SAEA’s general membership concluded successfully the 2018 Spring Technical Conference on April 7th in Detroit MI. Project managers presented to over 40 architects and engineers in attendance with updates on ongoing SAEA projects in Lebanon, Daraa, Damascus and Idlib. Presentations included recently approved projects that address SAEA’s 5 primary focus areas: shelter and housing for IDPs and refugees, WASH, energy, telecommunications and food & nutrition. Important discussions covered educational programs geared towards damage surveying and reconstruction.
SAEA members from Turkey and Syria gave brief overviews of the current humanitarian situation along with recommendations towards stronger involvement from SAEA to apply its engineering expertise in accordance with international quality standards. The conversation was heavily focused on the influx of people from Ghouta towards Northern Syria. There is a serious housing crisis that SAEA engineers are devising sensible and economic plans for, but with the magnitude of the tragedy, the main concern is to secure immediate funding to keep plans for renovating and preparing housing complexes going forward and quickly.
A constructive discussion was initiated around SAEA’s future strategy with a clear consensus towards expanding our work scope and increasing our operational efficiency. In the months to come, we will be pursuing plans to:
- Transform our organizational culture to supports long-term organizational longevity
- Publish new streamlined programs and workflow approach
- Seek the establishment of a field office in Syria’s bordering countries, beginning in Turkey
Finally, to acknowledge the incredible work of key partners, SAEA’s president issued appreciation awards to: Qeeam Organization for collaborating with SAEA on both educational initiatives for Syrian students and structural rehabilitation for IDP housing, and to the Union of Relief & Development Association (URDA) for collaborating to serve refugees in the SAEA camp in Lebanon.