Weatherizers Without Borders is a not for profit group that was created to encourage skilled building science professionals to provide weatherization training and mentoring to community volunteers in South American communities to help improve living conditions for very low income families. The need for energy efficiency solutions in existing housing in Latin America becomes extremely important for low-income families, as they end up paying most of their wages in energy and are subject to health and safety threats due to the irregular and dangerous electric connections in their home.
Mark Jackson with Community Housing Partners explains the program as "everything from the outside to the inside, how air moves in and out of the house. They look at carbon monoxide, indoor air quality."
Several countries from South America has a great deal of children suffering from asthma and after Weatherizers Without Borders team started to work in projects in Argentina to address dangerous air quality, no insulation and electrical issues, the group says that they saw less medical visits, less missed work and less missed school days from the residents they helped.
A representative from Argentina recently visited with the group to translate home safety training videos into Spanish. The training videos should be ready for distribution to other Latin American countries soon.
I myself participated on a WWB forum in Arlington Virgina, and I was extremely impressed by the dedication and strength demonstrated by these volunteers. Their work are radically changing these houses to much comfortable homes. I observed houses that before there were worked on would rain inside as it was raining outside, houses would be dark, steamy in the summer, freezing in the Winter… but once these courageous volunteers would tackle these projects by fixing the roof, providing insulation, installing windows, sealing the walls…. The fruits of their efforts are better homes for these families.. I heard kids saying that for the fist time they were able to be inside the home in a summer midday.
People are the same everywhere and everyone wants a warm home in the Winter, a cool home in the summer, a safe home for the kids… the main components for a better life, and WWB is making this wishes come true.