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Enhanced approaches to knowledge-sharing in housing and habitat improvement – in countries across Latin America – was the main focus of an international event held by youth-led organisation TECHO and sponsored by World Habitat.

TECHO’s 2021 Housing and Habitat meeting brought together directors, co-ordinators and volunteers from all 18 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean in which they operate. It provided opportunities for vital collaboration and capacity-building across three main thematic areas: risk reduction; environmental issues; and sustainability of habitat projects. These were explored over three days, including talks by external experts and TECHO staff; sessions on sharing good practice; workshops on risk reduction plans; and training and development.

This was the first event to take place as part of an ongoing partnership between TECHO and World Habitat, following the presentation of an Outstanding Contribution to Housing Award to TECHO in December 2020 – the first award of its kind from World Habitat.

Carol Solórzano Canales, Partnerships and Co-operation Co-ordinator at TECHO, said:

“All participants shared their joy and were grateful, asking for these spaces for exchange to be more frequent. These thanks are extended from TECHO to World Habitat for making this possible.”

Mariana Gallo, Programme Lead (Awards) at World Habitat, said:

It was a pleasure to be able to support TECHO to deliver their 2021 Housing and Habitat meeting for Latin America and the Caribbean. Our sponsorship for the event comes as a result of TECHO receiving the first Outstanding Contribution to Housing Award from World Habitat in 2020 – in recognition to their achievements in housing provision in the region. This also marks the start of a long-term partnership between both organisations.

“We are happy to work with TECHO, a key player in Latin America and the Caribbean, having – amazingly – managed to expand their work to 18 countries, influencing policy and helping thousands of people to address their urgent housing needs. For an organisation like TECHO, who work across so many different countries and contexts, knowledge sharing is absolutely critical.

“We look forward to seeing the next stage of this important process and will continue working closely with TECHO in providing mutual support in our activities and collaborating to further the right to housing in Latin America and beyond.”

Following this event, the next steps will include the creation of new approaches and strategies to support vital risk reduction in the communities and settlements where TECHO works. A database will also be developed which will detail the work of teams in different countries to share knowledge and processes to support others in planning their own responses to habitat improvement.

Image: TECHO

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