Frequently Asked Questions
〉 How did EMI EA begin?
At an EMI conference in 2001, God spoke to Shanthi Gamble about opening an EMI office in Africa. This seemed strange to her because she was a teacher, not an architect or engineer. It also seemed strange because up to that point, her engineering husband Chad had never been on an EMI trip. So Chad decided to join an EMI project trip to Uganda, and on that trip it was suggested to him that EMI should open an office in that part of the world. Chad and Shanthi jumped on board! After two years of EMI project trips and training at EMI in Colorado, they moved their family, including a 3- and a 4-year-old, to Uganda in July 2003 to open the EMI EA office. At that time they were joined by an architect couple, John and Paula Sauder, and a structural engineer couple, Keith and Marianne Gum and their teenage son John.
〉 Why should I consider coming to Uganda with EMI EA?
Volunteering with EMI EA gives you the opportunity to use your engineering and architectural skills to serve God and the poor, while at the same time gaining valuable experience and expanding your cultural horizons. Over 100 interns have served in our office, and all give testimony to God working powerfully in and through them during their internships.
〉 Will I be paid?
No. EMI and EMI-EA are non-profit organizations operating on a purely volunteer basis. Each intern and volunteer is given the opportunity to raise donations to cover his or her own costs of participation, room and board; helping us continue to provide non-profit design services to approved charities and churches. We recognize the difficulty of raising funds from family and churches here in East Africa. Understanding this, we have sought scholarships to assist East African interns in covering a portion of their internship and room and board costs.
〉 How much will it cost?
The total cost of the internship program is approximately $900 USD per month. However, for those demonstrating financial need, scholarships may be available to cover 100% of the internship costs and 80% of room and board expenses. All interns need to cover the cost of their transportation to and from the EMI-EA office in Kampala, Uganda. During the internship, all your housing and meals will be provided by EMI from the funds you raise and/or from scholarships you may qualify for.
〉 How long is my commitment?
EMI-EA internships are generally 3 to 6 months in length, and generally follow the following term lengths: Jan-May, May-July, Sept-Dec.
〉 Does EMI-EA arrange housing?
Yes. EMI-EA strongly recommends that all interns reside in our Kansanga-based intern housing. There are apartments for men and women. This arrangement provides the best environment for developing cross-cultural friendships and building community. All interns receive a monthly food and transportation allowance, and most interns share cooking and cleaning responsibilities to save cost.
〉 What is working in the office like?
We start each day praying at 8:30 sharp. We break for a communal local style lunch from 1:00 to 1:30 pm. And the work day ends at 5. The interns' primary job is to produce the final report for the project(s) they participate in. A majority of office work is architecture/engineering related, so interns spend most of their time designing and working in AutoCAD. Technical guidance will come from the staff and volunteers that go on your project trip. The project leader for your trip will be your primary technical guide for work in the developing world. Office dress code is business casual.
In addition, there is a Bible study and a mentor for each intern. And you are strongly encouraged to volunteer in a local ministry. The options are limitless, but have included in the past an orphanage, sports ministry, Bible club at a local secondary school, worship team at a local church, or teaching at the local refugee center.
〉 How do I apply?