First, could you explain what exactly TECHO is and how do you guys work?
TECHO is a youth led non-profit organization present in Latin America & the
Caribbean. Through the collaborative work of families living in extreme poverty
with youth volunteers, TECHO seeks to overcome poverty in slums by focusing 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 are the goals that TECHO strives to achieve?
TECHO’s goals are to work tirelessly to overcome extreme poverty in slums, through
training and collaborative action of families and youth volunteers. Furthermore, to
promote community development, denouncing the situation in which the most
excluded communities live. And lastly, to advocate for social policies with other
actors in society.
How long have you been involved in this community service group?
(How many projects have you done and what do you do?)
I have been involved in TECHO since 2014 when I entered the Student Program. The
next year, I was offered the opportunity to be part of the staff of the Colecta Techo,
and later I got an invitation to start working as an active member of the Formacion
and Voluntariado committee, which is the team in charge of recruiting volunteers
for different activities and teams. We also plan and implement activities for the
questioning and integration of the volunteers and coordinate the work with
universities and schools. In 2016 I got the invitation to begin working as The
Coordinadora de Colegios, which is the person in charge of handling everything that
has to do with the Student Program in TECHO. I have built 5 houses and have been
part of many activities that involve going to the communities.
What inspired you or drove you to be a part of the TECHO community?
What inspires me to be part of the TECHO community is giving them hope. When
you build a house you give them hope. Hope that things can get better in their lives
and that they can overcome poverty and have a better life style.
What values have you learned while being a member of this community
I have learned many values in the time I have been involved in
TECHO. My favorite one is equality. Every time I am in a TECHO activity I see
everybody as the same, everyone has the same rights, they can speak, they can work
and to be themselves. When I enter a community, I do not see the people who live
there as ’inferiors’, I see them as the same way I see himself, they do not have less
than me and I am not superior to them. I like this value the most because it has
helped me connect with the people from the communities. I have a strong bond with
Tita who lives in the community Huertos del Eden in Arraijan. I built a house for her
in December and I love visiting her and her asking her how she is doing just as much
as she loves asking me how everyone is doing and showing me how pretty her house
Do you think that working with TECHO has helped you develop skills and
abilities that you can use it the future? If so, which?
Working in TECHO has helped me immensely. It has changed my life. I am a more
confident human being who knows that has the power to change the world if she
works for it. It helped me develop leadership skills and be a more kind and human
person. I have learned to use my abilities in different ways that help me achieve so
many great things.
How would you encourage fellow teens to perform community service?
I would encourage fellow teens to perform community service in an organisation,
which they feel moved by the purpose and the work of the organization because if
they feel moved and they love what they are doing nothing can stop them.
How can someone get involved with TECHO?
TECHO has a Student Programs in different schools in Panama. We are working on
including more schools in our program. If your school doesn’t have a program yet
and you would like to implement this program in your school you can contact
firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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