Although we are now back on campus, our project has not yet ended. We have been discussing what we can do on campus and around campus. One of the things that we decided to do was to invite FOVISEE to our university as a guest because we believe the problem of housing is very crucial, and the project is definitely worth spreading.
Before the presentation, we as students, invited people in the community around campus, promoted the event through social media, and prepared for the part of student presentation.
Finally, on February 23, the beautiful clear sky and the sun of California welcomed the founder of FOVISEE, Nicolás Maggio, and an architect, Paura Stella.
The presentation started at 6:30 with the attendance of more than 30 students, faculty, and community members.
It opened up with the presentation by Sally Andreatta from Community Action Partnership of Orange County about weatherization project in Orange County. The organization was founded in 1964 by community leaders to deal with the emergence of poverty in Orange County. They formed the Community Action Council and were designated to receive the Community Services Block Grant funding. Sally emphasized that even though Orange County is normally regarded as a residence area for middle or upper class, many people are actually suffering from their housing conditions. Thus, Community Action Partnership weatherizes those houses so that the families can live with more energy efficient and comfortable houses. Today, with over 100 employees and a budget of $21 million, the organization can provide solid weatherization service to improve people’s living environment and promote their welfare.
Next, Nicolas took over the presentation and introduced about weatherization project in Argentina. He began with the introduction of Weatherizers Without Borders and the project in the context of Argentina. Although the situation of low income housing in Argentina is even worse than that in the U.S, they do not have enough budget and support from the government to provide sufficient service to a lot of people. Hence, Nicolas stressed that one of the most important goals is to implement the project as a public policy. To accomplish this goal, he insisted, the project needs to be promoted and get more attention.
In addition to Nicolas’s presentation, Joan, MacKenzie and Anna from our learning cluster team shared our experiences with FOVISEE and Weatherizers Without Borders. First, Joan presented on our work and progress in Campana by showing before and after pictures of the three houses with which we worked. Then, MacKenzie displayed our future plan as Soka weatherization project: Learning Cluster 2017 on weatherization in Tijuana, forming a club Soka Weatherizers Without Borders, summer internship in Argentina. Finally, Anna shared her experience about the U.S ambassador’s visit in Campana and readdressed the significance of the project.
The whole presentation turned out to be extremely successful. Many people were genuinely interested in the project and already eager to join the club or start internship. Nonetheless, this learning cluster itself has finished, the project will never stop growing toward the next step and the better future.