Cambridge Development Initiative at the House of Lords

by Katie McIvor

CDI House of Lords

Several Pembroke members were at the House of Lords on Wednesday 9th March to hold a forum for the Cambridge Development Initiative entitled ‘What role can students play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals?’.

The Cambridge Development Initiative (CDI) is a student-led development organisation based at the University of Cambridge. It was founded on the belief that students are vital contributors to development initiatives. The two branches, in the UK and Tanzania, are comprised of parallel executive committees and volunteers that collaborate to design, implement, and evaluate community-based development projects in Dar es Salaam. More than 90 students have worked together on innovative education, engineering, entrepreneurship, and health programs over the past two summers, including a pilot of the world’s first combined simplified sewerage and biogas generator system, and the first student-led youth entrepreneurship conference in Tanzania that drew an audience of over 300 people and raised $9,000 for student-run businesses. Throughout the year, the Tanzania team sustains the projects locally, while the UK team expands the network of partners and refines volunteer recruitment and training.

The forum at the House of Lords was an opportunity for key stakeholders to discuss how students can help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. It included an introduction from the UK student committee, a keynote speech from William Day, Chairman of Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor, and a networking reception.

The Pembroke members of CDI who attended the launch are Tristan Downing (2012), the Engineering Project Director; Izhan Khan (2012), Samad Arshad (2012), and Will Gayne (2013), Engineering Team Members; Rory White (2012), Entrepreneurship Team Member; Steph Willis (2011), former Engineering Team Member; and Richard Ollington (2012), former Entrepreneurship Team Member.

Also attending the forum were many key figures including the Head of BRAC UK, representatives of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Head of Raleigh International.