TECHO
22 June, 2017

FAQs

1. TECHO

What is TECHO?

TECHO is a youth-led Latin Amer­i­can non-profit or­ga­ni­sa­tion, which works in slums across the con­ti­nent to provide com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment programmes and promote social action and po­lit­i­cal ad­vo­cacy. This work is car­ried out with the sup­port of vol­un­teers, who commit to overcoming the realities within their own countries and are united in the belief that change is pos­si­ble.

What does TECHO mean?

Techo is the Spanish word for “roof” and refers to the fact that one of our organisation’s principal modes of interaction is the construction of transitional houses.

What is TECHO’s principal ob­jec­tive?

TECHO’s main ob­jec­tive is to over­come poverty and, as men­tioned in its vi­sion, to create a fair and poverty free so­ci­ety, where every­one has the op­por­tu­ni­ties needed to de­velop their ca­pac­i­ties and fully ex­er­cise their rights.

Is TECHO the same as ‘Un Techo para mi País’?

Yes. We were founded under the name ‘Un Techo para mi Pais’ but have since changed our name and rebranded our in­sti­tu­tion. That said we maintain the same institutional objectives.

How do you de­fine slum/set­tle­ment?

TECHO de­fines a slum as a group of 8 or more fam­i­lies liv­ing on an irregular piece of land, which lacks at least one of the following fundamental amenities: elec­tric­ity, water or sewage sys­tem.

Are you in some way re­lated to or a part of the Catholic Church?

TECHO was initially a movement that was closely sup­ported by The Church of the So­ci­ety of Jesus, with Cris­t­ian del Campo playing a particularly fundamental role in the organisation’s establishment. That said, the Catholic Church does interfere in anyway in the work that TECHO caries out in slums. At TECHO, every­one is in­vited to par­tic­i­pate with­out discrimination, re­gard­less of his or her be­liefs, sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion and culture.

Is TECHO linked to any po­lit­i­cal party?

No. TECHO is a non-­political or­ga­ni­sa­tion. That said, through the work of vol­un­teers and fam­i­lies liv­ing in slums Techo does seek to gen­er­ate governmental pol­icy and advocacy changes.

In which coun­tries is TECHO pre­sent?

TECHO is pre­sent in 19 coun­tries in Latin Amer­ica: Ar­gentina, Bo­livia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Colom­bia, Ecuador, El Sal­vador, Guatemala, Haiti, Hon­duras, Mex­ico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Panama, Peru, Do­mini­can Re­pub­lic, Uruguay, Venezuela. TECHO also has fundrais­ing of­fices in Miami and New York and a European office in London, UK.

2. COMMUNITY INTERVENTION MODEL

What is TECHO’s working model?

The com­mu­nity in­ter­ven­tion of TECHO fo­cuses on the most ex­cluded slums, combining the joint force of slum res­i­dents and youth vol­un­teers, who unite to gen­er­ate con­crete so­lu­tions to the issue of poverty. In doing so TECHO pro­motes community development and strengthening.

Who ben­e­fits from TECHO’s plans and pro­grammes?

Those families that live in slums in which TECHO works can ben­e­fit from, pro­pose and par­take in the organisation’s developmental pro­grammes.

How do fam­i­lies par­take in the whole of the im­ple­men­ta­tion process?

The fam­i­lies are involved from the first phase of our intervention, as TECHO’s intervention model begins with so­cial research and the assignation of tran­si­tional houses. TECHO’s So­cial In­clu­sion Pro­grams are then jointly man­age­ment so­lu­tions by the organisation and the beneficiaries. In addition, families are re­spon­si­ble for 10% of the cost of the transitional home that TECHO constructs for them – in order o create a greater sense of being.

3. VOLUNTEER BASE

Who are TECHO vol­un­teers?

TECHO vol­un­teers are all peo­ple who feel the urge to change the re­al­ity of their coun­try. TECHO fo­cuses upon enrolling the support of young peo­ple that are cur­rently en­rolled in higher ed­u­ca­tion facilities, and who are studying tech­ni­cal ca­reers and/or col­lege de­grees.

What char­ac­ter­ises a TECHO vol­un­teer?

TECHO vol­un­teers are young peo­ple who believe that change in their coun­tries is pos­si­ble and over­com­ing poverty in the region is an at­tainable goal. They are com­mit­ted to the fam­i­lies of the slums in which they are work­ing in.

What does TECHO ask of their vol­un­teers?

TECHO asks that volunteers commit in a continuous and professional manner to the organisation’s work in the slums in a professional manner.

Who can vol­un­teer?

