Project community ConstruCasa
Wednesday, September 9, 2015 skype interview.
Today we had a Skype conference with the NGO in Guatemala together with team The Split.
We posed a few questions to get to know their mission better and what is expected from us as a team. With this information we are able to help brainstorm solutions and be a contributing factor to the Guatemalan society.
After a bit of a hassle we managed to finally Skype call Julie, she started off by introducing the whole idea behind Constru Casa. We were informed that is was Caroline van Heerde who moved to Guatemala in 2000. She worked with various projects and social organizations and hoped to improve the lives of families living in extreme poverty. In 2004 she managed to start up Constru Casa with a starting construction of 10 houses.
The goal is to provide accessible housing to the poor; the locals prefer a strong blockhouse, since Guatemala is prone to earthquakes and other natural disasters.
So from what we understood of the conference, we now have to help come up with the solution of a cheaper way of creating these durable houses for a maximum number of people. The main challenge is especially funding, advertisement and the promotion of their cause. The idea was it would be easier to gain funding if the audience (rest of the world) if they were asked to donate for a school or a local community building, because why should others donate for a house if they are having problems with their own housing?
It was also brought to our attention that taking on volunteers isn’t as efficient as we thought, lots of volunteers are usually students and knowing them they get distracted easily. They enjoy playing with the local kids and of course enjoy late nights in the city, which is fine however it just isn’t the most productive or efficient method.
Moreover the families who receive a home should be educated on how to change their attitudes towards having a home and how to take care of it. They may even save some money and be able to pain it or buy some necessary furniture.
So we as a Team during the coming few weeks will help brainstorm and form solutions that will be useful to Constru Casa. Our first task will be to come up with a design that would be cheaper and better (we will receive a list of materials) and the approximate total cost for a house 40x38m is 4800 euros.
Second will be fund raising, how to approach people, corporations and foundations. Will this be enough? How do we get others involved and what is their current weak point within their advertising. Because so be honest none of us knew about Constru Casa before IDE introduced us.
Next week we will be interviewing one of the construction managers to gain a better insight into what materials exactly are being used and what the method of building is. Stay updated for more!