El Salvador rehabilitation and reentry NGO awarded prestigious global prize

By Evelyn Rupert

August 2, 2019

La Factoría Ciudadana, an organization pioneering rehabilitation for both victims and perpetrators of violence in El Salvador, was named a recipient of the McNulty Prize Catalyst Fund, a recognition of its exceptional work and potential for impact.

The McNulty Foundation chose five up-and-coming organization across the globe, awarding a total of $75,000 to help each venture advance their work and expand their reach.

La Factoría Ciudadana, the only winner in Latin America, is a grantee and partner of the USAID Crime and Violence Prevention Project, implemented by Creative Associates International.

Social worker Edwin Mejía leads a conflict resolution workshop at La Factoría Ciudadana. Photo by Janey Fugate.

Founder Jaime Zablah launched La Factoría in 2017, inspired by what he saw at Homeboy Industries, a Los Angeles rehabilitation organization he visited while on a violence prevention study tour organized by Creative, USAID and Los Angeles partners.

“This prize is an international recognition of our work,” Zablah said. “La Factoría is part of the solution to our country’s struggle with violence. We bring hope to governments and civil society, and especially to people who have experienced violence. But we can’t do it alone.”

Zablah’s organization in San Salvador offers workshops, therapy and counseling to those whose lives have been marked by violence, including formerly incarcerated people and ex-gang members. La Factoría recently purchased a tattoo removal machine to give its clients a better chance of finding steady employment and reintegrating into society without visible tattoos, particularly those that represent gang affiliation.

Zablah said that the McNulty Prize Catalyst Fund award will also help La Factoría launch several business ventures within the organization that will provide much-needed job training and employment for clients. Its photocopying and printing venture, artisan soap business and recycling service will also generate revenue and help La Factoría sustain its operations.

La Factoría Ciudadana’s Jaime Zablah (back row, second from left) was part of a group from El Salvador who attended the 2019 Gang Prevention and Intervention Conference in Los Angeles.

Creative’s Ben Rempell, Director of the Crime and Violence Prevention Project, says the program became closely involved with La Factoría after realizing early on its potential to advance violence prevention and rehabilitation in El Salvador.

“We knew that with Jaime’s commitment, La Factoría would be able to touch many lives and help drive the conversation around rehabilitation and reintegration in El Salvador,” Rempell said. “We have been a proud supporter of theirs and believe that this recognition by the McNulty Foundation is well-deserved.

The McNulty Foundation established the Catalyst Fund in 2017, and awards are given to fellows of the Aspen Global Leadership Network in partnership with the Aspen Institute.

The fellow recipients of the 2019 McNulty Prize Catalyst Fund were:

  • 3QA, a Middle East-based organization pioneering regional standards and accreditation for nonprofits
  • Association of Ghana’s Elders, which serves and advocates for Ghana’s elderly population
  • Ascend Indiana, which connects potential employees with training programs and job opportunities to keep talent in-state
  • Saving Syrian Children, a charity that provides rehabilitation and counseling to children in Syria

Sign Up

For our mailing list


Comments are closed.