As you know, I’m an active supporter of TECHO. I love their incredible work for us, and thus for our planet. Among some of the areas I’ve shared with you, the organisation works with population issues.
On the 11th of July, we commemorated World Population Day, which was established by the United Nations in 1989 with the aim to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues, including their relations to the environment and development.
Population issues include a wide variety of topics related to people’s rights, such as the right to the city, right to housing, right to an adequate standard of living, right to health, and the right to exercise choice over one’s own body and fertility.
It is fundamental to understand that we need to develop a collective and territorial approach to human rights and focus on communities in situations of vulnerability.
The Right to the City is an opportunity to change the old paradigm based on individuality and develop a new approach: the right to inhabit, use and enjoy safe and sustainable cities with access for all to adequate, secure, and affordable housing; to essential services, public facilities, transport, and work, is not a right of the isolated individual, but a right of the whole collectivity, a right that we should all fight for so that all people can live in dignity.
Popular settlements are one of the highest expressions of inequalities in Latin American cities. Approximately 20% of the urban population lives in these communities, which are exposed to multiple vulnerabilities and exclusions due to the weaknesses of a development model that places them in a gap between the State's liability to universalise rights and exclusion from the market.
Unfortunately, some people are invisible within urban societies, all due to their lack of assets.
Before them, all the doors are closed by their total vulnerability. Covid-19 has evidenced and exacerbated pre-existing inequalities. And it has had a powerful impact on people who live in informal settlements. They only possess the strength of hope, faith, and warrior spirit.
As argued by Lefebrve, the city is a space for inclusion and sharing, not segregation. The city will only fulfil its social function when it guarantees the right to decent housing for all.
TECHO understands housing as a fundamental human right and as an improvement in the
quality of life.
They promote community development and encourage the empowerment and the
participation of thousands of people to generate collective solutions for shared problems. The goal is to help transform popular settlements into inclusive, safe, resilient habitats, through the joint action of its inhabitants and the volunteers.
I cannot emphasise how urgent this issue is, and how firmly I believe TECHO’s work benefits the world we live in - because as you know, I believe human sustainability is the foundation for sustainability as a whole. If you want to join me in supporting TECHO’s compassionate cause, I urge you to donate what you can spare, and help improve equality in Latin America. Join the TECHO tribe here — thank you so much!