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Ole Miss for Togo

$36,500
182%
Raised toward our $20,000 Goal
101 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on January 01, at 12:00 AM CST
Project Owners

Ole Miss 4 Togo: What we did on Day 5

May 17, 2016

Dear friends and donors,

The Togo travel team is happy to share with you what we did on our fifth day during our trip to Togo in January 2016. 

Here is what we did on Day 5, Monday, January 18, 2016:

We met with the Prefect of Vo. The Prefect is a governor of the region of Vo, where our community is located. He thanked us for our work and traveled with us to the Hedome village, where our chapter of Engineers Without Borders built a school in 2014. He spoke to students and told them we were visiting from the United States because we wanted them to have a good education (Photo 1).

While in Hedome, we were told that a well that was built last year had a broken handle on the hand pump. Well, leave it up to engineers to fix it! (Photo 2: Dr. Paul Scovazzo inserts a bolt through the pump handle as others help and look on.)

Drilling continued at the hospital site all day, although there was some equipment malfunction. Dr. Bob Holt and Zack Lepchitz continued to log the cuttings.

At the end of the afternoon, it was time to check out of the village hotel and head back to the capital city of Lomé. We ended up arriving in Lomé very late at night because our van broke down. But it all turned out okay; with the resourcefulness of Rev. Loko and our driver Sewa, we were able to return in another van. (Photo 3: Our driver Sewa and friend Sekaya talk next to our van.)

Thank you again for your support for this important trip!

Ole Miss 4 Togo: What we did on Day 4

May 10, 2016

Dear friends and donors,

The Togo travel team is happy to share with you what we did on our fourth day during our Trip to Togo in January 2016. 

Here is what we did on Day 4, Sunday, January 17, 2016:

Sunday was a much-needed rest day. We attended Rev. Loko’s church in the Hedome village. His wife Yvette was our interpreter; while the pastor preached in the local language Ewe, she translated to English. We interacted with the community and watched the children play after service.

Photo 1: Women prepare breakfast – cornflower, spinach, and water – for the community. Photo 2: Children play after service.

In the afternoon, after resting in the hotel, we gathered around a table and organized the information that we had gathered up to that point and started outlining our reports. We also spent time with Rev. Loko to explain about well drilling methods that prevent cross-contamination of water from different aquifers.

Photo 3: Dr. Bob Holt talks to Rev. Loko about drilling plans.

Thank you again for your support for this important trip!

The Ole Miss 4 Togo Team

What we did on Day 3

April 26, 2016

Dear friends and donors,

The Togo travel team is happy to share with you what we did on our third day during our trip to Togo in January 2016. 

Here is what we did on Day 3, January 15, 2016:

We continued to drill the borehole that gave us insight into the geology of the site where the future deep well will be installed (Photo 1: Bob Holt explains to Paige Lohman and Vera Gardner the importance of taking cuttings at regular intervals.)

We visited several local wells and tested their water. Most of the wells were contaminated, showing that our future deep well with clean water will be vital for the children’s hospital and the community. (Photo 2: Paige Lohman, Timothy Steenwyk, and Dillon Hall perform water quality testing.)

Finally, we got to see and inspect the school that our Engineers Without Borders chapter built in 2014. The structure is strong, and the classrooms are well used by students and teachers. (Photo 3: A view of how closely a teacher interacts with the students. Notice the beautiful map drawings on the blackboard.)

Thank you again for your support for this important trip!

 

What we did on Day 2

April 19, 2016

Dear friends and donors,

The Togo travel team is excited to continue to share our day-to-day activities while we were in Togo in January 2016. 

Here is what we did on Day 2, January 15, 2016:

On this day, we left the capital city of Lomé and took the van to the village of Akoumape, 90 minutes away, where we are planning to drill a deep water well.

Here is a little background. Pastor Loko (Kokou to us) is the director of a non-governmental organization (NGO) named Mission BIG (Baptiste Indigène de la Grace). Several years ago, Mission BIG received a donation of property in Akoumape for the purpose of developing services needed by the community. The first order of business was to start building a children’s hospital. The hospital now is nearly complete, but it needs water and electricity. Here is where Engineers Without Borders, with fundraising through Rotary Clubs and Rotary International, comes in. Our task is to provide water to the hospital using a deep water well.

