13 February 2013
Ignacia Ossul (ex SDP and current PhD) and TECHO, the Valparaiso-based NGO where she was serving as Regional Director, have been recognized with the Best Practice Transfer Award from UN-Habitat for their work in the slums of Latin America.
The NGO began in 1997 building transitional houses in order to respond to the lack of shelter in the slums of Chile. These transitional houses, built by slum dwellers and university volunteers, improve minimum quality of life but also represent the essence of the work which is the encounter between the poorest and the richest of the country.
Since its foundation TECHO has expanded to 15 countries of Latin America. These days the construction of transitional houses is merely the first phase. The intervention model has also incorporated socially-inclusive programs supported by university volunteers (education, health, legal aid, entrepreneurship and community organization) and definitive housing solutions for slums. Additionally, it has had an important role in building transitional housing following the earthquakes in Haiti, Peru and Chile. The NGO is funded by strategic alliances with companies, governments, international organizations (e.g. Inter-American Bank of Development) and the contribution of slum dwellers themselves.
This south-south initiative has emphasised the role of slum dwellers in the design and implementation of programmes for the poor, empowering and facilitating a dialogue between slum-dwellers and different actors of society which has had great impact on national housing policies and the creation of slum dwellers associations.
information can be found on the TECHO Website
Picture above techo.org " The multidisciplinary intervention has three phases to eradicate the slum; transitional house, social programs and housing project. Right: Construction of Transitional House in Colombia Middle:Community Meeting in Peru Left: Housing Project in Chile