Pass the Gas: gas for 500 families in Argentina

by Fundacion Pro Vivienda Social

The 22nd of January, we received a special visit from Hugo Florez Timoran (resident representative of the IDB of Argentine), Mariel Sabra (MIF), Erika Molina (MIF), Juan Pablo Torra (Gas Natural Fenosa) and Silvia Villalva (Banco de la Ciudad). They participated to the Neighborhoods Developer Workers of the Neighbors’ Union and Future Trust Funds and members of the FPVS also. The objective of this visit was to present the project Barrios de Unión y Futuro to potential co financiers and equally the advance of the Neighbors’ Union in Action Trust Funds.

The interaction between the visitors and the neighbors was excellent and there was a rich dialog between all the actors in relation to the challenges, achievements and experiences accumulated during the process.

The neighborhoods developers spoke about the work realized during its course and about the impediments that have been faced. Mercedes said: “We (the neighbors) are not used to working together, because it is atypical, it’s a totally contradictory thing to the normal model, where the municipality brings the gas service.

This model is ours and is going to cost much less (…).Achieving  this union and this participation is the most difficult part.” (DB of BUyF).

Moreover, they spoke about how well the project was received between the neighbors: “We have already carried out the pre-adhesion work; we have received very good answers from the residents. The neighborhoods have been door knocked, house to house, to see if the people are consent to the project, and we already have the agreement of 60% of residents which  we need to go forward. This is something very important”. (Lili, Asistente COF, BUyF).

During the exchange, they thought about the consolidation of the model during the implementation of the UVA’s project. As Maria said: “they were all achievements and lessons learnt, in BUyF it will be different, and it is not going to be the same as in FUVA. It’s like going to the gym : the first classes hurts your muscles, but with practice one goes getting used to it. In this gymnasium you have already experience (…) and now we know better the model (…) we are in the third class and we are doing great ! They were all learning that we did together and on the march (…) there is a way opposite all, but together we will make it.

Hugo (IDB) spoke about the dynamism and the innovation of the model, highlightiongthe importance of communicating the testimonies of the beneficiaries to be able to answer it in the other communities. He said: “I hope that they will have more private companies y more banks (…). I hope it will be answered. It is important to show to people that it can be realized thanks to the testimonies. I want to congratulate them and give them courage for the next steps! You guys are making new paths!” paths  him!

All the participants think that the gas’ project is the first step towards the Neighborhoods development and also in the importance of the social organization. Raul (Director of the FPVS) said: “if we only achieve the gas networj neither the FPVS nor the bank will have fulfilled with its mission. The aim of this project is to develop a new model which allows to the neighbors to transform their neighborhoods.

Silvia of the Banco de la Ciudad, a potential co financier of our project BUyF, closed the meeting expressing her desire to communicate to the Bank the essence of what the FPVS and the neighbours are doing  do. Shee said: “I hope to be a good messenger when I communicate to my co-workers everything i`ve seen here today  with you”. 

On Saturday November 17th, 2012, we launched the new campaign: “I want Gas”, in the neighborhood  of Namuncurá (FRS), one of our first trusts, 80% of which have already gas. We performed a survey on the neighborhood, which was very positive. As a result of that survey, 45 families, which hadn´t accepted to be included in the Proyect when it started, gave us their data in order to receive information about the Gas Proyect.

The field work in the neighborhood was done by members  of our staff and a group of volunteers. Every team had map with the blocks that didn´t have gas. We visited every house in teams of two people. The aim was to create awareness among the neighbors about the gas project developed by the Foundation, and to know if they were interested in joining the project, explaining them the procedure and the benefits that gas would generate. We were very well received by the people, and they showed great interest in the project. Sometimes they could not or would not participate in the project, due to lack of resources or lack of great need. But in most cases they had already heard of the Foundation, although they never joined the project. This campaign was the opportunity for them to do it and to start the dynamics of the change process.

We thank everyone for their part in the promotion´s day. We hope the campaign is successful in all neighborhoods.

During the month of July, the Foundation developed an intensive promotion campaign in the neighborhoods of Fideicomiso Union de Vecinos en Acción to generate interest in the Proyecto de Gasificacion (Gasification Project). About 80 people attended the workshop. They worked for two days with the objective of increasing participation and increase the number of adherents to the Project which has been in progress since June of 2011.

Objective: To promote the Proyecto Gasificacion in the six neighborhoods of the Fideicomiso Union de Vecinos en Accion (FUVA) in order to increase the number of adherents to the project. The concrete goal is to connect, over the course of 6 months, a total of 1,088 families to the internal network of natural gas.

Design of the Campaign: The design methodology was collaborative. The members of FPVS, and the Neigborhood Developers of the Housing Improvement Family Trust (the four projects: FRS, UxV, FUVA y BUyF) met for a day of work in which they collected ideas and proposals for how to execute the campaign. They were joined by the common purpose to make this the last winter without natural gas in the neighborhoods of FUVA.

