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Un Techo para Mi Pais Uruguay ( A House for my country)

Country: Uruguay

Organization: Un Techo para Mi Pais Uruguay

2) Focus of activity: Community Involvement

3) Start Year: 2004

4) Positioning in the mosaic of solutions:

  •      Main barrier addressed: Low individual purchasing power
  •      Main principle addressed: Leverage resources that are abundant at the local level

    5) Description of housing product/service offering: Un Techo Para Mi País - Uruguay is a group of young people aiming to improve the quality of life of Uruguayan families living under the worst housing conditions, by building basic housing. Through them, they develop a space for interaction between young volunteers and needy families, recognizing their dignity and offering them better opportunities. The house is 6 meters wide x 3 meters long, built in treated wood paneling and supported by hard wooden piles resistant to soil moisture and harmful agents. Ten prefabricated paneling are put up on top of 15 piles, all thanks to the effort of both volunteers and the beneficiary families. It is a basic dwelling; the first step from extreme poverty to a definite home. The house is thought to be economic and easy to build, in order to make them available to the poor families and allow young volunteers to take part in its construction. It is an answer to the need of a private, decent and protected place, it creates a space for the family but, most importantly, it arouses the sense of property achieved through their effort and saving – beneficiaries are selected through an evaluation system and pay the 10 per cent cost of the house- not just out of our sheer aiding acts. Thanks to this educating content, the house now becomes a new possible way out of poverty and a chance to obtain a definite home.

    6) Description of innovation: The principle inovation of the project is the way we operate. More than 1800 volunteers have participated in the projects carried out for Un Techo Para Mi País - Uruguay. In addition, a permanent group of 100 volunteers covers the different working areas: allocation, construction, training and volunteering, communication, funds, finances and social interaction. This alows the intercation between university students and the poorest people in the country bulding a relationship between these two different and usually opposite sectors of the society, this could bring up new oportunities of social intercation and the posibility for the poorest people not been marginalized anymore

    7) Benefits to clients: The project is thoght to reach low income and marginalized populations, these are the only population we work with. We don?t have other field of work, for example we don?t sell houses

    8) Key operational partnerships: Un Techo Para Mi Pais is financed through our association with companies and their contributions, the private donations and the national and international organizations. In August 2005, Un Techo Para Mi País signed an aid program with the International Development Bank (IDB) in order to support this Project, expand the presence and stability of this institution , and improve their activities technically, specially in the social interacting stage. As a guarantee to our openness, the consultancy firm Price Waterhouse Coopers is in charge of our auditing. As you can see partners are esencial for us because we don?t sell any product in order to get income

    9) Financial model: nowadays our house cost USD 850 and the beneficiares only pay the 10% of the cost, USD 85, this is a very low cost for a hosue in Uruguay. Our team of social interaction and alocation are in charge of visit the families previous the construction in order to control the adecuate payment of the house. We usually visit the familiy weekly and charge the USD 85 in 8 so the familiy doesn?t have to pay al the amount togheter

              • Costs as percentage of income: 0

              • Financing: The project is non-profitable, we are inanced through our association with companies and their contributions, the private donations and the national and international organizations. The beneficiares constibute to 10% of the expenses of the program. Our strategy in the long term is that more and more people become aware that 30000 families in Uruguay need a decent house and the contribution of everyone in required in orden help those families. Beyond that our realtions with companies is growing every year as we become attractive for them in their Corporate Social Responsiblity department

    10) Effectiveness

              • Project outcomes: - 272 homes we built, that means that 272 families have a decent home now - Implementation of the project along the country, in the provinces of Florida, San José, Paysandu y Lavalleja. - Mobilization of 1800 volunteers. Without them, none of the above would have been possible. - 2 massive campaigns were carried out for the positioning and expansion of the Project.

              • Number of clients in past year: 160

              • Percentage of clients that are poor or marginalized: 100

              • Potential demand: The project is present in 8 countries of Latinamerica and it could be aplicable in all the world, so greater tahn 5 million would be the answer

    11) Scaling up strategy

              • Stage of the initiative: Scaling Up stage.

              • Expansion plan: 2000 houses in uruguay Implementation of the second part of the projet, Social Habilitation

    12) Origin of the initiative: The Latin American network of young volunteers Un Techo Para Mi País, was found after the driving force and experience of the NGO Un Techo Para Chile, one of the main and best happily outcome volunteer work project in Chile. Un Techo Para Chile was found in 1997, when a group of young University students turned to Felipe Berríos SJ and suggested their intention of building basic homes in the poorest areas of Chile. Their first goal was to build “2000 basic houses for the year 2000”. On winter 1999, such goal had far surpassed all the expectations as 2156 families had now their own houses. As a result to this campaign and the work of almost 25.000 volunteers, already 20.000 homes have been built since the year 2000. Earthquakes in South Peru and El Salvador caused the Project to be “exported” to other countries. Ever since then, this project has been carried out in El Salvador, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Perú, México and Uruguay, successfully adapted to the reality of each country.

    Contact Information:
    Jose Ignacio  Gonzalez
    Director of financial resources
    Un Techo para Mi Pais Uruguay
    (NGO)
    recursos@untechoparamipais.org.uy
    Uruguay
    Tel: +598 2 6230213
    Fax: +598 2 6230213
    Email: jigonzalez@untechoparamipais.org.uy
    Website: www.untechoparamipais.org.uy



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