Community Support Program

SLAFF supports and raises awareness for grassroots community development initiatives. It is through our Community Support Program (CSP) that we are able to provide financial support to organisations that strive to create positive changes in their communities and address social issues. Since 2006, we have raised more than $124,000 for 28 worthy organisations through ticket sales. Take a look at where Festival ticket sales go!


Viernes de Lectura

BiblioWorks believes that where knowledge, literacy, and learning exist, people have the resources to solve social issues, maintain and strengthen their cultural identities, and to grow their community economically.

Since 2005, they have built and equipped libraries in rural Bolivia where the concept of public libraries is relatively new, and so, with money raised from CSP they will hold weekly events in the city of Sucre where reading will be promoted via recreational activities. Girls, boys and the wider Sucre community will be encouraged to see books as friends (“Un libro, como un amigo”) in the open/outdoor space of the 25 de Mayo Plaza. Children will listen to stories and also read independently. Viernes de Lectura brings reading to children, where they would otherwise not have access to books. 

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Project: CelebrArte

CreArte is concerned with the current situation of many children in Chile who live in adverse conditions, and aims to design and implement program, projects and other initiatives that help children to discover their abilities, build positive self-esteem and enhance their creativity and promoting their capacity for resilience.

Through their project CelebrArte, 100 children will participate in a creative, cultural and artistic event where the children themselves dictate the activities that will take place on that day, thus promoting their own capacities and art as a form of expression and creative development. CelebrArte encourages a great mobilisation of joyful and creative energies that make possible an unforgettable formative and transforming space.

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Previous Recipients

Pinta Solidaridad
Region: Dominican Republic

Pinta Solidaridad is the first organisation from the Dominican Republic to receive funds from CSP. Funds raised in 2017 went to ‘Operativo Platanitos 1.0’. A project in which 100 children were evaluated to better understand their immediate needs and be exposed to alternative intellectual and interactive workshops and activities.

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Established in 2010, Pinta Solidaridad focuses on young kids and teenagers residing in the ‘Bateyes’ of San Pedro de Macoris. ‘Los Bateyes’ represent the most impoverished and isolated communities of the Dominican Republic. Mainly inhabited by Dominicans and Haitians that work in the surrounding sugarcane fields, residents live with limited electricity, hygiene and health services. Pinta Solidaridad ensures children develop the necessary skills to succeed given the unfavourable environment in which they live in, to build a healthy life and overcome the social and economic exclusion they face.
Redes Solidarias
Region: Ecuador 
Funds raised in 2017 went to women who have fled violence forcing them to reside with their children in a refuge that provides food and housing. The project ‘Talita’ trained participants in the elaboration of artisanal chocolate in the hope that the women will develop their own microenterprise as a means of income and healing their trauma.


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Fundacion Redes Solidarias – New Horizons Volunteer Program was established in 2000 to assist the most impoverished communities across Ecuador’s four regions. Conceived as an efficient mechanism of support, Redes Solidarias welcomes volunteers from all over the world to contribute in a variety of projects of social, cultural, educational, economic and environmental development.

Trabajo y Persona
Region: Venezuela
Project: Emprendedores de Muebles

Established in 2009, Trabajo y Persona aim to recuperate the value of work in Venezuelan society and therefore a person’s dignity via the way we educate and prepare the community for work.

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Their work involves promoting activities that enrich a person and a better working culture and developing programs that improve the population’s technical training, especially for more vulnerable sectors of the community (in particular youth). Spanning over 5 locations in the country, your support this year will help fund their project “Emprendedores de Muebles”. Aimed at youth who have disengaged from education and work,  this program will train 15 – 25 year olds in carpentry. Equipping them with a trade will provide them an opportunity to develop themselves creatively, create an economic alternative for their families and transform their reality.

CEPIA – Cultura, Educacion y Psicologia de la Infancia y la Adolescencia
Region: Costa Rica

CEPIA stands for Culture, Education and Psychology for Infants and Adolescents and seeks to promote culture, health, sports and education for children and teenagers and their families from poor backgrounds in the communities of Guanacaste, Costa Rica.


