In April of that year, Isabel reached out to me asking for my advice about the reunion. She was just starting an email campaign to raise funds to help offset the cost of bringing her mother to the US. Isabel had no funding raising experience and asked me if I had any ideas about how to get the word out. I suggested that she consider doing an online campaign as it might be more compelling than a plain text email. I explained that a pitch video would bring her story to life and hopefully get more people to donate. Isabel loved the idea but did not have the computer skills needed setup an online campaign, manage the project page or collect the pledged funds.
Unfortunately for Isabel Pro-Busqueda, which primarily operated in El Salvador, could provide little or no support. They would send a translator but did not have the resources to help with her campaign. Having been through a reunion myself, I knew how this would mean to my friend and I wanted to find a way to help her. I felt that there should be an American institution that would be able to help my friend manage the complex aspects of putting together an international reunion like this. After a few days of searching, I was unable to find anything that seemed like a good fit, so I decided to create The Mama Chila Foundation.
Mama Chila was my maternal grandmother, who passed away in 2008, and the driving force behind my reunion. I created the organization with the goal of helping other Salvador adoptee navigate this challenging and emotional period in their lives. Isabel, Ana, and I agreed that the Mama Chila Foundation would handle the online campaign and manage all the funds collected from it. Drawing on my experiences working on several crowd-funding campaigns, and my documentary film, I created a moving pitch video for them. Then I setup their campaign page on GoFund.me and gave them some guidance on how to launch the project.
With in two weeks of launching the campaign it had been fully funded. People loved the video and said that it captures the spirit of Isabel and Ana. Even individuals who worked at GoFund.me liked the campaign so much that they made a significant contribution. A couple of weeks later in June of 2015, Isabel and Ana’s mother arrived in the US, and I was fortunate enough to be part of the reunion as a friend and photographer.
The work done by The Mama Chila Foundation not only helped cover the cost of the reunion but raised more than what was a need. At the request of Isabel and Ana, this extra money went back into the foundation and was used to help other Salvadoran adoptees reunite. While our foundation is just getting started, I’m excited to help more Salvadoran Adoptee in the future and continue my grandmother’s legacy.
The Mama Chila Foundation is dedicated to providing support to individuals who, as children, were separated from their biological families during armed conflicts as they navigate the experience of rebuilding relationships with their families.It was established by Nelson/Roberto who was forcibly separated from his family during the Salvadoran civil war. Mama Chila was Nelson/Roberto’s Maternal Grandmother and was the driving force behind his family’s reunion in 1997. We are proud to honor her legacy by helping more Salvadoran families reunite.
It was established by Nelson/Roberto who was forcibly separated from his family during the Salvadoran civil war. Mama Chila was Nelson/Roberto’s Maternal Grandmother and was the driving force behind his family’s reunion in 1997. We are proud to honor her legacy by helping more Salvadoran families reunite.
© Legend - A Handcrafted Misfit Theme
I’m a jack of all trades that has done everything from business process design to video production to server administration to film photography. I’ve run, consulted on, and wrote a book about Crowdfunding campaigns. I’ve taught myself everything from Ruby on Rails to narrative story structure.
What do all these things have in common?