(San Juan, Puerto Rico, July 6, 2022) The nonprofit and community-based organization Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico (BGCPR), received a $100,000 grant from Direct Relief to support the program “Juntos sanamos” (Together we heal) which promotes the well-being of victims of violence and trauma, and develops of emotion management skills through play, art, dialogue and therapies.

This donation was made possible by a $50 million donation from the pharmaceutical company AbbVie to Direct Relief for the rebuilding and strengthening of Puerto Rico’s primary healthcare system in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

“Juntos sanamos program is consistent with Direct Relief’s mission, as a nonprofit organization, to improve the health and lives of children affected by emergencies or poverty. Growing up can be hard for young individuals from any generation. But, children and teens within our vulnerable communities have faced additional challenges in the past few years as a consequence of the hurricanes, earthquakes and the pandemic which have widened the opportunity and learning gap, and has affected their emotional well-being”, said Olga Ramos Carrasquillo, president of BGCPR.

The funds awarded by Direct Relief will support the hiring of a social worker and art teacher for the Isabela and Bayamón Clubs; technical and curriculum assistance from the Traumatology Institute of Puerto Rico, entity that will also train employees, provide therapies, psychological services and will perform an evaluation at the culmination of the project.

“One of Direct Relief’s great satisfactions has been to support Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico in their mission with our youth. We need healthy young individuals, both mentally and physically, who can join the social transformation that Puerto Rico is facing”, said Ivonne Rodríguez-Wiewall, executive advisor for Direct Relief in Puerto Rico.

During the one-year period, the program will benefit 48 participants between the ages of 10 and 18 years old through workshops to address their emotions through artistic and physical activities, techniques that will help develop their self-esteem, solidarity, coexistence, group cohesion, and to manage anxiety, experiences of violence in the

community, traumas, and stigmas. It will also include psychological counseling, case management, individual therapies, and referrals to address particular needs.

“Part of the program’s goals is for young individuals to apply these skills for the rest of their lives and for them to become people that contribute to their community. In Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico we are committed with addressing learning gaps and the socio-emotional well-being of our children, teens and their families; eliminate barriers that hinder success and mitigate generational poverty so they can become leaders, professionals and productive citizens. We are working on a national agenda, and partnerships such as this one with Direct Relief, help us continue our 55-year legacy in Puerto Rico,” highlighted Ramos Carrasquillo.

If you wish to know more about BGCPR look for them in social media as Boys & Girls Clubs de Puerto Rico (Facebook, YouTube y LinkedIn) and BGCPR (Instagram y Twitter) or access