We learned about the Módulo Sanitario initiative from Gastón Festa, our computer engineer and technical leader at intive-FDV. He’s been a member of this voluntary organization for two years and thought intive could contribute to the ongoing project for a greater social impact. After the Project Nahual, Devs4Good and our "Women in tech" series, it was only natural that we committed right away. We joined in as volunteers and started building bathrooms and kitchens in rudimentary housing in the suburbs of Buenos Aires.
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“The missing piece”: Módulo Sanitario
“You are the missing piece”, says the slogan of Módulo Sanitario, a non-profit organization addressing the basic sanitary needs of more than six million people who don’t have access to a bathroom in Argentina.
How it works
Módulo Sanitario was launched in 2015 with the help of Fundación Horizonte de Máxima, which assists young professionals with the development of community projects. The people who put the idea forward found out that TECHO‘s constructions had no bathroom and kitchen modules. They decided to help.
The usual setup consists of five or six volunteers, one or two construction leaders and one supervisor that work in each house. The leaders undergo continuous training and follow a construction manual. During the first two days the volunteers and the families get to know each other. And when the construction is finished, a social monitoring is being conducted.
intive steps in
Eugenia Laguna, Marketing and Communication Manager at intive-FDV, has previously volunteered in TECHO and was one of the first to join Módulo. “The basics are the same: how to make ditches, drains. The first time I went on my own and the next - with a group”, she says.
In the last edition (June 9 and 10th, 2018), five of intive-FDV's employees (Isaías Montenegro, Gisela Villalba, Mariángeles Noseda, Eugenia Laguna, and Gastón Festa) worked as a team with a shared thought that they actually can make other people's lives a little bit better. They have been supporting each other all the time and shared lots of emotional moments along the way.
- “It’s like a retreat where you find connection, energy”, - Isaías Montenegro
- “They share with you life experiences that you are not used to hearing”, - Gastón Festa
- “You connect with the little ones, you experience it in your own flesh”, - Mariángeles Noseda
Participating in Módulo Sanitario's non-conventional meetings not only helps in solving people’s basic needs but also gives the volunteers a fulfilling experience. “You learn things you didn’t even know you really needed”, says Gastón Festa.
TECHO houses and sanitary modules have a design lifespan of five to eight years, depending on the ground parameters, climate, later maintenance and other variables. But the smile on people’s faces lasts much longer. “The initiative opens up possibilities and gives people more confidence in themselves. It proves to them they really can live a better life.” , highlights Eugenia Laguna.