Rosendin Sends Volunteer Team to Rwanda to Build 161 Foot Suspension Bridge

Electrical Contracting Company Teams with Bridges to Prosperity on International Volunteer Project

San Jose, CA (Nov. 15, 2019) –  Rosendin, the electrical contracting industry’s largest employee-owned firm, will celebrate its 100th year in business with an impressive international volunteer effort to build a footbridge in Rwanda. Rosendin is teaming up with the nonprofit  Bridges to Prosperity to design and build the suspension bridge in a mountainous farming region in the Muhanga District.

The team of 6-Rosendin and 4-Webcor employees traveled to Rwanda on Nov. 9 where they are spending two weeks building the 161-foot long suspension footbridge over the Miguramo River, a dangerous waterway that splits community resources and is impassible five months of the year. In the last year, two people have died and three were injured trying to step across logs placed across the raging river.  

The new Rukurazo Footbridge will serve approximately 1,200 people from the Rukurazo and Bisika communities by giving them safe and consistent access across the river to attend school, visit the hospital, and go to markets to buy and sell food.

“We started planning this bridge three months ago right down to the smallest details including a daily work schedule, tools list and safety precautions like fall protection, as well as basic logistics like where we will sleep and eat, so it is thrilling to finally be so close and have it all come together,” said Beatriz Kim, Rosendin Engineering Team Lead.

The local Rwandan community and volunteers with Bridges to Prosperity constructed the bridge’s anchors, foundations, pedestals and ramps using locally sourced wood and materials. The Rosendin team will build the bridge’s superstructure. They will set up scaffolding, raise two towers, set cables and crossbeams, and install decking, fencing and handrails.  

As the project manager on the volunteer effort, Kim, will lead a team of Rosendin employees to Rwanda including; Erika Fry (Virginia), Chelsea Laird (Oregon), Jordan Barkus (Virginia), Resmey Mom (California) and Andrew Terrell (Texas). Webcor is sending four volunteers; Crissy Tsai, Ryan Fischer, Bradley Shambaugh and Christian Aguayo.

Rosendin first began exploring the idea two years ago when Matt Englert, Senior Vice President at Rosendin, began speaking with Bridges to Prosperity. Rosendin CEO/Chairman Tom Sorley quickly embraced the concept and in 2018 he brought the project to the National Academy of Construction (NAC), an industry association where he serves as President. To Sorley’s delight, in January 2019, NAC offered to donate $59,197 to the project if Rosendin secured volunteers to create and implement the plans.

In addition, Rosendin is collecting donations for the Rwandan community so they can maintain the bridge using locally available materials. Members of the public are encouraged to donate on the company page:  https://donate.bridgestoprosperity.org/campaign/rosendin-providing-safe-access-for-rwanda-in-2019/c246394

This volunteer project aligns with Rosendin’s core values of giving back to those less fortunate, values that they have instilled over the past 100-years in operation.

About Rosendin Electric:

Rosendin Electric, headquartered in San Jose, Calif., is an employee-owned electrical contractor. With revenues upwards of $2 billion, Rosendin is one of the largest electrical contractors in the United States employing over 7,000 people. For 100 years, Rosendin has created a reputation for building quality electrical and communications installations, building value for clients, and building people within the company. For more information, visit  www.rosendin.com



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Laura Slawny
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480-868-9423
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