Implementation: The campaign was launched on June 16 with the training and formation of teams of two or three people which were then distributed amongst the neighborhoods. They went door to door with the objective of presenting their project and looking for potential Vecinos Organizadores (Neighborhood Organizers; they constitute on community members that mediate the relations between the Proyecto Gasificacion and the neighbors that join the program for each block—Moreover, distribution centers were placed at strategic points of the neighborhoods. These care tents were used to present the Proyecto, receive the community, and help them with their doubts.

The campaign has used a variety of tools of communication: spots, brochures, banners, and stickers.

One week later, the 23rd of June, the promotion campaign was concluded. The staff returned to the neighborhoods to collect the data of the neighbors interested in becoming Vecinos Organizadores de Manzana (Block Organizing Neighbors) On this day, the team consisted of 50 people. A mobile phone campaign was also initiated, where the neighbors interested in obtaining the natural gas service could send an SMS text message with the words “Quiero Gas” (I Want Gas).

Afterwards, phone calls were made to the neighbors who responded via text message, and as such the Campaign Quiero Gas was put into motion. The objective of the returning phone calls was to put each neighbor interested in the gasification project in contact with their Block Organizing Neighbor . The Operations team continues working shoulder to shoulder with the Desarrolladores Barrials (Neighborhood Developers), the Organizing Neighbors and the members of the community with the goal of accomplishing the objectives of the Proyecto.

The First Results of the Campaign “Quiero Gas”

• Of the 90 blocks visited, 60 presented a listof neighbors that were interested in the project;

• Of the 100 text messages received, 30 were successfully converted into Vecinos Organizadores (VO) (Organizing neighbors) of their blocks

• The work completed collaboratively by the members of the FPVS and the neighbors generated unity, companionship, and motivation, and established methods which can be used to replicate the experience in other neighborhoods.

• A Growing commitment of the Vecinos Organizadores (Organizing Neighbors)

Since the Integral Gasification Project began, the Fundación Pro Vivienda Social (FPVS) has striven to further the human, economic, and social development in Moreno.

In March of this year, FPVS celebrated a big development! FPVS signed an agreement with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), committed to helping grow the project and empower the communities. Under the signed agreement, UNDP will help manage project funds, and provide technical assistance in the implementation of the Gasification Project. The agreement was signed by Santiago Luis De Montalembert, President of FPVS, and Martin Santiago, the Argentina Representative of UNDP. Other individuals that participated in the signing included: Horacio Cristiani, President of Gas Natural Fenosa, Raul Zavalia Lagos, Executive Director of FPVS, and various residents from Moreno who are participating in the project.

The other part of project in will help residents with the land regularization process – a process to recognize the ownership titles and occupancy rights of the residents who didn’t have such legal rights before. More than anything, the project aims to contribute to the social inclusion and legal empowerment of these communities. The residents will be educated on their rights as beneficiaries, and encouraged to help manage projects along the way.

Led by FPVS, with the help of UNDP, the Integral Gasification Project will positively impact in the lives of 15,000 families via access to the natural gas network.

This year, FPVS also celebrated its 20th anniversary as a nonprofit organization! This would never have been made possible without help from our donors, partners, financers, and residents of Moreno.  

On Wednesday, the 21st of December, we were able to toast in honor of the end of the year for the “Barrios de Unión y Futuro” Trust. We were joined by the Desarrollares Barriales (Community Developers) as well as others residents interested in the project.  Raúl Zavalía, our Executive Director, arrived early at the event, just in time to help put on the final touches, and he stayed with us until the very end.

We celebrated with very tasty pizzas, empanadas, sandwiches, torrejas and a variety of cakes, all of these cooked by the beneficiaries of the project. Plus, we received some donations of food and drinks from the 25 de Mayo Street neighorhood’s shopkeepers.

In addition to enjoying a wonderful time together, we had the opportunity to reflect on the major events of the project during 2011, as well as the objectives for the coming year, which can be summarized as the following:


  1. Contributions: We increased the number of Community Developers from 12 to 78 and, instead of having a unique meeting weekly, there are now 4 per week.
  2. Signing of the BUyF Trust: More than 500 people present for the assembly.
  3. Project Commitment: More than 2.750 families (80%) signed the project approval.
  4. Gas Natural Fenosa has taken charge of the FOMIN project’s technical management: FUVA, BuyF, and the third Trusteeship to be announced in 2012.


  1. We begin the new year in very good conditions to successfully develop the project.
  2. We will continue to incorporate the activities of the Community Developers.
  3. We will work together with the municipality through the National Regulatory Agency for Gas (ENARGAS).
  4. Above all, it is going to be the year that is turning the adhesion to more than 2.750.

At the end of the evening, Raúl recounted the history of the trusts. Furthermore, he also highlighted the major strategic steps of Gas Natural Fenosa as technical manager of the project and its impact on BUyF.

Upon finishing the toast, the participants (those who are not Community Developers) were given flyers inviting them to the upcoming meetings of the project.


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Organization Information

Fundacion Pro Vivienda Social

Location: Capital Federal, Buenos Aires - Argentina
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Belen Vidal
Institutional Development
Buenos Aires, Capital Federal Argentina

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