EMDR Bolivia: Project Martina

In 1994, when Ken Grant and Esly Carvalho , lived in La Paz, a young Bolivian girl, 10-year-old Martina, was so savagely raped in her own bed, she died of hemorrhaging. In spite of our best efforts, we were never able to bring the killer to justice. Unfortunately, the culture of violence and the resulting trauma continues to affect almost everyone: its people, families and communities in this poverty-stricken country. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a new and scientific form of psychotherapy approach (one of two approved by the World Health Organization for treating trauma) that can help break that cycle of violence and heal the trauma. Project Martina needs your help to make a difference.

We are seeking to train EMDR professionals in Bolivia to help break the cycle of violence, and heal the trauma. (See Rolf Carriere’s TED talk: Heal the Trauma, Heal Humanity).  The team of EMDR Iberoamérica  has committed to help organize, oversee and accredit the training workshops offered by duly certified trainers. Gregory Rake, an NGO executive living in Cochabamba, will coordinate the program as EMDR Bolivia .

Esly Carvalho, Ph.D . (president of EMDR IBA 2007-2010;2010-2013 and EMDR Institute/EMDR IBA Trainer of Trainers) went to Bolivia last year to train a small group as a pilot project, but in order to move ahead with training a larger group in the three major cities, we need your help. The average monthly salary for a psychologist is less than $300 whereas the basic EMDR training is about $500.

By donating, you can be part of this movement and your donation will make an ongoing difference in the lives of many who will then have access to the healing power of EMDR. Plans are in the works to network with other organizations so that our “reach” is greater still. We are also looking to raise up a generation of Bolivian therapists - our "boots on the ground”- who will eventually take over and organize the training workshops themselves. The biggest challenge we face is making the training accessible to those professionals who, in turn, will treat people where it is most needed. These are the people on the front lines, who deal with the impact of violence, abuse and trauma. If we can treat this generation, especially the children, we may be able to see a new generation come forth that doesn’t carry the ravages of violence, trauma and abuse, a generation that does not mirror what happened to Martina. All donations count, no matter how small.

Help us end the trauma and abuse. Help us break the cycle of violence.


Gregory Rake
Kent, WA

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