Empower mental/emotional wellbeing in Puerto Rico

by CMV Casa sin Fronteras, Inc.
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Empower mental/emotional wellbeing in Puerto Rico
Empower mental/emotional wellbeing in Puerto Rico
Empower mental/emotional wellbeing in Puerto Rico
Empower mental/emotional wellbeing in Puerto Rico
Empower mental/emotional wellbeing in Puerto Rico
Empower mental/emotional wellbeing in Puerto Rico
Empower mental/emotional wellbeing in Puerto Rico
Empower mental/emotional wellbeing in Puerto Rico
Empower mental/emotional wellbeing in Puerto Rico
Empower mental/emotional wellbeing in Puerto Rico
Empower mental/emotional wellbeing in Puerto Rico
Empower mental/emotional wellbeing in Puerto Rico
Empower mental/emotional wellbeing in Puerto Rico
Empower mental/emotional wellbeing in Puerto Rico
Empower mental/emotional wellbeing in Puerto Rico

Against all odds and difficulties due to the pandemic lockdown, Casa sin Fronteras have been serving the community.  Using social media, digital platforms, and via telephone calls, our team of Psychologist, Counselor, and Dance Movement Therapist have been able to engage our participants in different activities and therapy sessions.  In October families with children participated in the Zoom workshops: creative discipline, effective communication strategies, art & movement fun, using music for family get togethers.  In November Puerto Rico celebrated general government elections and usually this causes a lot of stress for people, so our team promoted some self-care strategies to deal better during this time.  Other workshops offered to the community were: conscious movement for better understanding ourselves, how families can use play as a tool to deal with crisis, self-love for women.   Also, in November we opened our office again to receive participants of the Mejor Vida program, for psychological and counseling services.  We adopted all the essential sanitary measures recommended by the US CDC for workplaces: taking temperature, hand sanitizing, observing space capacity for quantity of people in areas, social distancing, and mask required.  Even though we have been offering counseling and therapy using the phone and digital platforms, now we can also offer the alternative of person-to-person therapy sessions.  For many people this can make a big difference. On December, the Women Procurement Office of the Puerto Rico government, included our program CODAMO, Counseling & Dance Movement Therapy, in their newsletter as a resource for all women, specially those who suffer abuse.  This is a great milestone for our organization, and hopefully will increase our outreach.  We are grateful for all we accomplished in 2020 thanks to your support, regardless of all difficulties, and look forward to 2021 with hope and renewed strength.

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Art Therapy Workshop
Art Therapy Workshop

Since the pandemic lockdown, many families are struggling, as parents have to work from home, while at at the same time kids are studying from home. The program CODAMO is helping families deal with the new reality.  The families enrolled in our program are meeting online every two weeks from september to december.  For the first time we are bringing together parents and kids to work with our therapists at the same time, and it has been a wonderful experience.

Digital media is allowing us to reach communities that are far from our facilities, like this elementary school in Humacao (a town in the East coast), where the children have been meeting with our therapists to work on emotions management strategies.  Also we will start meeting with families from a public housing community in Arecibo to help them deal with emotions management during this difficult time.

We had the great opportunity to do a workshop for students from the University of Puerto Rico, where we talked about recommendations for studying from home, and we worked on stress management excercises.

To continue enhancing the lives of families the Art Therapist celebrated the workshop "Managing Emotions Through Art"; the counselor and DMT Therapist have been working with the issue of discipline in positive and creative ways.

It has been a great pleasure for us to be able to continue offering psychological services during this quarantine. The psychologist does the consultations via phone and this has shorten the distances to make the services available to more people.

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Music Therapy Virtual Workshop
Music Therapy Virtual Workshop

In response to the Coronavirus Pandemic, Puerto Rico’s Governor declared a total lockdown starting on March 15, 2020.  As a result, all the activities at Casa sin Fronteras had to be cancelled until further notice.  Our team of professionals at CODAMO and Mejor Vida reacted quickly and started producing content on our Facebook and Instagram pages and the Zoom Platform as early as March 18.  We designed a weekly calendar of workshops and events promoting self care, emotional coping, and stress managing strategies using the techniques and resources of Counseling and Dance-Movement Therapy, and psychology.  Up to this day, the Virtual Family Encounters have integrated other professionals to host virtual workshops and talks, including, teachers, Social Workers, Recreational Therapists, Creative Artistic Therapists such as Music Therapist, Psychodrama Therapist, and Art Therapist.  Through Facebook lives, recorded videos, and active participation in Zoom meetings our professionals engage with the public, create a space for empathy, listening, and in turn provide tools to deal with their emotions, use mindfulness and self-care techniques, manage free time, control anxiety and deal with other negative psychological effects caused by the quarantine. Since all activities are virtual, we even had participants from other Spanish speaking countries like Mexico and Peru.

Since the quarantine was extended, people were searching for sources of income, so we designed a second phase to include in our program of activities promotional videos for entrepreneurs of our microbusiness incubator “Incubadora Semillas”, and  other local micro-entrepreneurs. The purpose of these videos is that their stories can inspire others who are in the same position, learn how they have readjusted work to be open within quarantine reality, and promote local businesses and economy.

So far, we’ve had 35 Facebook live meetings with reproductions ranging from 111 and 1,200; 22 recorded videos with reproductions ranging from 142 to 1,300; 28 Zoom meetings with participation ranging from 1 to 22 persons; 15 local entrepreneurs’ videos with reproductions ranging from 358 to 2,200; 6 informative Facebook posts with reproductions ranging from 281 to 1,400;  and 74 Instagram posts. 

Here are some of the reactions of participants of CODAMO:

“The movements helped me relax and gave me confidence”.

“It helped me get free of negative emotions”.

“It was a totally healing experience”.

“The group process and the individual counseling go hand in hand and are perfect”.

“I realized there were many unresolved issues in my life and since that moment decided to forgive so that I could go on calm and in peace with myself”.

Virtual Story Time for Kids
Virtual Story Time for Kids
Emotions Management Facebook Live by Counselor
Emotions Management Facebook Live by Counselor

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Counseling Earthquake Victims
Counseling Earthquake Victims

After five years of service to our community, Casa sin Fronteras participated for the first time in a fundraising campaign. Thanks to all our supporters and donors we reached our goals and became GlobalGiving partners.  We said goodbye to 2019 with this great news, and on the firsts days of the new year 2020 an earthquake startled all the island of Puerto Rico.  Hundreds of people in the southern part of the island have been directly affected, loosing their homes, living under tents, emotionally affected by the frequency of aftershocks and the uncertainty of their living situation.  Many have also lost their jobs and schools.  Through our programs Mejor Vida and CODAMO we have been visiting communities in the south to bring them a space to talk about their fears, and learn coping strategies with the psychologist, the counselor, the Dance Movement Therapist, and the Casa sin Fronteras team. We have been helping other groups in our community as well.  During disasters like this one, the emotional support is as important as the material supplies.  We strive to empower people to be resilient so that they can have stronger communities.

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Organization Information

CMV Casa sin Fronteras, Inc.

Location: Sabana Hoyos - Puerto Rico
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Jeannette Ruiz
Sabana Hoyos, Puerto Rico
$7,419 raised of $20,000 goal
 
118 donations
$12,581 to go
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