Last April the city of Valparaiso in Chile was hit by a huge fire that destroyed almost 3000 homes, leaving 11,000 people homeless. Valparaiso, a UNESCO world heritage site, is known for its steep hills and colourful buildings. However, it is also home to a large number of slums; of those who were affected by the fire, 2,000 came from these poorer areas.
In response to this disaster employees in our Santiago office partnered with the NGO Un Techo Para Chile to help with the recovery work. Immediately after the fire the office ran a campaign to raise funds and collected hygiene and home care products to donate directly to those affected.
In June two groups of employees took on a more active challenge and joined Techo on their rebuilding project. The first job upon arriving on site was to clear the debris left by the fire and ensure the plot was ready for the new home. The build was split across two days with the first group laying the foundations and getting basic flooring in place, leaving the second team to raise the walls and fix the roofing in place. Although long days every team member commented on how rewarding the day was and a fantastic opportunity to help others.