Eliana Elias‘ contribution and impact in the world of communication for social change spans more 25 years and extends across multiple countries, organizations and communities.
In 1998, Eliana co-founded Minga Peru, creating an innovative communication methodology to produce educational radio programs, empower indigenous women, and partner with grassroots organizations, local governments and schools to create social change in the rural communities of the Peruvian Amazon. Minga’s work focuses on arming indigenous women and marginalized communities with the skills and capacity to access the information and services they need to address the human rights, health, violence, environmental and economic security concerns they face.
After 15 years of grounded experience in the Peruvian Amazon, Eliana recognized the need of grassroots organizations to better communicate their identity and transformative impacts, develop more alliances and be sustainable. In 2011, she created the Institutional Strengthening of Strategic Communication training program (FICE) to meet this need. To date, FICE’s work has strengthened and developed the capacity of more than 120 grassroots organizations and networks in Latin America and the Caribbean, promoting community development, human rights, sustainable agriculture, food security and natural resource management.
For the past three years, Eliana’s work has been focused on supporting organizations helping Venezuelan migrants in Latin America and the Caribbean, and on strengthening organizations on the frontline responding to the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the most vulnerable populations.
Eliana has presented and published widely, and was the first international recipient of the “Triumph of the Spirit” award from the Embrey Human Rights Program at Southern Methodist University for her human rights defense work. Elected as a lifetime Ashoka Fellow in recognition of her innovative contributions to the public sector, she has also been recognized as an Explorer by the National Geographic Society