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    Helping Families Reunite:
    The Mama Chila Foundation
    (2015 – Present)

    Helping Families Reunite:<br /> The Mama Chila Foundation<br /> (2015 – Present) In 2015 my friend Isabel and her sister Ana were trying to organize a reunion with their birth mother. Like me, Isabel and Ana had been separated from their birth family in El Salvador during the country’s civil war and had grown up in the US. Thanks to the work of Pro-Busqueda, a Salvadoran non-profit dedicated to reuniting families, they had been reconnected with her birth mother via Skype but had never met her in person. Due to an illness, Isabel was unable to travel to El Salvador, and for five long years, she had been working with Pro-Busqueda to get her mother the proper paper work to enter the US. Finally, after years of waiting, it looked like Isabel and Ana’s mother would be able to make the trip to the US so they could meet for the first time.

    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.

    About the Mama Chila Foundation

    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.

    Ana & Isabel embrace their birth mother for the first time in over 30 years. Taking a good look at her girls Smiles all around Meeting her grandchild Skyping with the family back in El Salvador.

    778 words

    8.17.17

    Nelson/RobertoSeparated from my family during El Salvador's civil war, by death and adoption, I was reunited with them at the age of 16. I do entrepreneurial art projects that are meaningful, relevant, and push me creatively.

    p: Nelson/Roberto 

      Ana & Isabel embrace their birth mother for the first time in over 30 years. Taking a good look at her girls Smiles all around Meeting her grandchild Skyping with the family back in El Salvador.

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    Adventures in Web Hosting:
    (2016 – Present)

    My Autobiographical Novel:
    Waking From Innocent Dreams
    (2016 – Present)

    Adventures In Podcasting:
    Inside the Journey
    (2013 – 2016)

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    © Legend - A Handcrafted Misfit Theme

    Nelson/Roberto

    Nelson/Roberto

    My name is Nelson de Witt, but I was born Roberto Coto. Separated from my birth family during El Salvador’s civil war, by death and adoption, I was reunited with them at the age of 16.

    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?

    I’m a skilled problem solver who can tackle complex issues and find solutions that combine art with outcomes.

    20 Years Ago Today

    Chapter I: Reunion

    Ana & Isabel’s Reunion

    Misfit Con: A Home for Dreams, Doers, and Makers

    Why you should support (and share) your friend’s work.

    You are not a failure…

    View More