Projects Funded in 2012:

Asociación Centro de Educación y Formación Maya Ixil (ACEFOMI)

The Fund resumes its support of the Center for Mayan Ixil Education and Development, enabling ACEFOMI to extend its psychosocial and human rights work to new rural villages surrounding Chajul and develop training programs with and for youth. Workshops with village women will focus on self-esteem and personal hygiene; mental health and nutrition; and, women’s human rights. Individual family visits will afford an opportunity to observe women’s applications of the training and work with them to develop family gardens for growing nutritional foods.

ACEFOMI also plans workshops with 100 local youth focusing on self-esteem and personal growth; sexual education and preventative health care; work, social responsibility and solidarity; environmental and land challenges; and the legacies of the armed conflict in the context of globalization and migration. Workshops are designed to launch a local youth group that can continue outreach with youth and future program development.

Salvadoran Association of Torture Survivors (ASST)
El Salvador

The Salvadoran Association of Torture Survivors (ASST) is a volunteer group of 30 people from El Salvador, most of whom suffered torture at the hands of paramilitary groups supported by the Salvadoran government in the civil war in the 1980s and 1990s. The group’s purpose is to seek three things: learn the truth about human rights violations during the civil war; demand justice from the Salvadoran government for the crimes committed; and seek moral, material, and social reparations for the human rights violations suffered.

With the grant, ASST will support a team of three torture survivors, who work as volunteers, in their project, Know the Truth. This project will research and document human rights abuses during the civil war that will be summarized in a multi-media report at the end of the project. The report will appear in a museum in Santa Tecla, and will be submitted to relevant governmental bodies and used by the survivors as a basis to demand greater psychosocial reparations for the injustices done.

ASST will also convene participatory workshops with 20-25 survivors of torture and former political prisoners in the departments of Santa Ana, San Miguel, and San Salvador over the course of five months. These workshops, aimed at psychosocial reparation, will offer personalized medical attention to the participants as well, given the psychological effects of their experiences.


Peshawar, Pakistan, has been a site of intense violence and terror resulting from ongoing fighting between the Taliban and government military forces. An AWARE Girls’ survey "revealed that over 50% of respondents want to leave Peshawar..., 44% are worried about their children and an astonishing 79% don’t feel able to visit the market for shopping." Over the past two years the MartínBaró Fund has supported AWARE Girls’ development of a manual on trauma and torture treatment and the training of 10 counselors who use creative expression to promote recovery and community dialogue among women and child survivors including internally displaced women. This year’s renewal grant will support training an additional 15 women and outreach to 50 women and 25 children of Peshawar District.

Comisión de Apoyo a la unidad y reconciliación Comunitaria (CORECO)

Since 1994, the state of Chiapas in Mexico has been the central base of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN). During this time, the people of Chiapas have suffered from a climate of insecurity and the decay of the social fabric of the communities due to the military occupation. The continual harassment, violence, and threats against the indigenous population have resulted in cycles of alcoholism, domestic violence, and the separation of families.

The Comisión de Apoyo a la Unidad y Reconciliación Comunitaria (CORECO) seeks to contribute to the positive mediation of conflicts through the spread of peace, nonviolence education, and psychosocial training. Community members will attend workshops where they will learn about developing self-esteem, managing one’s emotions, and positive methods of conflict resolution. This will help community members become effective mediators, create safe spaces for dialogue, and help reweave the social fabric of communities. Community leaders will also attend workshops on strengthening human and spiritual relations and recognizing individual potential. This will assist group leaders in creating healthier relationships both inside and outside of the community, learning new methods for human and spiritual growth, and encouraging community members to participate in serving their communities.

Communaute des Planteurs et Eleveurs dans la Region Marachaire (COPERMA)

The Communaute des Planteurs et Eleveurs dans la Region Marachaire (COPERMA) founded in 1983 for agricultural development in the North Kivu province of the eastern Congo expanded its mission in the 1990s to include projects targeting victims of war, such as survivors of rape, demobilized child soldiers, orphans, and displaced persons, in response to the psychosocial upheaval caused by tribal warfare. Ten community centers established by COPERMA in ten villages facilitated this expansion of services.

COPERMA will further expand its psychosocial projects in 2012, thanks in part to a new grant by the Martín-Baró Fund. Its new efforts will be three-pronged. Two certified Congolese psychologists will train two community-elected officials in each of the ten communities in which COPERMA has established community centers. The community officials, called "listeners", will be trained in active listening and advocacy, and sensitized to the effects of sexual violence and of trauma due to stigmatization. Training of the listeners by the psychologists will be conducted on a bi-monthly basis. As a result, the listeners will be prepared to serve as the primary resource for this program’s effort. In addition, the professional psychologists will run weekly group and individual counseling sessions for those survivors with severe trauma. A third prong of the project will provide vocational training - sewing, soap-making, and bread-baking.

Asociación Cooperativa de Servicios Múltiples Ignacio Martín-Baró (COOPERATIVA MARTÍN-BARÓ)
El Salvador

The Ignacio Martín-Baró Cooperative’s Project for Psychosocial Resources for the Communities of Jayaque reports the successful completion of a needs assessment despite two weeks of challenging storms that destroyed half of the homes in two of their communities and the death of longtime pastor and community supporter, Father Dean Brackley, SJ. Needs identified reflected the effects of the storms as well as more structural poverty and violence. Thus staff and volunteers have juggled emergency services with longer term program development. The Cooperative continues to engage the legacy of Salvadoran civil war as well as the ongoing challenges of entrenched poverty and violence. The Fund looks forward to continuing to learn from this partnership as the Cooperative initiates new programs to respond to the needs of the young and the elderly.


Since 1991, the Live With Hope Foundation, located in the remote mountains of Eastern Uganda, has provided care and support to many women.

Committed to putting an end to stigma and discrimination from the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM), funds will support information dissemination to traditional cutters and elders to help stop this act. The United Nations categorizes FGM as a human rights violation because it damages a woman’s sexuality and leads to various complications. It refers to the removal of a woman’s sexual genitalia.

Women cutters will be provided with start-up funds to initiate their own projects and sustain their families and livelihoods. In addition, through family dialogue, training, and support supervision, this project will support girls affected by FGM who will be allowed to milk cows, climb the granary, and clear cow dung from the kraal like other community members.

Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, Northern Mindanao Sub-Region (RMP-NMR)

With the grant from Martín-Baró Fund, RMP-NMR completed the project entitled, Small Voices from the Hinterlands: Unleashing Children’s Cultural Expressions which brought healing to those affected by the militarization in Pantaron Range of Mindanao, Philippines.

This project reinforced the psychosocial "first aid" given to child victims of militarization through the 2010 project, Healing the Hurt:

  • By assisting the mental health recuperation of 126 children from indigenous communities of Pantaron Range and involving them in BITAW (Basic Integrated Theatre Arts Workshop) as an artistic means to heal traumatic experiences; and
  • By establishing community theatre groups—dubbed as Teatro Pantaron that held community theatre arts presentations and a joint gala presentation attended by communities victimized by militarization and displacement.

This year, RMP’s goal is to integrate BITAW in the curriculum of 16 indigenous schools that they have established for children. A grant from the Martín-Baró Fund will assist RMP in training the para-teachers and hosting workshops for school staff to strategize the implementation of BITAW.