Scheck Hillel Students Build Homes, Empower Families Living in Poverty
Written by Natalie Abramowitz '21
About two years ago, I began hearing about TECHO from a family friend. Every time she posted something on social media, my desire to participate grew stronger until I decided to take action. TECHO (roof) is an international organization that builds houses in impoverished communities. I felt the need to give back with the resources I have as a 16-year-old: my time, my work, and my passion.
I knew I couldn’t accomplish this alone, so I established alliances with both TECHO and the Costa Rican Jewish day school, Instituto Jaim Weizman. With my peers in the Scheck Hillel TECHO Club, we raised funds and prepared logistically for the two-day, two-home build. While in Costa Rica, we experienced firsthand the hardships that many people face day to day: no electricity, no water, and difficult living conditions. However, we also experienced the satisfaction of hard work, determination and of being able to better someone’s life by providing a safe structure in which to live. We learned to put in pilings in, to hammer, to saw, to hang windows and doors, but most of all, we learned teamwork, perseverance and perspective. All of these skills and feelings have now been instilled in us.
Our hope as the TECHO Club will continue this effort annually and to share the wonderful experience with as many of our peers as possible.