This future well is going to be DEEP: over 700 feet. To make this happen, we have to hire a Togolese drilling company with the right skills and equipment to do the job. Our role during this trip was to collect information on the site, drilling companies, local materials, and local skills necessary to install this well on the next trip.

Part of the collection of information was finding out more about the geology at the Akoumape site. Kokou had access to a small drill rig and some workers who could drill a relatively shallow borehole for us while we were there. By logging the borehole cuttings, we were able to detail the site geology ourselves. If the borehole were successful, we could turn it into an irrigation well.

Enjoy the photos below and stay tuned for the next update!

Photo 1: A view of the children's hospital from the borehole site.From left: Zack Lepchitz (graduate student), Paul Scovazzo (faculty), and Bob Holt (faculty).

Photo 2: Dillon Hall (undergraduate student) works with Bob Holt and Paul Scovazzo to build slugs that will aid in determining the hydraulic conductivity of the well. In the background is Abraham, a construction worker for the hospital.

Photo 3: The drilling operation. A worker collects cuttings as another worker adds length to the the pipe going into the ground.

What we did on Day 1

April 13, 2016

Dear friends and donors,

The Togo travel team is excited to start sharing our day-to-day activities while we were in Togo in January 2016. 

Here is what we did on Day 1, January 14, 2016:

This was our first morning in Togo, having arrived at Lomé International Airport late the night before. We woke up to the wonderful aroma of coffee and a hot breakfast prepared for us by Yvette Loko and two others ladies who helped cook. Our hotel consisted of individual rooms and several apartments. Because most of us stayed in two of the apartments, Yvette was able to start cooking in the small kitchen very early in the morning.

After breakfast, we met with Pastor Kokou Loko to review the agenda for the week, confirm requested appointments, and discuss logistics of team travel in the country. Soon after, we met with a local geochemist, Venyo Akpataku, to learn about Togo’s geology near where we will drill our well (Photo 1).

After lunch, we went to hardware stores in downtown Lomé to start purchasing local tools and to acquire cost estimates for materials needed for the future well (Photo 2). 

We had dinner at the hotel (again cooked by Yvette and friends) with a Peace Corps volunteer and a Fulbright scholar from the United States who are living in Togo (Photo 3).

Beginning Our Work

February 23, 2016

"Being in such a remote location as we were in Togo obviously presented its own set of challenges.  Despite the language barrier and a few mechanical issues, the job didn't slow down..... We were fortunate to work with such great people in Togo." Zach Lepchitz, graduate student in geology

After our arrival in Togo, we were very excited and motivated to begin the work that we set out to accomplish. Every job is different in its own ways.  One of our initial tasks while in Togo was to work with the Togolese drillers and begin logging the boreholes needed to construct the irrigation well. Being in such a remote location as we were in Togo presented a unique set of challenges.  Despite the language barrier and a few mechanical issues, the job didn't slow down. We knew that the work had to get done! It really teaches each person to think at a higher level and to appreciate the importance of effective communication. It allowed us to see in real life some of the things that we have only read about or seen as an outsider. We were fortunate to work with such good and hard working people as the Togolese. Having them be part of this process on the rig made our jobs much easier. 

Looking at new geology is always interesting and having the opportunity to be out there to log new data is something to look forward not only as a student but also as a geologist. Our work continues from here! Look out for future updates on our experience in Togo!

Zach Lepchitz  

Many Thanks!

February 16, 2016

"I consider our trip to Togo to be quite a success. We were able to collect data that will be essential to the progress of the project, as well as establish connections with important people who can aid our cause. The experience gained was an exceptional complement to the material I've learned in traditional classrooms." - Timothy Steenwyk, junior mechanical engineering

 

Dear Ole Miss friends and family,

We are ecstatic about the support that you have shown for the Ole Miss Togo project. The team has traveled to Togo during Wintersession and made a great deal of head way on the water project. There is no way that this could have happened without the amazing outpouring of support that Engineers Without Borders received from our donors. We can’t believe that the goal was not only reached, but exceeded beyond our expectations.

