The services Constru Casa offers families to improve their living conditions, in addition to buildings, include: fuel efficient stoves, water filters, a four year follow-up program, house maintenance and programs in education, healthcare and community development.
Fuel Efficient Stoves
Constru Casa offers fuel efficient stoves in co-operation with Soluciones Apropiadas. These stoves use 70% less wood and
eliminate the negative health effects caused by open fires and smoke inhalation including respiratory illnesses, eye problems and burns (especially amongst young children). In addition to the health burden of a smoke-filled living environment gathering firewood is a laborious and time consuming task associated with back-injuries and hernias. When firewood is purchased this places is a further strain on limited budgets.
A fuel efficient stove costs Q1800 (approximately $250 USD).
Water filters are offered in collaboration with Sawyer Filters. Extensive research has been carried out regarding the quality of drinking water in Guatemala, and this filter has proven to be very efficient and economical in producing high-quality drinking water and reducing water-borne diseases. They have an estimated time of high quality use of 10 years.
A water filter costs Q550 (approximately $75 USD).
Constru Casa is also working in collaboration with Ecofiltro, another type of filter, that is more economic, but it has a less estimated time of high quality use (2 years).
Four Year Follow-up Program
Our four year follow-up program is one aspect that firmly set us apart from other non-profits. We don't believe that it is merely enough to just build a house and leave. We want to ensure that we are really creating lasting change for families and empowering Guatemalan communities. For every home we build for four years afterwards Constru Casa follows up with families in partnership with our social partner organizations.
For development to be sustainable we believe that families need to receive adequate training in using and caring for their new home. Twice a year Constru Casa organizes workshops at the locations of its social partner organizations, where all beneficiary families of those organizations come together. Constru Casa staff lead the workshops that include group discussions, exchange of experiences, and sometimes role-plays. Important topics discussed include the families’ changed living conditions, hygiene and health issues, difficulties in adjustment, and special circumstances and general improvements, but also financial planning and responsibility. Through these workshops, the families are motivated to maintain their homes and utilize them to improve their lives.
For four years after construction Constu Casa carries out any required maintenance work for family homes and community buildings. This work does not include maintenance made necessary by carelessness or misusage of the house. Constru Casa tries to limit maintenance work to a minimum in order to strengthen the family’s sense of responsibility and ownership of their house.
Education, Healthcare and Community Development
In cooperation with other social projects, Constru Casa offers healthcare, education and social services to the families we build houses for.