During the weekend of March 6, France, Germany and Switzerland gathered at the locations of the IHECS University in Brussels, Belgium for the first-ever TECHO Europe meeting. TECHO started its activities in Europe in 2013 and as five countries –including the UK– are currently strongly establishing themselves, a gathering to exchange best practices and increase cooperation was the next step in the process.
Several topics were discussed during the meeting’s sessions, such as increasing the cooperation between the European TECHO offices and brainstorming on the possibilities for TECHO to participate to the EU-CELAC Summit. Small sessions were organized, where common work fields could exchange best practices, start common projects, as well as discuss various issues the countries are facing.
As a result of the meeting, all countries are pursuing legal registration as official NGO’s within their respective countries, a European TECHO video is being developed, and a European recruitment campaign to increase the amount of volunteers and thus TECHO’s reach will be implemented soon. Not only did the meeting ensure greater quality of work for the countries present, it allowed as well the volunteers to build a European network of friends and to increase their sense of belonging through the various teambuilding efforts that were incorporated in the agenda.
The success of this first meeting shows that the presence of TECHO in Europe is now firmly established. The present European youth is convinced that eradicating poverty is not only a concern in the countries affected by this phenomenon but instead it shall be treated as a global goal. TECHO originally started as an initiative by Latin-American youngsters to help the slum-dwellers in their respective countries – by now it has become a widespread network also strongly present in Europe.
A special thank you is addressed to all the volunteers that participated in the event as well as to the IHECS (Institut des Hautes Études des Communications Sociales) University in Brussels, Belgium for facilitating the venues for the meeting.
Want to participate to the work of TECHO in Europe? Here are the principal contacts:
Oscar Boije TECHO Belgium Director [email protected]
Inés Yábar TECHO France Director [email protected]
Jakub Walenda TECHO Germany Director [email protected]
Fabienne Hubschmid TECHO Switzerland Director [email protected]
Sebastian Smart TECHO UK Director [email protected]