TECHO
22 August, 2017

Q&A

1. TECHO

TECHO is a Latin-American non-profit organization led by youth volunteers that work in areas that require aid located across the continent, focused on: Community Development, seeking support by means of Political Advocacy, as well as increasing volunteering and Social Action. The work is carried out with the support of people who commit to improving society and the quality of life in their home country believing that changes towards that goal is achievable.

- What is TECHO’s main objective?

TECHO’s main objective is overcoming poverty and, as mentioned in the vision section, ending poverty and consequently creating an environment where everyone has equal rights and opportunities to develop their capabilities.

- Is TECHO the same as Un Techo para mi País?

We are the same institution that went through a series of internal changes, as a result of transitioning from our implementation stage to our consolidation stage. Furthermore, we reshaped the identity and organizational culture of our institution, sought to represent through rebranding.

- How do you define a slum/informal settlement?

TECHO considers a slum as a group of 8 or more families living on a land with an irregular legal situation, and that lacks at least one basic service such as electricity, water or a sewage system.

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

TECHO started as an initiative led by youth volunteers closely supported by The Church of the Society of Jesus, and while within the organization the figure of Chaplain exists, a role occupied by Cristian del Campo SJ, the Catholic Church does not have any interference in the work that TECHO carries out in the slums. At TECHO everyone is invited to participate without being discriminated, regardless of his or her beliefs, sexual orientation and/or culture.

- Is TECHO linked to any political party?

No, TECHO is a nonpartisan organization that, by working with volunteers and families living in slums, seeks to promote policy changes and advocacy, with the objective of making life better for and changing the situation of poverty in which millions of people of the continent live in.

- In what 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 and Venezuela. TECHO also has a fundraising office in Miami and New York, USA.

2. COMMUNITY INTERVENTION MODEL 

- What is the approach of TECHO’s work model?

The community intervention of TECHO focuses on the most excluded slums, with the joint effort between slum residents and youth volunteers being the essential driving-force, who work to come up with concrete solutions concerning poverty in the area. TECHO propels a continuous process of strengthening communities, considering development a transversal axis to intervention.

- Who can benefit from the plans and programs that TECHO puts into place?
The families that live in slums and that would like to work with TECHO can benefit from what we propose, and partake in the programs of the work model that the organization offers.

- How do the families really partake in the implementation process?
The families partake from the first moment that we intervene, seeing as it is they organize for TECHO to commence the intervention together. It starts from the social detection and assigning of transitional houses, then by the establishment of Social Inclusion programs and joint management solutions specific to their needs. Additionally, the family is responsible for 10% of the cost of the house.

 

3. VOLUNTEERING

 - Who are TECHO volunteers?

A TECHO volunteer is anyone who feels the motivation to change the reality of their country working with the families living in slums. TECHO focuses on recruiting young people that are currently enrolled in higher education and who are in the midst of their studies in technical careers and/or college degrees.

- What characterizes TECHO volunteers? 

TECHO volunteers are young people convinced that real change and overcoming poverty in their countries are both possible and attainable goals. They are committed to the families of the slums in which they are working in.

- What does TECHO ask of their volunteers?

TECHO seeks volunteers that are committed to their continuous work in the slums in a professional manner, fulfilling all the responsibilities that this may entail.

- Who can volunteer?

While all people who wish to volunteer with TECHO may do so, our focus is on young volunteers. Most of our volunteer recruitment campaigns are conducted in universities.

- What does TECHO seek with their volunteers?

TECHO’s volunteering engagement and training programs are divided into three sections:

-        Personal: understanding poverty, its cause and consequences. The commitment to this reality and coherence in the actions of the volunteers.

-        Technical: necessary tools and knowledge on the intervention model. A proactive attitude, investigation and knowhow of the political and social system of their country.

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

- In what dates do you have activities?

The various activities that are carried out in the slums respond to each country’s plan. We encourage you to get more information by contacting our local office in your country.

How can I participate?

Once you register in your country’s website, you will find a brief form that you’ll need to fill out. 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. FINANCIAL SUPPORT

- How is TECHO financed?

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

- Who are your main partners?

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

- 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 us at: [email protected]

 

5. TECHO FRIEND

- What is a TECHO Friend?

A TECHO Friend is a person who makes a monetary donation on a monthly basis through our friend network.

- When will my donation be reflected on my credit or debit card? 

The donation should be expected to be debited to your credit or debit card the same day that your donation was made. Let’s say you arranged for the donation to be made monthly from the 15th of this month, from here on, your card is expected to be debited every 15th of every subsequent month.

-  Am I automatically renewed every year? 

No. The month prior to your last scheduled donation, you will be contacted by one of our team members to renew your membership.

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

Changes in your donation, such as amount, form of making your donation or cancellation, you will have to contact de Director of Community Giving at [email protected]

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

All you need to do to is become a TECHO Friend in order to donate monthly.

- What is the minimum amount I can donate?

We appreciate all donations made to TECHO and do not have an established minimum. However, given that the families that we work with have less than $1 a day to survive we do urge you to consider donations of $1 a day or more, equivalent to $30 or more a month.

- What percentage of my donations reaches the families?

For every dollar you donate, 90 cents is used to aid a family; be it in the form of a construction or social inclusion program. The remaining 10 cents are applied to back-office expenses such as rents and salaries.

- Can I choose to which country my donation will be sent to?

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

- Will I get a receipt?

Yes. Every donation made automatically generates an online receipt, which is sent to the email account you provided.

- Are my donations tax-deductible?

Yes. Every donation is tax-deductible.

- Can I claim this donation on my taxes? 

Each January we will send you a statement reflecting the donations made by you to TECHO during the previous calendar year, which will provide you with the information you require for tax purposes.

- Are monthly donations helpful to TECHO?

Thanks to the commitment of our TECHO Friends and volunteers, a steady stream of funding is available to respond in a timely manner to issues such as natural disasters, constructions and ongoing programs in the slums. Without TECHO Friends, there is no TECHO.