by Jennifer Donovan and Kara Sokol
Kurt Paterson has kids all over the little Honduran village of El Porvenir and more in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Not his own, of course—Paterson’s kids are village children whom the assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering equipped with cameras, to capture a kids’-eye view of their world.
“Kids see the world very differently, and their viewpoint isn’t usually heard,” Paterson explains. “I want to give them a voice and see the world through their eyes.” He is doing that through Kid'sView, a nonprofit organization founded by Paterson that is partnering with Engineers Without Borders (EWB) to encourage individuals and groups to sponsor a camera.
In July 2007, Paterson and Michigan Tech’s EWB chapter brought the first six inexpensive, one-time-use cameras to Honduras while they were working on a multi-use facility for an orphanage. Most recently, Paterson and his students took twenty more cameras to Bolivia, where they worked on in-home water treatments.