Jakub Walenda, Chair of Gemeinsam TECHO e.V. Sending partner: AFS Germany (2011) and Maddalena Andolfato, Volunteer for TECHO. Sending partner: AFS Italy (2014)
These two outstanding AFS alumni from different countries volunteer for TECHO, a youth led non-profit organization. TECHO collaborates with local families in 19 Latin American countries and the Caribbean to eradicate extreme poverty.
Jakub Walenda was the first chair of the TECHO volunteer organization in Germany after returning from his AFS program in Chile. Under his leadership, TECHO Germany has raised money, recruited hundreds of young volunteers and enabled dozens of AFSers to become changemakers. As a Europe Coordinator, Jakub helped establish volunteer teams in Belgium, France, UK, Switzerland and Germany, raising approximately USD150,000 for social projects in Latin America.
During her AFS program in Costa Rica, Maddalena Andolfato was deeply impacted by her volunteering experiences for TECHO. In a powerful gesture of support, Maddalena celebrated her 18th birthday with a crowdfunding campaign that raised over 7,000 EUR—enough for two houses in Costa Rica, and the campaign is still open.