I am a co-founding member and current vice-president of my campus chapter of Mediators Beyond Borders (MBB). Our chapter formed a relationship with our OSU chapter of Engineers Beyond Borders (EWB), which has a current project in Lela, Kenya.
We realized that the engineers in EWB could benefit from learning techniques to better engage and build capacity in their project community, and as trained mediators, we had the ability to fill that need. I helped to organize and conduct two training sessions, wherein I taught and demonstrated several capacity-building facilitation techniques. My MBB colleagues and I focused on skills that would be useful for the EWB project team: future visioning exercises, the Commitment to Collaboration Compact, and situation mapping.
In October 2012, two engineers from our MBB team accompanied the EWB Kenya project team to the regional Engineers Without Borders conference, where they jointly conducted collaboration skill-building workshops for EWB chapters across the West Coast Region.
Our student chapters have an ongoing relationship, and we hope to conduct more training sessions for EWB members in the future. We envision a day when EWB project teams include trained mediators to facilitate community collaboration and capacity building.