Because of intermittent internet access in the village, we were not able to do a lot of updating while in Togo. However, we want to share photos from our trip so that you can see what our Togo team saw while abroad. Please know that your support was not taken for granted, and we look forward to future trips to complete our work thanks, in great part, to your generosity!

Bonne Année and Only Two Days Left!

December 29, 2015

Dear Ole Miss Friends and Family,

We are now five weeks into our campaign and excited to report that we have raised $17,650 from 81 donors. We are 88% to our goal of $20,000 and have only two days left to raise the remaining $2,350! Thank you to all our generous donors. We remain optimistic that we can reach our goal in the final days of our campaign with your help.

We want to extend a Bonne Année (Happy New Year) from our team and the children of Togo who will benefit from our "Clean Water Saves Lives" campaign as we continue our preparations for our trip to Togo in January! We are pleased to announce we have received our travel visas and are starting to pack for the trip. In addition to our work clothes, we are bringing water quality test kits, equipment to measure the depth of groundwater in existing wells, and some coffee for the team to drink in the mornings (coffee is not easily found in Togo!).

Before our trip, we want to introduce you to some of the travelers who will be participating in Engineering Without Border's (EWB) Togo trip. Cris Surbeck is an associate professor of Civil Engineering originally from Brazil. She specializes in treatment of polluted water and is happy to use her professional skills to benefit communities in Togo. This will be her third trip to Togo with EWB. She thoroughly enjoys traveling with her Ole Miss teams and meeting communities in Togo. Cris says, "When our college students use their engineering skills for humanitarian efforts, they become better citizens and professionals.”

This holiday season, please help continue our dedicated team’s mission to effect positive change in the lives of rural Togolese. Our campaign ends on New Year’s Eve at 11:59 pm (CST). Make your year-end tax-deductible gift today!

In addition to your financial support, you can help by becoming an ambassador for our campaign. Share our crowdfunding project with your friends and family via email or social media! #OleMiss4Togo

Every gift matters.

Sincerely,

Jamie Douglas, EWB-Ole Miss President

Cris Surbeck, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering

Joyeux Noël and 9 Days Left!

December 22, 2015

Dear Ole Miss Friends and Family,

We are now four weeks into our campaign and excited to report that we have raised $16,535 from 72 donors. We are 82% to our goal of $20,000 and have 9 days left to raise the remaining $3,465! Thank you to all our generous donors. We are optimistic that we can reach our goal in the final days of our campaign with your help.

We want to extend a Joyeux Noël from our team and the children of Togo who will benefit from our "Clean Water Saves Lives" campaign as we cheerfully continue our preparations for our trip to Togo in January! We are pleased to announce that all our travelers have received their yellow fever vaccinations and malaria pills. Our visas are due to arrive this week, too.

Before our trip, we want to introduce you to some of the travelers who will be participating in Engineering Without Border's (EWB) Togo trip. Dillon Hall is a sophomore Mechanical Engineering student from Saltillo, MS. He is a member of the Center for Manufacturing Excellence program and American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He is also in his second year of service on the Leadership Council for the Engineering Student Body. Dillon says, "I am excited to go to Togo, Africa so that I may use the knowledge I have learned through my engineering classes and my passion to help others in order to create a reliable source of water for people who are in desperate need."

This holiday season, please help continue our dedicated team’s mission to effect positive change in the lives of rural Togolese. Make your year-end gift today!

In addition to your financial support, you can help by becoming an ambassador for our campaign. Share our crowdfunding project with your friends and family via email or social media! #OleMiss4Togo

Sincerely,

Jamie Douglas, EWB-Ole Miss President

Cris Surbeck, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering

Meet our Student Travelers!

December 15, 2015

Dear Ole Miss Friends and Family,

We are now three weeks into our campaign and are thrilled to report that we have raised $14,125 from 62 donors. We are 70% to our goal of $20,000 and have 16 days left to raise the remaining $5,875! We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for our project and want to thank all our generous donors.

We have had a busy week in our preparations for our trip to Togo! We are excited to announce that the airline tickets for our trip have been purchased. We were also happy to welcome WTVA News reporter, Gabriel Austin, to campus who featured our upcoming trip on the Thursday evening news.

