Engineers in Action (EIA) is a service organization that strives to bring together students of all backgrounds to revitalize communities by constructing pedestrian footbridges over impassable rivers. During the rainy seasons, many communities do not have safe means to cross flooding rivers separating them from their markets, healthcare, and education. Isolation caused by impassable rivers is a root cause of poverty all over the world which is why EIA's mission is to empower today's students to become tomorrow's global leaders by building bridges with under-served communities.
PSU students recently traveled to eSwatini, South Africa to physically construct the bridge they had designed throughout the 2021-2022 school year. A footbridge, named the Motane Bridge, now stands and helps nearly fifteen-hundred adults and schoolchildren reach healthcare, occupations, education, and daily needs.
The Penn State Engineers in Action strive to contribute to others in need with the aid of the education they acquire here. Stahl Sheaffer began supporting this local chapter (originally called Bridges to Prosperity) when it was formed at Penn State in 2013; the name was changed to Engineers in Action in 2019. Rod has presented to this group in the past about engineering career opportunities, and Stahl Sheaffer has provided safety training, donated high-vis shirts, and provided various monetary sponsorships over the years.
The chapter president told us that "EIA efforts to continue with fundraising were substantially eased with your consideration and donation to our previous build. Along with that, your help saved a substantial number of lives and created an easier way of living for the community of Mahlangatsha. A footbridge, named the Motane Bridge, now stands and helps nearly fifteen-hundred adults and schoolchildren reach healthcare, occupations, education, and daily needs. It can go unsaid that your help has gone a long way and will continue in the prosperity of the Mahlangatsha community."
Watch a video summarizing the experience these students had while onsite in South Africa: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cf7m_VeDZhY/
For more information about the organization, visit https://orgcentral.psu.edu/organization/engineers-in-action-penn-state-chapter