Indigenous communities remain some of the most marginalized in Ecuador, while economic realities force increasing numbers to move to urban areas. Covid-19 magnified the existing communal and individual challenges, faced particularly by indigenous youth. Together with Fundación Casa Victoria and Quito Eterno, we launched a project to design a program that leverages communal identity, cultural education, and narrative therapy practices to promote personal resilience with teenagers who identify as indigenous. This program will be delivered in a socially distanced manner in person and virtually.
Human rights defenders in Mexico voice some of society’s most brutal challenges, including disappearances and torture. Since 2019, Casa Xitla has offered a refuge for a network of defenders to receive holistic care and burnout prevention support. Due to the challenges of Covid-19 in Mexico, the cohort we aimed to support was unable to complete the program as planned. However, qualitative feedback at the end of 2020 demonstrates the resilience built through the progress they did make, and we are hopeful that the program will continue in the future.
Yunta offers a mentorship program for youth in low-resource areas in Lima, driven by a volunteer model. The program builds personal important developmental qualities that include emotional regulation, self-awareness and self-efficacy. Due to Peru’s strict lockdown, our focus this year will be to support the transition of this program into a safe and productive virtual format, while designing an effective evaluation system to ascertain the ways in which participants are developing over the course of the program.
Kshamtalaya Foundation reimagines education as a holistic growth and development process for children and their communities in rural areas. Embedded in this vision is helping students and educators increase practices that enhance their flourishing, civic engagement, and sense of purpose. In addition to co-designing a 21-day wellbeing audio program at the height of the pandemic, we are working with Kshamtalaya to develop appropriate definitions and scales for understanding the transformation they witness in the communities where they serve. Further, we are supporting the team’s broader strategic goals in developing a culture that reflects their values and the impact they hope to have.
Humankind leverages the power of volunteerism in Malaysia to implement evidence-based therapeutic interventions for local organizations serving low-income families and refugee communities. While our partnership began in November 2020, our emphasis will be to support the process of their development as a local trainer and provider of brief interventions. Due to Covid-19, their current work focuses on crisis support for children and arts-based therapy. In 2021, we envision an expansion of understanding how to contextualize and match appropriate interventions to the most vulnerable populations in Kuala Lumpur and beyond.
The Acumen Fellows program aims to cultivate moral leadership among the most promising individuals in social change and poverty alleviation. Through our work with Kshamtalaya (above), Fellow and founder Vivek Kumar invited Brio to work with his 2019 India Cohort to design wellbeing spaces where they might accompany each other through the challenges of leadership beyond the Fellowship experience. After extensive interviews with members of the Cohort, Brio is excited to co-create a pilot of the wellbeing spaces in 2021, with the aim of cultivating continued mutual accompaniment and support in the coming months.