Engineers Without Borders (EWB) has hosted the Kumvana Gala, for the last four years, to create a forum for industry representatives, student leaders, governments and non-profits to come together, network, exchange ideas and get inspired! It is a celebration of those who are striving to eliminate poverty and inequality – all while enjoying good food, fair trade wine, a silent auction and prizes!
Proceeds from the Gala go to the It Takes a Village (ITAV) fund. EWB Chapters throughout the country fundraise and contribute to ITAV once every year, and funds from there are allocated, based on need, to overseas ventures or programs, such as the Kumvana Program. Morrison Hershfield sponsored the venue for this year’s event in Calgary, which featured Keynote and EWB Kumvana Fellow, Isaac Adogbase and celebrated UN Sustainable Development Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth.
Several Morrison Hershfield staff supported this year’s Gala. Morrison Hershfield Vice President, Ryan Gidluck, commented that “EWB has a goal to end global poverty and inequality. Each year our Calgary office supports a number of events such as the Kumvana Gala, the Run to End Poverty and the Fair Trade open-house. This has been a terrific way to get engaged with an organization committed to making a difference on a local and global scale.”
Baskets from Bolga
EWB’s Kumvana Fellow (and keynote speaker) Isaac Adogbase shared his successes and challenges in establishing and operating “Baskets from Bolga.” His company sells beautiful, handcrafted baskets from villages surrounding Bolgatanga in Ghana, and aims to improve the working and living conditions of basket weaving families in the region.
With the help of the Kumvana Program, Isaac hopes to learn business management, leadership and marketing skills and sustainable food initiatives. He is also interested in connecting with local Canadian business owners, farmers and artists.
“Unite so we may discuss and understand”
In the Chichewa dialect of Malawi, kumvana means “unite so we may discuss and understand.” The Kumvana Program celebrates young African leaders and brings about 10-15 African professionals to Canada each year for leadership development and network building, while enhancing Canadians’ understanding of sub-Saharan Africa’s development realities.
The ITAV concept alludes to the "it takes a village to raise a child" proverb. The EWB chapters are like the village, that comes together to support ventures, their proverbial “children.” Read more about EWB's investments in ventures here and investments in people here.