Dominica has been singled out to be the first in the Caribbean region to benefit from technical assistance from Engineers in Technology and Humanitarian Opportunities of Service( ETHOS) of Dayton University in the United States.
ETHOS was founded in 2001 by a team of engineering students for the purpose of taking engineering curriculum beyond the classroom, and even beyond the US. Students who participate in the program engage in service-learning experiences and technical projects across the globe.
The assistance being provided to Dominica will focus on coconut oil and cassava production.
Dominica’s participation in the program is due to the intervention of Chemical Engineer and member of the Board of Trustees at the University of Dayton in Ohio, Dominican, Lynton Scotland of St. Joseph, who pushed for the services to be extended to the region.
Scotland told DNO that ETHOS has been sending senior engineering students around the world, “to help in community type projects and bring technical assistance to those communities.
We have been doing it in about 35 different countries for the past 14 years and it has never been done in the Caribbean, and so being on the board, I have been pushing the university to do some outreach in the Caribbean,” he said.
He said there were a few other projects that they were considering such as Bay Oil, and the Layou Improvement Project but, “the Dominica Manufacturer’s Association embraced the idea that I presented to them during the Creole Festival when I was here in October and they said basically that they were willing to be the organization that coordinates that in Dominica with us,” he stated.
So as of May of this year, about three engineering students will be on island for a total of 10 weeks, to work with the multi-purpose cooperative, go through the entire process and look for ways to optimize that process and maximize yield.
The Dominican native admitted that he was “very excited” and “for me it’s the realization of the ideas that we had and seeing it come to fruition, and again in a relatively short period of time. In October we brought down the idea and here it’s January. We had somebody from the University that has already visited and she is actually leaving today.”
He said in the next few weeks the students who have been selected will be learning a lot about the country and the products that they are going to be working on.
“The key thing is the potential for the growth and the number of young people we are seeing involved,” Linton remarked and ackowledged the strong support that they have received so far.
If all goes as planned, the country could see students every summer for the foreseeable future and the university is covering all of the cost for the students, thus providing technical assistance at no cost, to Dominica.