Since 2005, CEPIA has been supporting hundreds of families through after-school programs, psychological help for victims, educational projects for high-risk youth, professional trainings, a food bank, a community library, movie nights and many other programs.

This year funds raised from SLAFF will go to their project “Empoderamiento de Mujeres y sus hijos e hijas” which targets women and their children living in extreme poverty. Using their very own integral community centre, CEPIA will provide technical training for women and tutorials for kids struggling at school as well as psychological support for those suffering from trauma in a program that will commit to participants for a whole year. 

Organisation: Cambio Creativo
Country: Panama 

Founded in 2010, Cambio Creativo is an educational organisation targeting young students and community members of Colon, Panama.

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 Around 400 families live in barracks that were once a part of a former US naval base as a temporary housing solution. 30 years on, residents have slowly begun to transition to more permanent accommodation but many remain with no running water and little electricity. Funds donated by SLAFF this year will go towards ‘El Coco no esta Solo’ (El Coco is not alone), a multimedia project involving videography, art and writing with youth and children, that will advocate for the development of this delicate transition and ensure the community remains together.

Organisation: Meli Wixan Mapu
Country: Chile
A Mapuche indigenous organisation based in Santiago, Chile that strives to maintain and promote Mapuche culture and autonomy.


Meli Wixan Mapu also strive to protect and defend Mapuche identity and land. organise activities such as ancestral sports, spiritual ceremonies and Mapuche history and policy workshops.Along with the multitudinous Marcha por la Resistencia Mapuche, SLAFF will contribute to the presentation of an indigenous cinema cycle, Wiñol Xipantu celebrations (Mapuche New Year) and its audio visual archive. Open to both indigenous and non-indigenous populations, its objective is to foster the Mapuche worldview and uphold indigenous communities’ human rights.

Organisation: Si Kanda
Country: Mexico
‘Kanda’ means ‘movement’ in Mixtec and since 2009 has aspired to create better collaboration and improve people’s quality of life.


Si Kanda helps communities suffering from poverty and living in marginalised areas through a process of mutual learning, responsibility and justice in Oaxaca, Mexico.Ticket sales raised during the Festival will go towards ‘Escuela Verde’ (Green School), a project implemented in 2 primary schools located in the council’s dump zone that will provide 280 kids (and their parents) with techniques and resources to convert organic waste into high quality products with selling potential. Funds will also equip the schools library with organic educational material.

Organisation: Instituto Raoni
Country: Brazil 
Project: Kayapó songs and body art


Instituto Raoni is a Brazilian organisation that aims to protect the rights of indigenous communities located in the states of Mato Grosso and Pará. It is the first time Brazil has received grant support from SLAFF.The Instituto Raoni has a strong focus on the recovery of traditional knowledge as a fundamental element to ensure indigenous people’s autonomy and preservation of identity, culture and territory. This project aims to share the knowledge of the Kayapó people’s traditional body painting and singing. These artforms are mainly practised by Kayapó women, however the participation of children will also be a focus of this project. Kayapó songs and body art will be documented and used to promote these amazing traditions, including being available as an educational tool for Kayapó schools.

Organisation: Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) 
Country: Guyana
Project: Video Documentary


SASOD, an organisation from Guyana that advocates for equal rights and justice for all Guyanese people, but especially Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) persons. It is the first time SLAFF will provide grant support to Guyana and Brazil, both non-Spanish speaking countries. Founded initially by a group of students, SASOD is a multi faceted organisation that works with many public education initiatives and lobbies for legislative and public reform, to eradicate discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. Under the laws of Guyana, same sex intimacy and cross dressing are illegal acts and so therefore many LGBT persons are victimised as a direct result of the existence of these laws.

Organisation: Asociacion Payasos – Atz’anem K’oj 
Country: Guatemala
A non-government organisation established in 2001, which provides access to information about HIV and AIDS.


Asociación Payasos aims to increase awareness about sexual health rights and empower HIV positive individuals to contribute to the political and social arena in their communities to reduce stigma and discrimination. They work with vulnerable communities in a daringly creative yet culturally appropriate manner. Their projects range from street and forum theatre, participatory workshops and games to local lobbying and advocacy. Funds donated by SLAFF in 2012 will be distributed across three projects: the development of campaign materials to advocate for human rights for people with HIV, the production of a 2013 calendar with messages aimed at reducing stigma and discrimination, and activist and theatre training for their Positive field teams and self help groups.


