FCVR, taking steps against interpersonal or relational violence.

I recently had a chat with the diligent people of FCVR.

Are you asking yourself what I am talking about?

The former Fundacion pa Hende Muhe den Dificultad, morphed, rebranded, and expanded its scope of activities. In the spirit of the evolving times, it changed its name, in 2021, to Fundacion Contra Violencia Relacional.

When the foundation was first established in 1995, it was headquartered in a small building offering temporary shelter in four rooms, to women and children where they could take refuge in crisis. The foundation also set out to improve the general situation of women on the island, determined to combat violence in the family.

That modest charter ballooned over the years and today the foundation has a five-pronged strategic plan where it offers residential support in a new building with room enough for 16 families. It also offers non-residential support to individuals who come in for advice and consultations. It operates a Center for Expertise and Resources to train and educate stakeholders, it runs Advocacy & Awareness Campaigns and provides Aftercare to Survivors.

Interim Director Giovanni Bermudez and psychologist Cinthia Quant, confess to have a lot of work and being chronically understaffed at the foundation, yet they are proud of their accomplishments and report that stretching resources has become a second nature to them, headquartered at the same address, only with improved accommodations, funded by the Netherlands.

Cinthia, who graduated in 2018, worked with gender-based violence survivors as a GBV response and prevention coordinator at HIAS, for four years, then went back to school for her master’s degree and joined the team at FCVR as program manager, three months ago.

Interim Director Giovanni Bermudez, has been with the foundation for a long time. He just recently finished tweaking and simplifying the extensive strategic plan and is getting the foundation ready to receive a permanent director.

He views the role of the foundation through holistic glasses, resolute to make progress on all five fronts at the same time, providing a haven for survivor families to thrive in, while educating them to change behaviors and take charge of their lives, in both resident and transient cases.

He is proud of the courses given to the local police and civic organizations exploring the causes of relational violence in its different mental, emotional, and psychological aspects. He is busy organizing fundraising activities and would like to see more immediate recognition for the FCVR name and important mission.

Finally, the long-term relationship with survivors is important, the collection of data, so that legal measures are implemented to protect victims and hold perpetrators accountable.

Both Cinthia and Giovanni talk about needed cultural changes, where norms and behaviors do not support relational violence.

The foundation receives a modest stipend from the government based on its output and the number of people it supports, the number of activities organized, but it also relies on fundraising in the community.

True to its corporate philosophy, the Salamander Group raises funds year long, and delivers donations to a selection number of local charities. The company operates four prestigious gift, souvenir, fashion, and accessory stores on Palm Beach and Alhambra, and it has pledged to donate a percentage of sales from its stores, to support local charities, under the Tikkun Olam, the Repair of the World, program, first introduced in 2007.

Recognizing the important work done by FCVR, the foundation has been an annual recipient of a Salamander Group donation, since the start of the program.


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May 18, 2024
Rona Coster