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Uncharted Ground With SSIR

Nov 18, 2021

The Northern Triangle countries of Latin America are some of the most violent in the world. El Salvador and Honduras have ranked among the highest murder rates for years. It’s not only the gang violence we hear most about, but also domestic abuse and gender-based violence. And the trauma it leaves behind has a devastating effect on entire communities, from the hospital staff who treat victims to police officers patrolling the streets—and especially on children and their ability to learn.

Celina de Sola spent a career in humanitarian aid work before returning to her hometown of San Salvador in 2007 to look for a way to protect children from violence. With her husband, Ken Baker, and brother Diego, she started with a single volunteer-led after-school club for kids in one of the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods. Today, Glasswing International equips schools, hospitals, and police forces with the knowledge and training to overcome the debilitating effects of violence-induced trauma. To date, Glasswing has reached more than 2 million children and adults in nine countries across Latin America—as well as in New York City. And it’s partnering with national governments to further scale up a “trauma-informed ecosystem” that not only improves students’ academic performance and resilience, but also creates a restorative antidote to help break the cycle of violence. This episode tells Glasswing’s story, including:

  • the terrifying day-to-day life in gang-controlled neighborhoods
  • how Celina’s childhood and humanitarian work led to Glasswing
  • how school clubs provide a safe, caring environment to help children heal…
  • …and the positive results on their academic performance and behavior
  • the neuroscience of trauma—and how its impacts can be reversed
  • healing the mental health wounds of hospital staff and police forces
  • how Glasswing is helping public institutions reshape the services they provide

For the full transcript go to: