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04/28/2014 | DHL volunteers support non-profit organization TECHO to reach goal of 100,000 emergency housing units in Latin America

DHL partners with TECHO, a Latin American NGO that works to overcome poverty in slums and foster the development of local communities, to help the organization meet its ambitious 2014 target of completing 100,000 emergency housing units in 19 countries since its inception. Founded in 1997 and led by youth volunteers, TECHO was also recently presented with a special donation of USD 250,000 from DHL for building a total of 100 new houses for families this year. In the past month, DHL volunteers in more than a dozen countries including Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama, Peru and Mexico, are working with TECHO to meet its ambitious housing goal this year. DHL is TECHO's primary sponsor in this effort.

"Since DHL began its partnership with TECHO, more than 2,000 of our colleagues have voluntarily helped build houses," said Christof Ehrhart, Executive Vice President Corporate Communications and Responsibility at Deutsche Post DHL. "We think that it is important that we not only donate money but also directly involve ourselves in the project. Such enthusiastic support makes our help very concrete and at the same time, is a particular motivation for our employees."

More than 450 communities in Latin America
"Working directly with more than 450 communities in Latin America, TECHO is taking responsibility for overcoming poverty alongside residents of slums. On this occasion, we seek to raise awareness about this situation and to link different actors - companies such as DHL, organizations and governments - to think and work together towards a fair society, transforming our stories and changing history," said Augustin Wolff, director of social programs of TECHO.

The construction of transitional housing involves the community itself working alongside the TECHO volunteers to improve their perception of housing. This program of building transitional homes is the most extensive in Latin America and is carried out in 18 from the 19 countries where TECHO works.

DHL volunteers have dedicated more than 30,000 hours of their time, helping build a total of 400 emergency houses so far as well as initiating fundraising campaigns and providing transportation of needed materials.

Lending a hand to the poor families
"For years now, our employees in the Americas have donated their time and talent to help build urgently needed housing with TECHO and the beneficiary families. They will continue lending a hand to the poor families in their communities," underlined Christof Ehrhart the importance of the company's partnership with TECHO.

For instance, in Peru, 57 DHL employees helped TECHO and other volunteers build three out of five houses constructed in the Juan de Miraflores district near Lima last month. The three homes benefited Teresa Cama, Gabriela Huamani and Felicita Arimana Galvez, all of whom have small children. "I'm so excited and so grateful," said Felicita, who takes care of her five-month-old granddaughter. "I finally have a floor where I can let the baby get down and crawl."

In Brazil, several DHL employees spent Good Friday working alongside a family from Guarulhos, a suburb of Sao Paulo, build a new home. "This project is the most important event that happened in our community," said Sandra, who benefits from a new home. "Now we have a house, now we have dignity. It makes me very proud to protect my family. Thanks to DHL and TECHO."

Econsense

Forum for Sustainable Development of German Business e.V.

econsense is an association of leading, globally active companies and organisations of German business specializing in the area of sustainable development and corporate social responsibility (CSR). Founded in 2000 on the initiative of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), the goal of econsense is to provide a dialogue platform and think tank, with the dual objectives of advancing sustainable development in business and assuming social responsibility.