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165 members of the UPC community will take part

56 cooperation projects under way in year Centre for Development Cooperation (CCD) turns 25

Fifty-six development cooperation projects are getting under way during the summer break in teaching activity at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC). The projects are supported by the Centre for Development Cooperation, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and 165 members of the university community are directly involved. Part of the funding for these projects comes from voluntary contributions made by UPC students and by academic, administrative and service staff through the 0.7% campaign.

24/07/2017
Many of the UPC’s cooperation projects, particularly those involving students, are entering the on-the-ground implementation stage during the summer break so UPC students can combine participation in these projects with their academic studies.

Around 165 members of the University community will travel to 26 countries to directly participate in carrying out 56 cooperation projects supported by the CCD through its grant programme. Projects getting under way include the design and installation of ICT software and equipment at a maternity centre and school in Ethiopia, the implementation of cultivation strategies to advance horticultural production in a rural area of Zimbabwe, the implementation of a new decision-making model at a refugee camp in Iran, the building of a boat in the Ghanaian village of Azizakpe, and the launch of an optical workshop to improve eye care of young people in Senegal. The CCD also collaborates on other solidarity initiatives supported by the UPC, including the CUV-Social programme.

In addition to cooperation projects, the CCD supports activities related to development education and awareness raising, such as the organisation of the ALTRE Forum at the ETSEIB, and the development of teaching material on good practices in green building and traditional construction techniques used in countries of the South. Altogether, the CCD grant programme supports 58 cooperation projects and activities.

Voluntary contributions through the 0.7% campaign
The projects and initiatives funded under the latest call for proposals (for the 2016-2017 academic year) have a total budget of around €255,000, part of which comes from contributions made by members of the UPC community through the 0.7% campaign. The campaign invites students to make a voluntary contribution of €5 when they enrol, and UPC teaching, research, administrative and service staff are offered the opportunity to make payroll donations. Contributions received through this channel, launched in the 1996-1997 academic year, are pooled with funds provided by the UPC to support its development cooperation programme (managed by the CCD).

A 25-year commitment

The CCD is a UPC unit that was established in 1992 at the initiative of the Board of Trustees. Its mission is to promote the University’s active involvement in development cooperation and support the participation of all members of the University community in projects in this field. The Centre also focuses on education and awareness-raising on these issues.

In the academic year when the CCD will turn 25, work has begun to integrate in the University’s activity commitments arising from the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which sets out 17 key goals that will shape the global development agenda in the coming years. The drafting of new CCD regulations is another step in this direction, strengthening the University’s commitment to the struggle against poverty and inequalities at the local and global scale.

This year, the refugee crisis has mobilised Catalan universities, including the UPC, which has carried out awareness-raising activities and supported projects in refugee camps in Greece and Lebanon, and is preparing actions to facilitate reception of students from conflict zones.

As for local cooperation, the UPC has strengthened its ICT volunteer programme, which provides support to social entities and helps ensure the good functioning of initiatives like the UPC Reuse programme and the Rossinyol mentoring project—exemplary service-learning initiatives that contribute to improving training of architects and engineers, and, most importantly, help students become global citizens.

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