During the two weeks in March that the volunteers were in Tugogo, they visited Saint Robert Technical School, a local trade school where students specialize in construction, electronics and sciences. Almost 500 students attended an assembly where the team discussed the bridge construction, B2P, WSP, what engineers do, and how to become one.
On the day the bridge opened to the public, the WSP team met with local government officials, who have been working with B2P and other government sources to secure funding for the project and the materials that made it possible.
Teamwork, patience and the desire to learn were key ingredients to the success of this project, according to Bruce Woogen, a volunteer from the Briarcliff Manor, New York office.
“The build was truly a collaborative effort between WSP, B2P and the local villagers where we all learned from each other,” Woogen said. “The energy was vibrant, and it was inspiring to work alongside my colleagues to be able to impact a community in such a positive way.”
The grand opening celebration included a barbecue dinner, as well as a friendly soccer match between the WSP/B2P team and the local community soccer team – a game that ended in a 1-1 draw.
“This level of volunteerism—the immersion approach—is a standard WSP should set for our company culture,” Cooper said. “By giving back to the communities we serve, we create new opportunities for us to come together and solve problems and to stay in touch with how we contribute to our own culture as design professionals.”