The Junior Fellowship Program equips today’s elite university students with the skills to create a more promising future—both for fellows individually, and for the wider world around them. The program is not just an overseas volunteer placement, it is 18 months of practical leadership and opportunity to address the root causes of poverty. It is a platform to empower tomorrow’s leaders to affect long-term, tangible change. The Junior Fellowship Program is run and recruited through Chapters individually.


The Junior Fellows are leaders who play an essential role in linking on-the-ground initiatives with our ongoing chapter activities. Junior Fellows are chosen based on a proven commitment to excellence, to building a more equal and sustainable world, and to taking on a leadership role in their EWB chapter and in Canada upon their return. They are humble and mature problem-solvers, excited to promote learning about development hurdles, and have an understanding of development practices.


The Carleton University Chapter sends one student a year, annually, from May – August to partake in the Fellowship Program. The whole Fellowship is 18 months long, where the Fellow is selected by January of the year participating. In January, the Fellow attends the National Conference and participates in a Foundational Learning Program online, in May they will complete 1 week of intensive pre-departure training with National Office and all the other Fellows from across the country. Following their 4 months of direct engagement working with a venture or portfolio (Ghana, Malawi, Zambia, Uganda, or Kenya), the Fellow will return to Carleton University as a Return Junior Fellow and commits to a full year of leadership and mentorship in an EWB chapter. The Fellow will run the subsequent Fellowship recruitment, the Carleton Chapter’s Kumvana Program, and connect the Chapter with their experiences by increasing transparency and insight from their experience.


The Background

Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Canada is a National Organization committed to unlocking human potential. Our vision is “a world where everyone’s basic needs are met and where everyone can live to their full potential.” Our mission is “to catalyze changes that address the root causes of poverty and inequity by investing in people and ideas that will contribute to building an equitable and sustainable world.”  EWB Canada unlocks human potential in Sub-Saharan Africa by investing in forward-thinking social enterprises, by supporting local innovators to accelerate their impact. In Canada, the organization fosters a community of leaders, developing the next generation of pioneers. Globally, EWB Canada collaborates with innovators across boundaries, consolidating our similarities, and learning from our differences.


The Carleton Chapter is a subset of that vision and mission here in Ottawa. We support their National goals through the Chapter’s work, and create a network for individuals to discover the depth of their own potential.


EWB Canada has seen continuous success with investments in social enterprises that are accelerating potential solutions for development challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa. The volunteer placements of our Carleton Fellow provides the much-needed talent for seed-stage businesses. The initiative is reciprocal; as catalysts for change, Fellows access unrivalled experiences to fuel rapid personal and professional development, and bring their expertise to Canadian development.


This Fellowship Program helps cultivate the Systems Change Leaders EWB Canada is creating with their localized development plans and advocacy leadership. For the Carleton Chapter, this ensures strong leadership development and greater opportunities for connective understanding throughout the Chapter and the greater Carleton community.

The Rollout

The Team is hoping to raise $3,000 for our Fellowship Program, to contribute to the unconventional experience for the Carleton Raven Fellow, and for the longevity of our Chapter in connection and understanding.


We will directly utilize the funds for our Fellowship Program, which is an annual four month internship each summer from May – August in a designated Sub-Saharan African country.


With a successful campaign, we can better provide for our Fellow.

The Impact

The Junior Fellow operates at the intersection of poverty, transformation, innovation and education, to spark systemic change in Canada and Africa. They gain a detailed understanding of the realities of these environments and learn how to positively affect each one. Their work will be tied to our larger organizational strategy, and your experience, input and effort will influence the strategy’s development. Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rates of early-stage entrepreneurship on the planet; over 250 million of the continent’s citizens work in 17.7 million small and growing businesses. This translates into a large network of growing possibilities. For example, FarmDrive uses data analytics to connect smallholder farmers with financial institutions and credit, enabling crops and farmers to flourish. This is all happening through a mobile phone, and it is helping close a $450 billion finance gap for the smallholder Kenyan farmers. The venture, Rent to Own, is using an innovative approach to financing, training, collateral, and the delivery and installation of assets to provide business owners with tools to spur growth. This helps the small businesses obtain the resources to graduate beyond early stage operations, and to date, Rent to Own has increased business incomes by $1.4 million USD.


The practical skills learned, invaluable insights absorbed, and the access to unrivalled experiences, the Junior Fellowship internship extends past the conventional leadership program outline. The Fellow builds understanding, knowledge, and a direct and personal connection to the organizations work. These building blocks represent real world change that is actively shared with the Chapter during the extent of their placement, increasing the strength of the Chapter’s leadership, capacity, empathy, and understanding.


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