The Lehigh Valley Professional Chapter of Engineers without Borders-USA is hosting a special screening of the award-winning documentary film, Pride of Lions (prideoflionsfilm.com) on April 30th at 6 p.m. at Lehigh University in Packard Auditorium, Room 101. The film presents Sierra Leone in a new light - the story of what it means for a country and its people who have been brutalized by an 11-year civil war, to move beyond their scars. Sierra Leone Dr. Bailor Barrie, featured in the film, will be the guest speaker prior to the film and after for the Q & A.
Brother and sister team, John and Louise Woehrle from Minneapolis, never intended to make a documentary film together until John had a life-changing experience after traveling to Sierra Leone in 2004. He was an acting teacher and screenwriter living in Los Angeles, when he was asked by one of his acting students to accompany her to Sierra Leone to meet her biological father for the first time. John had no idea how this trip would alter his life. After meeting the capable, intelligent, and gracious people from the village of Bumpe in Sierra Leone and witnessing firsthand the unthinkable suffering caused by war, he made a commitment to help.
Engineers Without Borders-USA is a humanitarian organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for people primarily in the developing world. EWB volunteers are engineers and other professionals who partner with communities to help meet their essential needs: clean water and sanitation, reliable energy, shelter, transportation, and education. EWB-USA has over 12,000 members in hundreds of professional and student chapters. They currently run over 350 active projects in more than 45 countries.
The EWB-Lehigh Valley Professionals Chapter (ewb-lehighvalley.org) is sponsoring a humanitarian project in partnership with the Centennial Secondary School (CSS) located in the village of Mattru Jong, Sierra Leone. The school was ransacked by rebels during the war, and much of its infrastructure, including its water supply, sanitation facilities, and several building structures are now incapable of meeting even the most basic needs. "Our partnership with CSS and the neighboring community of Mattru Jong, " explains member Sean Dooley, "will continue for at least five years as the needs are prioritized and the necessary improvements can be made in conjunction with the local authorities." The objective is to leave the school with sustainable solutions that can be carried on without continued influx of external aid.