Instagram. Asset 1 LOGO-3
News

“Mulembe” from Kibembe!

雅各布的艾琳詹姆斯反映了她在乌干达喀比米王妇女的悬念建设中的第一次桥梁期间的经验。

Erin James, a transportation engineer and project manager from our Denver, Colorado office joined forces withBridges to Prosperity– a non-profit organization helping eradicate poverty caused by rural isolation with the design and construction of pedestrian footbridges – to build a bridge in Kibembe, Uganda, as part of the organization’s first-ever Women’s Suspension Build.
Kibembe sits on the bank of the Sironko River and floods for more than three months of the year, becoming dangerous to cross and eliminating residents’ ability to reach critical services. With the new footbridge constructed by the all-female group – including Erin and other volunteers from McElhanney, Kraemer North America and PCL Construction – more than 1,700 individuals, including over 300 children, now have a safe connection to a market, primary and secondary schools and medical centers.
自2014年以来,Jacobs志愿者在巴拿马,尼加拉瓜,卢旺达和其他几个地点的B2P建造上改进了社区访问。对于艾琳而言,作为雅各布的全球妇女网络的通信联合主席,妇女的暂停构建标志着她的第四个B2P建设。在下面,Erin回顾了她在Kibembe的经历。

在生活和与经验丰富的生活中如此不同的人一起在国家建立的生活是非常困难的。对我来说有这么多的特权和机会。最近我一直感受到有罪,运气,忧郁,欣赏,骚乱和坦率,愤怒。

Why do I get the chance to succeed and prosper, while others in the world never have that shot? It seems like pure randomness that I was born into certain circumstances that differ so vastly from other parts of the world. The disparities in income, education, health, mobility and freedom I’ve witnessed are quite shocking, and I am more convinced than ever that I (we) need to do more to help others.

Nine other women from the contracting industry joined me to build the superstructure of the suspension bridge in two weeks' time, working hand-in-hand with local Kibembe community members who have directly benefited from a new connection between villages in their region.

Impossible choices were reality in Kibembe

The community has been working on the foundations of the bridge for two months leading up to our arrival, so they have been the unsung heroes of the build from the start. The Sironko District has two communities on either side of the Sironko River, one with access to a larger roadway network (important for market, trade, and access to cities) and the other with the Kibembe school and parish.

Sironko River
Sironko River

Several people, including children, have died in the past few years as a result from the swollen river.

Can you imagine showing up to school every day soaking wet in your school uniform because you had to swim across a treacherous river to get there? Would you even go to class? If the answer is no, you've just discovered one reason why education is a top focus for these remote communities.

If the rainy season lasts half the year and prevents you from going to class, you get 50% less education than others in the world. What if your child was sick, and the only way to get to the nearest clinic was across the river? Do you risk both of your lives to fight the swift current, hoping to get the medical attention your child needs? Or do you risk waiting it out and letting your child suffer from illness instead? These不可能choices provide the framework for B2P's mission.

Some people ask the question, "Why do people choose to live in areas that get flooded?" I believe this question comes from a place of privilege, where it may be easy for the people asking the question to readily mobilize and have enough money, education and other resources to plant roots in different places. When a home has been in your family for generations, you were born there, your family and your neighbors are the only people you’ve ever known, you don't have education to get a job, you don't have money to catch a bus or taxi elsewhere and you have family members depending on you to take care of them, it’s evident how the cycle of poverty and isolation continues to impact so many people globally.

The Kibembe experience

乌干达人民对我们来说是如此欢迎,他们的脸上笑了笑,因为我们通过工作和比赛来了解他们。他们的文化强调唱歌和跳舞,我不得不迅速克服自己的自我意识,在团队中赚取我的位置!