Organisation: Corporación Ágora Creando Conciencia
Country: Colombia
Established in 2009, Corporación Ágora Creando Conciencia deliver programs which focus on engaging young people in social change.

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Bogotá citizen’s have suffered significantly at the hand of crime and violence; communities have become disconnected and are repelled by the public spaces that were originally designed to provide them with enjoyment. In an attempt to reclaim community faith in public security and space, SLAFF donations will fund a project implemented in three localities in southern Bogotá which will engage young people from marginalised communities in the arts, higher education as well as social and community development. The project: a travelling cultural centre that will provide a space for young people to discuss and realise their own concerns as well as promote practices they deem necessary to improve their communities – in particular, how to claim back spaces where they have experienced violence. The project encourages a sense of responsibility, social conscience, analytical and creative thinking in order to make them catalysts for the development of their own communities. 

Organisation: Estación A – Nucleo Cultural
Country: Paraguay
Established in 1999, Estación A – Nucleo Cultural provides social services to promote fair trade and development in Paraguay.

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The organisation advocates for sustainable cultural, socioeconomic and environmental development through fair conditions for arts and crafts producers, cultural tourism and ecotourism providers in Areguá and neighbouring municipalities, where resources, government and non-government support and opportunities are comparatively less than in Paraguay’s capital, Asunción. In 2012, SLAFF funds will go towards Estación Danza-Teatro’a program of theatre dance workshops for  young people, rolled out over eight months in public primary and secondary schools in remote areas of interior Paraguay. Combining dance theatre, music and art workshops and games, Estación Danza-Teatro aims to promote creativity and participation, build self-esteem, solidarity, team work and develop life skills.


Organisation: Fundación Nueva Vida
Country: El Salvador


The mission of Fundación Nueva Vida is to support and shelter homeless children and youth at-risk in the Municipality of Ciudad Delgado in San Salvador. This is undertaken by relocating children from the dangerous situation of the street, as well as the provision of programs in the areas of nutrition, psychological and physical well-being, sports and recreation, art and culture, learning and development, with a focus on providing a nurturing, supportive environment to children as well as their extended families. Participants in the various programs range in ages from 3 to 25 years old. The assistance provided by Nueva Vida reaches approximately 200 children and young adults per year. Funds donated from SLAFF in 2008 with go toward a project named Casa de Encuentro, which is a shelter for homeless children. In this environment, Nueva Vida seek to protect and uphold the rights of vulnerable children, including the right to education, shelter, health, nutrition, recreation, and the right not to work. Nueva Vida aims to ensure that these children have a place where they are free to express their thoughts and feelings. It is a place where they will come to know the meaning of safety and protection, and where a child may regain a sense of their youth.


Location: Copán Ruinas, Honduras
Arte Acción Copán Ruinas was founded in 1999 and is a Honduran non-profit organisation that coordinates cultural activities for young people in the region of Copán Ruinas.


Arte Acción Copán Ruinas was founded in 1999 and is a Honduran non-profit organisation that coordinates cultural activities for young people in the region of Copán Ruinas. Through various forms of artistic and cultural expression, including painting, video, photography, drama and mural creation, the children of Copán Ruinas gain a deeper understanding of various social issues in the region such as the protection of the environment, children’s rights and their roles as creative members of their community. SLAFF’s donation to Arte Acción Copán Ruinas will go toward a series of Film-Story projects in rural Maya communities, as well as the professionalization of the Honduras’ only children’s television program Mini-Mundo. The children’s television show Mini-Mundo, produced by Arte Acción, is the only children’s program produced in Honduras. It is a entertaining and informative program that promotes creativity and constructivism. Arte Acción have been invited to broadcast this pioneering project on a national level and will use funds from SLAFF to further develop this project.


Location: Alto de los Mores – Piura, Peru

Ayni was established in 2001 and works together with the rural community of Alto de los More in Peru to alleviate some of the major barriers of extreme poverty for indigenous Peruvians.


