the Nepali way of life will be further developed as we head west to the city of Pakhora, where we will divide for our 4 night stay in remote rural villages.
The aim of the programme is to deliver humanitarian engineering which focuses on human centered design, appropriate technology and a strengths based approach. The goal of the summit is to deliver two way learning so we can discover and empathize with rural village life. Hopefully in conjunction with locals we can suggest possible solutions that after a screening process we can build a prototype and present our ideas to the community.
On a personal level I have found the time spent so far in Kathmandu thoroughly engaging. It is a real privilege to be able to immerse yourself in a culture so different to that of Australia. The sights smells and sounds are unique.
The people we have met have been warm and generous and always greet us with a smile.
Programmes such as the Engineers without Borders design summit are a wonderful mechanism to break down barriers and foster a culture and respect free from prejudice.
If you are interested in learning more about overseas opportunities with CQU please have a look on the CQUGlobal website at www.cqu.edu.au/CQUGlobal