London, Ontario recent engineering graduate, Bernard Kim accepted an internship with Engineering Ministries International because he wanted to use his education, skills, and training to help people around the world. He also hoped, one day, to combine his conviction for disaster relief work with his passion in engineering. Less than 6 months later, he has travelled on design teams to Sierra Leone and Guatemala and he has become Engineering Ministries International's first official "Disaster Response Intern" with his first trip to the typhoon-ravaged Philippines already completed, and a second one planned for March.
Based in eMi Canada's partner office in Colorado Springs, Kim is now well into his second semester-long internship. A standard eMi internship provides multidisciplinary design experience in a faith environment. On Kim's first project trip, he joined a team of volunteer architects and engineers to master plan the Rebuild Sierra Leone Boy's Home and Vocational School near Freetown. This semester, they joined another eMi volunteer team to create construction drawings for a hospital expansion for AMG International in Cubulco, Guatemala.
As a structural intern, Kim worked alongside the team structural engineer and assisted with structural designs, created 3-D renderings, and assisted with various aspects of the master planning. Together with the rest of the volunteers, they put together preliminary designs to present back to the ministries during the week-long site visit, with detailed designs being completed by the volunteers, interns and staff once they've returned home.
When Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines in November, Kim was offered the opportunity to be part of Engineering Ministries International's disaster response team as the first "disaster response intern". Says Kim, "I have been assisting in the development of the disaster response program in eMi and training programs for disaster response volunteers." He helped manage teams sent out on disaster response trips, and mobilized on a disaster response trip himself 5 weeks after Typhoon Haiyan hit. "We carried out shelter assessments through observations of surviving, damaged, and destroyed structures and by interviewing other non-profit organizations, government officials, and local Filipinos," says Kim. He is currently planning to return to the Philippines in March to provide technical consultation on the shelter designs of four other non-profit organizations and guidance on developing their shelter program.
Says Kim about his experiences with eMi: "The highlights have been to work in various countries, meet different types of locals, learn about various cultures, and to be a part of development work. Each trip has taught me something different and has changed me."
For more information please visit the Engineering Ministries International Canada website at www.emicanada.org
or call 403.202.3652 in Calgary.
Project Information is available at:
Sierra Leone www.emiworld.org/projects/projectprofile_5605.php
Disaster Response: www.emiworld.org/dr_philippines.php