Ayni’s projects are continually evolving and always place emphasis on education. They organize english classes, women’s development projects, as well as workshops in the local school on various issues including health, nutrition, safety, domestic violence and vocational opportunities. Ayni’s other development projects focus on sustainable agriculture and farming, such maintaining the Tamarind tree orchard and vegetable garden, as well as a micro-credit loans program aimed at providing viable development opportunities for the community. SLAFF’s donation will be used by Ayni to fund the Healthy Kitchens Project, which aims to replace the standard open pit fires that pose a threat to householders and children with economical adobe mud brick stoves, for 85-90 families. The project will also help create jobs in the local community and reduce the amount of timber used for for combustion. Concurrent projects that will benefit from SLAFF funding are an emergency medical fund, maintenance of the school and the playground, and the development of the school library. *Your Support Goes a Long Way “ Dear SLAFF, I’m just writing to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for choosing to support our grassroots organization Ayni. … it was very exciting to receive such a generous donation! It will be incredibly helpful in allowing us to expand our programs such as micro-credit loans and cocina mejoradas to more people. I can’t thank you enough for all your support, this money will really make a difference to our organization in terms of being able to reach more people in the community of Alto de los Mores. Margie Orsi, AYNI”

Un Techo Para Mi País (A Roof For My Country)

The Uruguayan organisation “Un Techo Para Mi País” (A Roof For My Country) provides construction of emergency housing for families living in a situation of poverty,


The Uruguayan organisation “Un Techo Para Mi País” (A Roof For My Country) provides construction of emergency housing for families living in a situation of poverty, and also creates a space for real interaction between the organisation’s volunteers and the families which they assist. They also develop integral programs of social development in areas such as education, micro-credit, job training and community development. The mission of “Un Techo Para Mi País” is to foster a social conscience and the spirit of solidarity through volunteer work, bringing together young volunteers and families in need in a bid to defeat extreme poverty in Latin America.

CASA LATINOAMERICANA: AUSTRALIA The Latin American House was created to provide financial support and solidarity to human rights organizations in Latin America.



BOLIVIA is a non-profit network of public libraries dedicated to providing popular education and literacy development opportunities for small communities in the city of Cochabamba, Bolivia.


MISIÓN MÉXICO is a refuge for children in Tapachula, Mexico, run by Queensland couple Pamela & Alan Skuse. Misión México provides refuge and hope to children who are orphaned, abused or poverty stricken by giving them a home, family, love, education and opportunities for advancement in all areas of their lives.


Argentine Institute for Sustainable Construction (IARCOS) The Argentine Institute for Sustainable Construction (IARCOS) is a non-profit, non-government organization comprised of over 100 members and collaborators dedicated to providing sustainable, progressive solutions to humanitarian issues at a community level in the province of Buenos Aires,


PERU’S CHALLENGE is a non-profit, non-government organization that assists over 1,300 community members each year in rural areas surrounding Cuzco.

Organisation: Elipse Parcial, Expresiones Culturales
Country: El Salvador
A non-profit, cultural organisation whose objective is to introduce art as a tool for social expression.


Tropical Rainforest Coalition

The Sydney Latin American Film Festival will be contributing to the Tropical Rainforest Coalition’s “Save an Acre” land purchase project in the Ecuadorian Amazon. This projects purchases pockets of the Llushlin River Rainforest in a buffer zone bordering the Sangay National Park.


This project aims to serve the dual purpose of protecting this precious natural region whilst enabling indigenous Amazanga peoples to live out their traditional culture in an interdependent relationship with the ecology. The Llushin River valley is 95% covered in primary rainforest home to a wide array of wildlife and endangered species. The area is full of salt licks where birds abound, including many kinds of parrots, military macaws, kinkajous, and olingos. Tapirs, Andean spectacled bears, puma and even jaguars call this their home. The forest is exquisite, at the base of the Andes, teeming with huge trees, epiphytes, orchids, and rich with a variety of rare palms. Llusin River Project During the agricultural reform the government gave this land to colonists and the indigenous people lost their ancestral home. Now it is being sold to corporations whose interests are in timber, oil and gold mining. The Tropical Rainforest Coalition aims to purchase this land and return it to the Amazon’s indigenous peoples. The land will be purchased for and in the name of the Kicshuar Community of Amazanga under a perpetual land trust, which declares the area intangible to exploitation of any kind. To date Grupo Osanimi have purchased 1,250 hectares of ‘saved’ rainforest and are looking for funding to purchase three more parcels of rainforest, thus formalizing an indigenous run biological reserve – a model conservation project for Ecuador. The documentary “Amazanga Kausai: The Llushin River Valley ConservationProject” will be featured at the SLAFF Micro-Cinema sessions at the Seymour Theatre


