My name is Kevin Hanson, I’m 32, yes I am an Engineer, although that’s not actually a requirement to volunteer with EWB, and I’ll be departing for Malawi in early August 2011. Once there I will be joining the Water and Sanitation sector team for a placement of about four months where I will be actually in the country doing work.
I have a degree in Chemical Engineering and I’ve been working in the Oil and Gas sector in Calgary for the last nine years or so. To go on this placement I’m going to be taking a Leave of Absence from my current employer for five months, which means no more paychecks for five months :(. Not to worry however since the costs of my placement are covered by Engineers Without Borders, meaning I get a daily living allowance of $11! So I’m clearly not moving up on the pay scale ladder by doing this, but I am definitely of the opinion that from a life experience perspective this is a really great opportunity for me and I’m really looking forward to it.
As mentioned, I am an Engineer, but in a lot of ways my technical skill set from my university years isn’t really what’s going to be helping me out on this placement. The technology needed to solve many of the issues developing nations face has fundamentally been around for a long time. Rather, it’s probably going to be things like budget planning that will prove to be much more useful to me while on this placement.
In terms of funding for this placement, I won’t be getting a salary beyond that of my living allowance, but my expenses will be covered by Engineers Without Borders. As such, if anyone were to feel enthusiastic about donating to Engineers Without Borders in support of the work that I’ll be doing, there will very likely be a national fund-raising drive later this year, so stay tuned for more details! I would also like to thank my current employer Daylight Energy for providing funding to cover half the cost of my placement, which was very much appreciated.
My goal is to be putting together a post for this blog about once a week while I’m overseas, so I hope everyone finds them interesting and informative. I’ll post more contact info on here as I get it, but for now here are the key ways to get in touch with me while I’m gone:
Skype ID: kevin.hanson79