The Canada-Africa Innovation Fellowship
If you're an engineering or STEM student in a Canadian University or Technical Institute and are curious about making a difference globally, the Canada-Africa Innovation Fellowship (CAIF) is for you! This program by Engineers without Borders (EWB) Canada offers a hands-on experience where you can use your engineering skills to tackle real-life challenges.
The focus of the CAIF program is on finding solutions, especially those linked to addressing issues around climate change. Fellows will use their engineering and tech knowledge to find viable solutions to this global challenge - but it's not just about the tech and engineering side of things! We use Human-Centered Design principles, which means we prioritize the needs and experiences of the people we're helping. This combination of technical know-how and people-first thinking can lead to more effective solutions.
A unique part of the CAIF program is the cultural experience. You'll get to know the technical and cultural aspects of both Canada and East Africa, as you work alongside CAIF Fellows from East Africa. This broader understanding helps ensure that the solutions are relevant to the communities they're designed for.
The in-person portion of the CAIF program is three months long and is packed with experiential learning opportunities. You'll work with students from different backgrounds, dive into current tech trends, and develop innovative solutions. Toward the end, you'll partner with experts in the field to polish your projects.
Upon returning to Canada, all fellows will be expected to remain with/join their school’s EWB Chapter and, through active participation, share their fellowship experience and contribute to the growth of the Chapter. For those Fellows whose university does not have a chapter, EWB’s National Office will work with you to establish a Chapter on your university campus.
In short, the CAIF program offers a unique opportunity for students like you to apply your skills, learn from different cultures, and make a real impact. If you're keen to broaden your horizons and put your knowledge into action, we encourage you to apply now!
Becoming a CAIF Fellow offers the following benefits:
Gain practical insights and hands-on experiences to become a global change maker and system change leader by addressing sustainable development challenges, offering invaluable hands-on engineering experience that's rare to find in conventional academic settings
Exclusive participation in program-sponsored events including the CAIF speaker series and Fellow Retreat
Refine your technical skills while also enhancing engineering and project management abilities with experiential workshops, learning labs, and mentorship
Connect to a global network of industry experts, mentors and like-minded change makers
The opportunity to travel to East Africa, living in both urban and rural settings through an international exchange program
Contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals by engaging directly with the challenges faced in regions like rural communities, contributing to meaningful and sustainable development making a difference in the world
Attend a post-program graduation ceremony where participants are awarded certificates and recognized as EWB Canada fellows and alumni of the Canada-Africa Innovation Fellowship Program, unlocking further networks and opportunities for your professional, leadership and entrepreneurial growth
Previous CAIF Projects
Addressing SDG 2: (Zero Hunger) & SDG 13: (Climate Action) by creating radio programs that provides rural farmers with information on better farming tips and methods (products and services) that they can purchase and use to help fight climate change.
Past Fellow Spotlights
"As a new member of EWB, I wanted to learn more, become involved in international development, and use the skills I have gained during my years at University to drive progress in an area aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. This fellowship granted me a wealth of knowledge from interacting with my Ugandan fellow colleagues to learn about their lived experiences and their thoughts on how to tackle different humanitarian goals and through the structured and insightful weekly lessons."
Alan Payno Montoya, University of Guelph
Canada-Africa Innovation Fellow '21; Co-Founder of On the Spot
APPLICATIONS & CONTACT
Applications for the 2024 CAIF cohort are open as of October 2, 2023 and will be reviewed and considered on a rolling basis until midnight EST on December 1, 2023.
Applications are open exclusively to applicants currently enrolled at Canadian universities and technical training institutions.
If you have any other questions about the CAIF program, contact us at email@example.com.