TECHO’S Community Intervention focuses on the most excluded slums of the continent. The joint work of families and young volunteers, who work to produce concrete solutions to the problematic of poverty, is the key driver of the intervention. TECHO drives a continuous community strengthening process, taking community development as the transversal axis of the intervention.
The initial phase of the Community Intervention consists of the insertion into slums and in the development of a diagnostic of the families in need. Youth volunteers have their first approach to the reality which can be seen in the slums, working in the field in order to develop a diagnosis, and to enhance the residents leadership by promoting organization, participation, and community co-responsibility in the whole process.
In the second phase, as a response to the identified needs in the community, there is an implementation and management of solutions in the areas of livability, education, labor and others that address existing problems. These solutions are developed throughout joint work between young volunteers and families, enhancing individual and collective capacities for community self-management. Young volunteers get involved in an awareness process about poverty and its causes, which leads them to act in order to generate real change.
Within this phase we emphasize the construction of transitional housing, which meets a need that is urgent and a priority in most slums. Creating a link of trust between the volunteers and the community since it is a concrete, tangible and achievable solution in the short term. The house built by TECHO is a prefabricated module of 162 square feet, built in two days, with the participation of young volunteers and families in the community. The construction generates an encounter between these two realties, promoting critical reflection and concrete proposals on how to overcome poverty. This process is done with a community approach, which promotes the organization and participation of the community.
Deepening this process of community empowerment, the community-organizing committee is implemented. This is a meeting where community leaders and youth volunteers dialogue and discuss about possible solutions to the priority problems in the slum. TECHO focuses on the implementation of education plans; work plans, such as basic skills training and micro-credit for the development of small businesses. TECHO seeks to link communities with networks to develop other programs to meet community goals and contribute to the generation of solutions.
As a third phase of the intervention, the implementation of lasting and sustainable solutions is promoted in slums, such as: regularization of property, basic services, housing, infrastructure and local development. TECHO articulates and links organized families living in slums with government institutions, so they can demand their rights.
Starting with the constant and massive hard work of young volunteers and families living in slums, TECHO denounces the exclusion and violation of rights that exists in slums, so that these problems are recognized by society and become a priority of the public agenda. Moreover, TECHO generates relevant information about slums, and seeks to be part of instances of proposal and public policy decision making, promoting structural changes that contribute to the eradication of poverty.