Oxford is a long way from the African nation of Togo, but this morning a group of local runners played a part in building a school there. Members of the University of Mississippi chapter of Engineers Without Borders-USA (EWB) sponsored the second annual Trot for Togo 5K on the Ole Miss campus.
“I think this is such a great cause to work with a village in Togo that has specifically been proactive about educating their children and needing a safe structure to learn in,” said Cris Surbeck, one of the engineering professors who is traveling to Togo to help with the school’s construction. “In addition, it provides great training for our engineering students to become excellent engineers.”
This morning’s event brought out runners and walkers who support the group’s mission.
“I think our [chancellor] and alumni put a big emphasis on volunteering and community service,” said Katie Boyles, a sophomore in biology ran the 5K. “I feel like that’s an important part of being an Ole Miss student.’
The EWB chapter has already been to Togo twice, but they will have to return to the Hedome Village school for the next phase of construction. Each trip costs about $20,000.
“We’ve had some silent auctions, and we’ll continue with those in the spring; and we receive a whole lot of donations. We really depend on those,” said Surbeck.
If you want to help out, you can go online to donate to EWB, or contact someone in the engineering school for more information.