我们爱上了孩子们,他们每天都会向我们的工作场所冲刺,以便在最后几个小时观看我们,疑虑观察每一天的进步,耐心等待他们可以跨越完整的桥梁跑的那一天。我还发现,在执行任何任务的同时,在执行任何任务的同时可以非常令人不安,特别是当一个六十个孩子的演员时,我将在现场犯下任何错误或缺点时爆发笑声!他们很快就会学会发音我的名字,无论如何,“Erin”每天下午都是无意的娱乐来源。

艾琳詹姆斯和当地的克利贝姆贝
艾琳詹姆斯和当地的克利贝姆贝

One of my favorite local foods from the trip was the Ugandan “Rolex” (不是花哨的手表。)煎蛋卷卷起炸扁面团是完美的早餐,让我们整天进行施工任务时保持能量。据信,劳力士这个词来自“卷蛋”,这是有意义的。我试图在回归后做菜,但可悲的是,我的烹饪技巧并没有比较罗斯 - 谁每天煮多道饭店,每天煮超过15人,只有一只金属碗,一对金属炉。

我们也很幸运地分享厕所设施和几张婴儿床和床的房子。虽然我在旅途中累积了300多个个人虫咬,但一个或两个蟑螂可能已经找到了他们的行李,我们仍然觉得我们在村里的村庄通过比较了我们的住宿来与他人的住宿比较了。我们经常提醒大多数社区生活在泥土楼,泥土楼层,没有窗户或床铺。即使在过滤我们的水中,我们也会感受到巨大的内疚感,因为社区喝了很多令人内疚感,并且用附近的溪流从水中清洁并沐浴着煮熟并沐浴在水中。

The powerful first Women’s Build

One of the interesting parts about this build was that we were a team of female engineers, and the community was puzzled that we could have so many of us who traveled to Uganda to build this bridge together. This has been my fourth build with Bridges to Prosperity, but this was the first time I’ve been with an all-woman team. I’m happy to report that the team was very easy to get along with, had a sense of adventure and were very professional and accomplished in their careers. I learned so much about construction through working with them, and it was easily the most organized and safe build I’ve been a part of.

As a team, we all allowed one another to try each construction activity and take ownership of certain tasks. We communicated well and looked out for the safety of not only our own team but everyone working on site. I felt particularly proud when one of the community members reminded me to put on my safety glasses on the second-to-last day of the build!

Erin and the Kibembe Women's Suspension Build team
Erin (third from right) and the Kibembe Women's Build team

就职典礼是一个美丽的仪式,具有来自政府官员的社区和演讲的表演。来自Kibembe的一个女孩甚至致辞了一个关于运输的诗。我完全淹没了情感看着两个社区在完整的桥上来回穿过,并且在谈论它时仍然变得寒意并扼杀。

就个人而言,我已经了解了很多关于桥梁设计的一些技术组成部分,并且能够为此构建提供测量的所有权(设置主电缆的凹陷和安全线)。我也加入了过去的经验,以有效地帮助我们在紧张的时间表中取得进展。我在这次旅行中成为一个更自信,技术上有能力的桥梁制造商,我计划在未来采取我学会的一切来帮助其他球队。

在从Sironko回来的七小时车程期间,一首歌正在收音机上玩赶紧引起了我注意的坎帕拉。歌词阅读,“如果你出生的时候不知道,你会多大了?”I thought about the fact that many people in these isolated communities do not know or care when they were born, and they choose to focus on the gift that is each new day. They live in the present, and there is something precious, primal, and comforting in knowing that all you can count on is your time today.

This trip brought me back to basics and helped me strip down the layers of abstract complexities I’ve built in my life. I am so thankful to be able to have experienced this trip and have walked away with clarity and peace. I know that as global citizens we are moving in the right direction, and I am comforted knowing that people around the world are making direct, positive change to advance human progress.

交通工程师和项目经理在Jacobs, Erin James leads teams while designing and analyzing roadways, interchanges, intersections, trails and parking lot systems. She obtained her bachelor’s in civil and environmental engineering from The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) in 2012. With a zest for advancing STEM education for girls, Erin volunteers whenever she can within the communities she works and also co-leads communications for Jacobs’ Global Women’s Network. She’s a passionate volunteer and advocate for the nonprofit Bridges to Prosperity, and has served in project manager and technical mentor roles on trips to Uganda, Rwanda, Panama and Bolivia to provide access to disadvantaged communities.

文章选项