11th of June, 2015
The 9th of June, 2015 two representatives of TECHO Belgium vzw visited the European Commission’s headquarters in Brussels, the Berlaymont building, in order to receive the EU-LAC Award within the category of best Citizen’s Initiative.
TECHO’s award-winning project aims at solving housing challenges in Latin America, through the joint cooperation of youth in Europe and Latin America. Since 2012 TECHO cooperates with EcoHouse, a student organization active at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom with proven experience in developing sustainable housing solutions. The cooperation aims at adapting TECHO’s standard emergency housing module into a suitable model for the Sao Paolo favelas. Thanks to the successful results of the cooperation the jointly developed housing modules are today used in not only Sao Paolo but also other regions in Brazil, and similar projects are already under way in other countries where TECHO is present. The TECHO-EcoHouse modules are expected to improve the quality of life of thousands of families in Latin America in the upcoming years.
Initiatives such as the one between TECHO and EcoHouse are great examples of joint projects where Latin American and European youth are cooperating in order to find solutions to some of the most urgent challenges people are facing around the globe. TECHO and EcoHouse are committed to continue their work in order to eradicate extreme poverty and urge everybody to join the cause – because together we’re stronger!
The Award ceremony was attended by Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s High Representative for European Foreign Politics, and Ricardo Patiño, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador. Together with Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the EU-LAC Foundation’s President and former European Commissioner for External Relations, they symbolically handed TECHO the Award.
TECHO’s Citizen’s Initiative project was selected to be awarded by a jury comprised by the former President of Uruguay, Julio Maria Sanguinetti, the former President of the European Parliament, Klaus Hänsch, the former Peruvian Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Antonio García Belaunde, and the American editor of The Economist, Michael Reid.
TECHO is a non-profit that seeks to overcome poverty in 19 Latin–American countries’ slums, through the joint work of families living in extreme poverty and youth volunteers. Founded in 1997, TECHO is today one of the largest NGO’s in Latin-America having to date built more than 100.000 temporary houses together with 800.000 volunteers. With over 30% of the population in Latin-America living in poverty, the work of TECHO is today more needed than ever before. To know more about us and our work, please visit our website: www.techo.org/eu