Here at Composite Advantage, we like bridges of all kind. But we wanted to use today's blog to highlight a special kind of bridge-building. Bridges to Prosperity (B2P) is an international organization that helps to build pedestrian bridges in rural communities throughout the developing world. They partner with universities and corporations who send teams to construct the footbridges. B2P provides a Technical Advisory Board, consisting of professional engineers, country managers, and local masons to assist the teams as they complete the projects. They completed their first footbridge in Ethiopia in 2001, and the organization was born. Since then, through their numerous partner teams, they've completed almost 200 projects in 17 countries.
During the rainy months, flooding becomes an issue in many developing countries. This makes crossings difficult and dangerous, cutting villagers off from school, medical care and other necessary resources. B2P utilizes an empowerment model throughout the bridge building process by seeking to build a bridge with the community, not for the community. In addition, many of the bridge supplies are locally sourced to support local businesses. This leaves the communities with a sense of ownership of their bridge. The hope is that the communities will be motivated to continue working towards furthering their development.
You can find out more about Bridges to Prosperity at their website: http://bridgestoprosperity.org/