Thank you for visiting my blog.
My name is Alanna Howell, and I am embarking on a three and a half month Junior Fellowship in International Development with Engineers Without Borders Canada. I have just finished my second year of Biological Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan. I grew up on a grain farm north of Swift Current, Saskatchewan, and have always been strongly connected to agriculture. From growing up on a farm, I have enjoyed learning how to work together to achieve a desired outcome, even when many factors are unpredictable. I am looking forward to learning about and connecting with Ghanaian farmers, input dealers, and other market actors to test hypotheses which will hopefully lead to systems which work better for everyone involved.
At the University of Saskatchewan chapter of Engineers Without Borders, I was the team leader of Youth Engagement this past year, and it has been a wonderful growth opportunity for me. I believe that youth need to be active participants in creating the change that will result in more fair world, and in order to achieve that they need to be included in critical discussions, armed with knowledge so that they know their opinions are valuable. (So if you are a young person and reading this blog, make sure to give me a shout out! I want to have you learn as much as possible )
The purpose of this blog is to bridge the gap between people back home concerned about helping the world and those who are on the ground living and breathing human development. Not everyone gets this unique opportunity, so I hope to let you see through my eyes what the realities are in rural Africa, as well as give you a chance to share your thoughts and opinions on the work that I am doing. My personal goal is to challenge you and challenge myself to ask really tough questions, so that we can learn past our assumptions and transform ourselves into critically thinking change leaders who will fight for what works and move ahead from what doesn’t. The posts contained within this blog are from my perspective, which is shaped by who I am as of now. I share my thoughts and experiences with you as a 19 year old, a young woman, a Canadian with Norwegian-Welsh-Polish roots, an engineering student, an environmental activist, a spiritual person who believes in the power of love and peace and community, and as someone who has been raised in relative comfort and with much opportunity and support from those around me.
Note: The opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of Alanna Howell and are not reflective of Engineers Without Borders Canada, the University of Saskatchewan, or any affiliated organizations.