The NSW Spanish-Latin American Association for Social Assistance (SLASA) is an independent, not for profit community association, which acts on behalf of the various Spanish and Latin-American communities in NSW. The philosophy of SLASA is one of access and equity, with an emphasis on education, support and the provision of information.


SLASA acts as a resource and coordinating centre for information to the spanish-speaking community in NSW providing its services free of charge to clients, regardless of their nationality, religion, social or political background, or membership to the organisation. SLASA provides a number of services to Sydney’s spanish speaking communities, which include direct services (casework) and community development. It’s assistance extends to issues such as health, education, welfare and law, immigrant and refugee settlement, aged care, and prevention of domestic violence. SLASA also organises information sessions on issues affecting the community, and runs support groups and training programs for women, older people and the youth. SLASA also runs youth camps three times a year and is in the process of establishing a drop-in centre for spanish speaking youth in the Fairfield area. The donation from the Sydney Latin American Film Festival’s 2007 Community Sponsorship Program will go toward expanding the activities SLASA is currently running for young people.



These Latin American based grassroots organisationsare committed to providing sustainable solutions to social issues across the continent. Our donations have been specifically directed into each organisation to assist in the proliferation of community education and awareness. In 2005, SLAFF teamed up with Groundwork International Foundation, a dynamic Sydney-based fundraising network. Groundwork International Foundation is a charity that provides support to children and communities across the globe, and particularly in Latin America. Groundwork’s first hand experience working with such organisations provides SLAFF with significant insight and guidance into the organisations we support.   Books for a Better World, a non-profit organisation, provides books to schools and libraries in rural communities throughout Central and South America with the mission to enfranchise, empower and motivate children through reading, establishing libraries and scholarship programs. Working in Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and Peru, Books for a Better World are establishing libraries in remote communities and providing education scholarships to impoverished children. With over 70 sites in different countries, 20,000 children annually are provided with imaginative stories, beautiful pictures and often times their first insight into the world of books. Books for a Better World received a donation of AUD$3500 from The Sydney Latin American Film Festival to assist in the development of their amazing Building New Hope Building New Hope Building New Hope is a non-profit organisation working in Central America. Their projects focus on basic education & literacy, vocational programs and health services for children and young people living in poverty. Proceeds from the festival will be directed into one of Building New Hope’s newest projects: the Cineastas de Granada program. Las Cineastas de Granada is a small film and video production school for teenagers in Granada, Nicaragua. The program is offered at no charge to low-income teens. It includes courses in beginning through advanced film and video production, including writing, directing, cinematography, sound and editing. The mission of Cineastas de Granada is to help young Nicaraguan women gain access to the film medium, to bring their stories out of the isolation of the personal realm into the collective life of Nicaragua and the world, while learning technical skills and building confidence in their abilities. The Cineastas de Granada were the very grateful recipients of a donation of AUD$3500 to help with the purchase of essential items so that these young filmmakers may have their voices heard loud and proud! Cine Insurgente Proceeds from the festival in 2006 also went to assist Cine Insurgente in the post production of the documentary YAIPOTA ÑANDE IGÜI-(QUEREMOS NUESTRA TIERRA). The film speaks of the struggle of the Guaraní Community in the north of Argentina to recuperate and protect their ancestral lands. The film will form part of the 2008 Sydney Latin American Film Festival program. Cine Insurgente received a donation of AUD$1000 from SLAFF to assist in the production of this important documentary. 
The 2006 Sydney Latin American Film Festival (SLAFF) donated $8000 as part of our Community Sponsorship Program. The projects that benefited from the 2006 festival proceeds are Books for a Better World, Building New Hope and Cine Insurgente.