International Volunteer Day 2018
BlogInternational Volunteer Day 2018

Engineers Without Borders Australia proudly supports the United Nations ‘International Volunteer Day’ (IVD) on 5th of December to raise awareness on the importance of volunteers and their contribution in response to challenges facing the world.

In 2018, International Volunteer Day (IVD), focus is on “volunteers building resilient communities”, recognising volunteers worldwide – with a special focus on local community volunteers – who contribute to making their communities more resilient against natural disasters, economic stresses and political shocks. The campaign theme combines the recognition of volunteers with concrete evidence from the State of the World’s Volunteerism Report (SWVR) 2018.

#IVD2018 focuses on the values of volunteerism through the appreciation of local volunteers, including the marginalised groups and women, who make up nearly 60% of volunteers worldwide, and their impact on building #ResilientCommunities.

It’s an opportunity for us to celebrate and thank our extraordinary volunteers who share our values and are essential in helping us complete our work in creating a positive change for communities and making the world a better place. In particular, we’d like to shine a spotlight on the 21 EWB Australian Chapters who galvanize their members in implementing important local activities. Here we share are just four local Chapters and some of their recent impact.

NSW: Griffith University Chapter

Executive team of EWB Australia’s Griffith University Chapter conducting a School Outreach event at Pacific Pines Primary 

ln October, the executive team of EWB Australia’s Griffith University Chapter conducted a School Outreach event at Pacific Pines Primary. Five volunteers spent at total of 12 hours over two days teaching more than 300 students in Year 5 & 6 how to build disaster resistant homes in developing countries.  The young “engineers” worked in teams of 7, using only limited materials to design and build their safe structures before those structures were tested under “simulated storm conditions.”  Some buildings survived, others did not, but all the students learned heaps and were excited to take part in this excellent humanitarian engineering project.

VIC: The University of Melbourne Chapter

EWB Australia’s The University of Melbourne Chapter participating in ‘ReBuild’ 

The University of Melbourne Chapter also runs an event called ‘ReBuild’ annually. As a chapter, the team gathers a group of volunteers, hard rubbish and tools to create items before donating them to a cause holding similar values them. Members engage in practical building skills, explore the importance of team work and undertake upcycling within the local community. Together the chapter challenged members to be creative and have fun, building a variety of furniture items before donating them to CERES environmental park.

QLD: Queensland University of Technology Chapter

EWB Australia’s Queensland University of Technology Chapter conducting a School Outreach event and participating in National Science Week

“Our volunteers aim to inspire and empower the next generation of future engineers in the pursuit of education, and a chance to live a life of opportunity. One initiative that our volunteers have been involved in for the past two years is presenting to students of the Jubilee Christian College Distance education. Our volunteers presented the Prosthetic leg workshops at four different locations around Brisbane to up to 25 students in each workshop. It is incredible to see the amount of participation that is shown in all these workshops due to the fact that most students have had to be taken out of regular schooling because of learning difficulties. In volunteering at these workshops, we are able to showcase EWB’s vision through active engagement with, not only students but also teachers, in recognizing their potential despite any previous challenges.”

NT: Northern Territory Chapter

At our newest Chapter in the NT, our volunteer Luke helps us reach our goal of student outreach and engagement, especially in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identifying students.