Civil Engineering student helps design a world of hope in Niger

CALGARY – Derek Rempel from Chilliwack, BC, a third-year civil engineering student at the University of British Columbia, returned home from a project trip to Niamey, Niger this week.  Rempel was part of a team of architects and engineers from across North America who volunteered their time with Engineering Ministries International Canada. The team spent a week in Niger preparing the design for the expansion of Sahel Academy, a school for children of international families serving in Niger. The school provides an important behind-the-scenes role in the impoverished country, and staff hear parents say again and again, “We would not be able to be here, doing what we do, if it were not for the ministry of Sahel Academy.”

Rempel and the other volunteers spent the week developing concepts for the Sahel Academy expansion, master planning the development for the remaining open area of the property. At the end of the week, the team was able to present a master plan, schematic building designs and some details for the gymnasium and arts centre. The team is continuing to work on more detailed elements of the design, and will provide Sahel Academy with a final report within the next six months.

For Rempel, however, the trip was part of a larger experience with Engineering Ministries International. Wanting to use the skills he’s been learning as a civil engineering student in the context of his faith, Rempel applied for eMi’s internship program. His project trip to Niger is part of this internship, as he puts his engineering education to practical use by assisting with the survey, delineating the existing water distribution system, and making recommendations to improve water use.

“The trip was an incredible experience,” says Rempel, “I was able to learn about civil engineering practice as well as serve the people of Niger with my engineering skills.” Rempel will spend the remainder of his internship in the Calgary office assisting in the completion of the project report.

Greg Young, Executive Director, eMi Canada
Steve Ulrich, Trip Leader, eMi Canada
403-202-3642 (ph) 403-202-3636 (fx)

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