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CHILE "Life with Dignity" Project

As a side effect of the lockdown caused by the COVID-19 spread in Chile beginning with its capital Santiago on May 16th 2020, people have started rioting, confronting the government asking for food and help.
The government are providing food and cleaning supplies to the most vulnerable families. Also, people and organizations have started food donation campaigns all over the city to complement the help provided by the government, that is largely perceived as insufficient.
Although Alliance for Humanitarian Architecture focuses primarily on architectural support, its South American office is based in Santiago, and could not ignore this situation and have decided to support with our own food donation campaign, named "Life with Dignity" project.
Our initial aim was to support the families to supply roughly 2 weeks of food (comparable to the ones provided by the government) in the La Bandera neighborhood.


COOKING OIL             900cc
RICE                              2kg
PASTA                           4 PACK  400g
TOMATO SAUCE         4 PACK  200g
FLOUR                         2kg
SUGAR                         1kg
TEA                               1 BOX (100 BAGS)
MACKEREL                  2 CANS (425g per CAN)
TOOTHPASTE              1 TUBE
SOAP                            1 UNIT
CANDLES                     1 PACKAGE (10 UNITS)
BLEACH                       1liter
BEANS                         2kg
SALT                            1kg
MILK                            1kg


Assembling the boxes

Over 200 boxes delivered to contain all the food were hand assembled by the AHA South America members and their families, as well as the neighboors and friends. Also the students from the University of Santiago have helped assemble the boxes.

“La Bandera” Neighborhood

This is a popular, low income neighborhood in the commune of San Ramón in the southern part of Santiago.

This neighborhood started as an informal settlement by people without access to housing solutions from the government. It has a strong identity and internal organization, derived from its roots as an informal settlement. The families in “La Bandera” are organizing and trying to get as much help as posible, to provide food and other goods to the community. Many people have lost their Jobs or have informal Jobs, that can’t be done because of the general state of lockdown in the city.

The first 25 boxes with food and supplies were delivered to the community in La Bandera neighborhood on Saturday June 13th. These 25 boxes where delivered to the poorest members of the community, people who recently lost their jobs, single mothers, etc.


“Bajos de Mena” Neighborhood

This is a popular, low income neighborhood in the commune of Puente Alto in the southeast part of Santiago.

This neighborhood started as a small settlement during the 1960’s but grew exponentially during the 1990’s with the building of many social, public housing buildings for poor people. This area is considered the biggest settlement in Chile, with a population of around 140,000 people, most of them living in public social housing units.

Here we have helped an organized group of people in this community who work in a small, informal market in Bajos de Mena. This organizartion consists of 141 families of small scale merchants, who sell used and cheap ítems on the street. With the decrease in economic activities related to the lockdown, many of them are not earning enough money to pay rent, buy groceries or bills.


Delivery to “Bajos de Mena” Neighborhood

On Sunday June 28th, Alliance for Humanitarian Architecture delivered the first batch of 45 boxes to the people in Bajos de Mena. Another 45 boxes were delivered the following Sunday on July 5th, with the final batch of 51 boxes on July 12th to complete the delivery of boxes to 141 families in Bajos de Mena.

Expanding the help

After delivery of 166 boxes to the two communities we had initially proposed, we were fotunate to have some money left to support some more famlies who needed the food box.
Alliance for Humanitarian Architecture got in touch with the Social workers at the University of Chile and the University of Santiago which are both the biggest public universities in the country.  Many of the students in these universities come from very low-income families, generally receiving free education. Alliance for Humanitarian Architecture have agreed to donate around 50 boxes to families of low-income students. At the end, we have delivered 20 boxes to the students in the University of Santiago, and 25 boxes to the students in the University of Chile, through each university's student social services office.

With the support of friends, family and other organizations, we were able to deliver a total of 216 boxes than the initial 166 planned providing 2 weeks of food and supplies to 2 communities and students from 2 universities.

June 13th    25 boxes delivered to "La Bandera" neighborhood
June 28th    45 boxes delivered to "Bajos de Mena" neighborhood
July 5th        45 boxes delivered to "Bajos de Mena" neighborhood
July 12th    51 boxes delivered to "Bajos de Mena" neighborhood
July 14th        25 boxes delieverd to poor student families from the University of Chile
July 14th    20 boxes delieverd to poor student families from the University of Santiago

Total of 216 boxes distributed. Helping 216 families for 2 weeks, a total of 432 weeks. 

Life with dignity project sticker_Taiwan

Our sponsor

Alliance for Humanitarian Architecture would like to once again express our sincere gratitude to our project sponsor H.H, a company from Taiwan for this project. Thank you for your generosity and empowering us to help those families in need during these difficult times.

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