“Rain does not fall on one roof alone.” – West African Proverb
Fifteen years ago Felipe Berríos S.J. and a group of university students were appalled by the deplorable conditions of a slum they were visiting in Chile, and the group was moved to action.
In 1997, Un Techo Para Mi Pais (or Techo for short) began operations, following a program that begins with building new homes for slum dwellers, a crucial step in breaking the cycle of poverty there.
Techo has since expanded to countries across Latin America, and opened the first Nicaraguan office in 2008. Working in 10 cities across Nicaragua, including multiple communities in León, Techo gathers dedicated university students to work in the slums, exposing them to communities in extreme poverty to develop their social consciousness.
After the first phase of building, Techo volunteers organize weekly meetings to strengthen the community – meetings used as a vessel for lessons on education, healthcare, finance and more.
The last phase in every country where Techo works in, is to give a final push for the community to sustain itself, building on strong social capital, growing bonds between neighbors and between the community and the world outside.
“‘TECHO-Nicaragua’s’ mission is to overcome poverty and to promote community development within local communities. The group works with families living in extreme poverty, usually in slums, to create tangible solutions to poverty and to empower communities through social action. The organization targets youth and generally recruits volunteers from local universities.”
- ‘Techo’ Nicaragua seeks funds for community development – The Nicaragua Dispatch, 08/29/2012
Most communities that Techo is working with in Nicaragua are still in the early stages of the first phase. “Un Techo Para Meyling” centers on one family on the outskirts of León while touching on many of the other efforts the great volunteers at Techo are working on.
One of the most striking aspects of Techo is the ability of the organize local youth – mostly university students – in a part of the world where volunteering isn’t even worthy of consideration, let alone putting effort towards.
To find out more about the film and the efforts of Techo in Nicaragua, visit untecho.actualitymedia.org.
This video was produced on location by an Actuality Media student crew and shot primarily with a Canon XA10.
Director & Editor: Elishia McAllister
Producer: Tucker Gragg
Cinematographer: Laura Boyd
Actuality Media is an organization that takes media students to developing communities around the globe to create positive media that tells the story of changemakers doing good works to fight societal and environmental problems that plague the world. These short documentaries were each produced during a thirty day outreach where crews researched their subject changemaker, wrote out their story, filmed and edited it.