Before our trip, we want to introduce you to some of the travelers who will be participating in Engineering Without Border's (EWB) Togo trip. Vera Gardner is a Junior Mechanical Engineering major at the University of Mississippi from Memphis, Tennessee.  She has a passion for learning languages and studying language.  She is fluent in Spanish and is earning a minor in Portuguese and Linguistics.  At Ole Miss, Vera has served as secretary and VP of Design for Engineers Without Borders and as secretary of the Society for Women Engineers. Additionally, Vera is a member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College and the Center for Manufacturing Excellence programs.

Vera enjoys traveling and has been to various areas in the U.S., Germany, Honduras, Ecuador, Brazil, and Togo once before with EWB.  In her free time, Vera likes to relax and ride her bike.  She is looking forward to traveling to Togo in order to help a community in need while being able to implement knowledge learned at Ole Miss and gaining more experience while working with fellow students and professors.  She is grateful for the opportunity to learn more about the value of service, planning, and communication.

Please help continue our dedicated team’s mission to effect positive change in the lives of rural Togolese. Make a donation today!

In addition to your financial support, you can help by becoming an ambassador for our campaign. Share our crowdfunding project with your friends and family via email or social media! #OleMiss4Togo

Sincerely,

Jamie Douglas, EWB-Ole Miss President

Cris Surbeck, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering

We were congratulated by the US Embassy in Togo!

December 08, 2015

Dear Ole Miss Friends and Family,

We are just 2 weeks into our campaign and we are happy to report we have raised $5,145 from 46 donors. We are 25% to our goal of $20,000 and we have 23 days left. We extend a great big THANK YOU to our generous donors!

We received a phone call from the US Embassy in Togo. The Economic and Commercial Officer heard that we are coming in January and congratulated us on our great work. He invited us to visit the embassy and learn about funding for community projects, the embassy’s activities with building schools and clinics, and even job opportunities for students! It is so heartening to know that our work is worthy of this recognition!

In 2012 the Ole Miss chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) made a commitment to work with rural villages in Togo, Africa, to improve community infrastructure and health care. Togo is a distressed country in West Africa with a population of approximately 6.7 million people. Around one half of the population lives below the international poverty line.

With four trips conducted since then, the EWB-Ole Miss team has constructed a school building that provides a safe and comfortable place for dozens of children to benefit from educational opportunities.

The next step in the team’s commitment to rural Togo is to provide clean water to a children’s hospital that is being built by a non-profit organization.

The hospital is almost complete but has no source of water. The goal of EWB-Ole Miss is to drill a well, build two water towers, and install a distribution pipe and a public tap stand. For these complicated tasks to be carefully planned, the team must travel to Togo in January 2016, anticipating a deep water well installation in the summer of 2016.

Having traveled to Togo as part of the EWB-Ole Miss team, we know the needs are dire. Rural villages have few school buildings, no piped or clean water to drink, and no health care. Our team has been performing meaningful work that gives much-needed hope for the future! Please help continue our dedicated team’s mission to effect positive change in the lives of rural Togolese. Make a donation today!

In addition to your financial support, you can help by becoming an ambassador for our campaign. Share our crowdfunding project with your friends and family via email or social media! #OleMiss4Togo

Sincerely,

Jamie Douglas, EWB-Ole Miss President

Cris Surbeck, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering

Levels
Choose a giving level

$10

Repas (French for meals)

French is the official language in Togo. "Meals" in French is translated "repas." Your $10 gift will cover the expense of one meal for an EWB-Ole Miss team member.

$50

Transport en voiture

Your $50 gift will cover the expense for renting a passenger van and driver (transport en voiture) for one day for our EWB-Ole Miss team in Togo.

$100

Location d'équipement

Your gift of $100 will cover the expense of renting the necessary equipment (location d'équipement) for one day for our EWB-Ole Miss team.

$800

Hébergement

Your $800 gift will cover the expense of lodging (hébergement) for one week for three EWB-Ole Miss team members.

$1,900

Billets d'avion

Your $1,900 gift will cover the expense of airfare (billets d'avion) for one EWB-Ole Miss team member.

$2,450

Toute la voyage

Your $2,450 gift will cover all the expenses for the entire trip (toute la voyage) for one EWB-Ole Miss team member.