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Building Bridges with EIA

Raised toward our $7,000 Goal
52 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on December 05, at 11:59 PM EST
Project Owners

Building Bridges with EIA

Construction Manager carrying Swazi student across river on his back

Every day, in communities around the world, children ford rivers with books stacked on their heads just to get an education and a chance at a brighter future. Every day, in communities around the world, sick and injured people unnecessarily suffer and die as a result of flooded rivers stranding them from medical care. Every day, in communities around the world, farmers, craftspeople, and other workers miss out on the chance to make life better for themselves and their families because they can't access markets across a swollen river. Geographic isolation like this is an everyday reality for millions around the world, but life does not have to be like this for them.

Completed Mdlasomi Pedestrian Footbridge

The Cornell Chapter of Engineers in Action (EIA) solves these problems by designing and building pedestrian footbridges for underserved communities in eSwatini and Bolivia. The pedestrian footbridges built by EIA chapters like ours have resulted in a 12% increase in school enrollment, 18% increase in healthcare treatment, 75% increase in farm profits, and a 59% increase of women's participation in labor markets. Our team has built three bridgesCalcha (Bolivia), Kontshingila-Nhletjeni (eSwatini), and Mdlasomi (eSwatini)and for each build we have sent eight students for eight weeks during the summer to work alongside professional engineers from around the world, local masons, and the rural communities. These bridges and the building experiences not only make a tangible impact, but also empower all who work on themstudents, community members, and engineersto go on to make lasting change.

Picture of EIA Team

The work our team does is important in the world now more than ever, but it is not possible without your support. Our Summer 2020 build season was canceled unexpectedly by the COVID-19 pandemic, but with your support we were able to survive the abrupt disruption. It is our hope that we can build again in the Summer of 2021, but this can only be done through your help. If we build, your donation will go towards travel and living expenses for our travel team, and materials and equipment to build pedestrian footbridges safely. If we cannot build, your donation will be saved in the hope of a future build, support continued team education, and help our American, Swazi, and Bolivian partners continue building bridges and making an impacteven if our team cannot be there in-person to do that. In short, your support will continue to make an impact whether we are able to travel this upcoming summer or not.

Celebration of the completed bridge at Mdlasomi

The Cornell EIA team hopes to move forward no matter what obstacles stand in our way, and your support of our team will make that all the more possible to do successfully. With your help, we will be able to continue to empower today's students to become tomorrow's global leaders, build bridges with underserved communities, and ensure that geography doesn't determine access to opportunity.

End-of-day work circle where travel team, community members, and children are all holding hands

For more information, check out our website at

Choose a giving level


Nuts and Bolts

With $10, you will be supporting the purchase of the small hardware that is critical for constructing our bridge. Every lag screw, drop forged clamp, and length of iron rebar helps bring us one step closer to building a bridge.


Wood and Fencing

With $25, you will be supporting the purchase of wooden planks and steel fencing that span the length of the bridge. People will be walking along these for decades to come!


Safety Equipment

With $50, we will be able to buy the safety equipment that is necessary to keep our students and community members safe while constructing the bridge. This donation will go towards purchasing hard hats, work gloves, safety glasses, retractable lanyards, and harnesses.


Bridge Cables

With $100, you will be supporting our purchase of bridge cables which will not only connect our two support towers to create the main frame of the bridge but will it create a stronger connection between our team and the community.


Food and Living Expenses

With $250, we will be able to pay for the full amount of food and water for one student for 2 months!


Local Mason

With $500, you will be providing the salary for a local mason that works with us in building the foundation of the bridge towers.



With $1000, you will be covering the airfare for one student to our bridge site where they will excavate, mix concrete, and see the impact of our work first hand.


Bridge Builder!

With $2000, you will be supporting the bulk of our materials which will give us the ability to finish the bridge and go back next year to build another!