Anyone who wishes to volunteer with TECHO may do so. That said most of our volunteers are younger than 30 as all of our vol­un­teer re­cruit­ment cam­paigns are con­ducted in uni­ver­si­ties.

What does TECHO seek with their vol­un­teers?

There are three axes to TECHO’s vol­un­teer en­gage­ment and train­ing pro­grammes:

-        Per­sonal: Volunteers should understand the causes and con­se­quences of poverty and commit to overcoming these issues.

-        Tech­ni­cal: Volunteers should possess the nec­es­sary tools and knowl­edge on TECHO’s in­ter­ven­tion model, a proac­tive at­ti­tude towards in­ves­ti­ga­tion and have good knowledge of the po­lit­i­cal and so­cial sys­tem in their coun­try.

-        Cit­i­zen­ship: strength­en­ing of democ­racy, cit­i­zen par­tic­i­pa­tion and focus on human rights.

When do TECHO activities run?

This varies depending on the location and country. Accordingly, to get more in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in your coun­try you should con­tact the local of­fice.

How can I par­tic­i­pate?

Once you reg­is­ter your interest on your coun­try’s web­site, you will find a brief form that you will need to fill in. If you don’t have time and still want to be part of TECHO’s com­mu­nity, you can be­come a TECHO FRIEND by do­nat­ing monthly. To join our TECHO friend net­work click here.

4. FINANCING

How is TECHO fi­nanced?

TECHO is fi­nanced through dif­fer­ent al­liances with com­pa­nies, in­ter­na­tional co­rp­or­a­tions, in­di­vid­ual monthly donors, and through var­i­ous fundrais­ing cam­paigns and events.

Who are your principal part­ners?

Our main part­ners are IDB (In­ter-Amer­i­can De­vel­op­ment Bank) through the MIF (Mul­ti­lat­eral In­vest­ment Fund), Bur­son Marsteller, Boston Con­sult­ing Group, De­loitte, Young & Ru­bi­cam and DHL.

How can I con­tribute?

You can con­tribute by en­ter­ing our “Do­nate” sec­tion in our home page. If you wish to con­tact us, you can email our European Director at: sebast[email protected]

5. TECHO FRIEND

What is a TECHO Friend?

A TECHO Friend is someone who do­nates a monthly and fixed amount of money to the organisation. To find out more

When will my credit or debit card be charged? 

Your credit or debit card will be charged (monthly) on the same day as your initial do­na­tion.

Am I au­to­mat­i­cally re­newed every year? 

No, you will be con­tacted by one of our team mem­bers to renew your mem­ber­ship the month be­fore your last pay­ment is due.

How do I change the amount of my do­na­tion, the credit or debit card I use or can­cel my plan? 

In order to change the amount of your do­na­tion, the credit or debit card that you use or can­cel your plan, you will have to con­tact de Di­rec­tor of Com­mu­nity Giv­ing.

How do I be­come a mem­ber of the TECHO Friend net­work?

You will become a member of the TECHO Friend network by do­nating monthly.

How can I claim this gift on my taxes? 

Each Jan­u­ary, we will send you a state­ment for your taxes, re­port­ing the sum you have con­tributed to TECHO dur­ing the pre­vi­ous cal­en­dar year.

What is the min­i­mum monthly do­na­tion amount?

There is no min­i­mum monthly do­na­tion. How­ever, the fam­i­lies that we work with live with under $1 a day. There­fore, we urge you to do­nate this amount: $1 a day, $30 a month.

What per­cent­age of my do­na­tions reaches the fam­i­lies?

90 cents of every $1 goes straight to the fam­i­lies. Whether it is in the form of a con­struc­tion or so­cial in­clu­sion pro­grams, it al­ways reaches the fam­ily. The re­main­ing 10 cents is spent on back-of­fice ex­penses, which include office space and salaries.

Can I choose where my do­na­tions will go?

Yes, in the check­out page you can type in the coun­try of your pref­er­ence.

Are do­na­tions tax-de­ductible?

Yes, every do­na­tion is tax-de­ductible.

Will I get a re­ceipt?

Yes, for every do­na­tion made, you will au­to­mat­i­cally re­ceive an on­line re­ceipt to your email ac­count.

Is monthly giv­ing help­ful to TECHO?

Your monthly giv­ing to TECHO is a total life­line to all as­pects of our work. Thanks to the com­mit­ment of our TECHO Friends, a steady stream of fund­ing is avail­able for ser­vices like rapid re­sponse to nat­ural dis­as­ters, con­struc­tions and on-­go­ing social pro­grams in the slums. With­out TECHO Friends, there would be no TECHO.