Debre Birhan School / Q Center – Architects Without Borders

Debre Birhan School Architects Without Borders  Volunteer Opportunities

The Opportunities:

Architects Without Borders-Oregon is looking for volunteers for two current projects.

Debre Birhan School
For the Debre Birhan School in Ethiopia we need a volunteer who can work from existing construction drawings of a composting latrine building to produce one or two 3D exterior color images showing construction materials and details such as brick coursing, as well as the sloping site where the facility will be built. This job is estimated at three to six hours and the work product is needed before the end of October.

The city of Debre Birhan, Ethiopia, is experiencing rapid growth as people move from the countryside to the city. The Community Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a school to serve new residents living on the perimeter of this fast-growing city. Architects Without Borders – Oregon has supported this work with campus planning and building design assistance since 2014, working in collaboration with an Engineers Without Borders group in Portland, Maine. The first of five planned classroom buildings was completed in the summer of 2018, with four classrooms that now serve over 100 students. AWB-OR has produced drawings for the construction of a composting latrine building to serve the school and is currently updating the classroom building documents to incorporate lessons learned during construction of the first building.

Q Center
For the Q Center renovation in Portland we need one or two volunteers with skills in AutoCAD, Rhino, and/or SketchUp to create 2D and 3D images. Volunteers can expect to contribute a few hours of time per week on an ongoing basis.

Architects Without Borders-Oregon has begun working with the Q Center to develop a vision for a more welcoming and functional community space at its location on Portland’s North Mississippi Ave. The non-profit Q Center provides services, information, referrals, classes, support groups, events, and a safe space for the LGBTQ community.


Debre Birhan School
This job is estimated at three to six hours and the work product is needed before the end of October.

Q Center
Volunteers can expect to contribute a few hours of time per week on an ongoing basis.

How to Apply:

If you are interested send your name, contact information and a brief summary of your relevant skills to [email protected]. Please include the name of the project in the subject line.

About Architects Without Borders – Oregon:

Architects Without Borders-Oregon assists communities in need by providing design and planning services through a volunteer network of professionals and students.


  • Connect the Oregon design and building community to communities and non-profit groups that need architectural assistance.
  • Address urgent and chronic conditions of inadequate infrastructure, community facilities, and shelter.
  • Provide opportunities for architecture students and interns to gain experience in service, collaboration, design, and construction.



  • Assess potential projects in order to understand the needs of the community, the feasibility of providing effective assistance, and the availability of appropriate volunteers and institutional and material resources.
  • Respect and work closely with the people served by our efforts.
  • Collaborate with relief and development agencies, government entities, building professionals, and educational institutions in interdisciplinary teams. Involve local labor, resources and technology.
  • Provide designs and use practices and technologies that are environmentally responsible and appropriate to the culture and climate of each location. Utilize charrette techniques to maximize involvement and clarify potential solutions.
  • Support each project team by recruiting volunteers; making contacts within the professional community; providing publicity, legal support and budgeting; and conducting fundraising for AWB’s work.

Cover image courtesy Architects Without Borders – Oregon.