March – December 2019


El Callao, Lima, Peru

Partner Organization

Fundación Integración Comunitaria (FIC)

Beneficiaries : 

206 children 

19 staff/caregivers (Train-the-Trainer Programme)

Art Therapist :

Dr Mercedes Ballbé ter Maat

Mission Reporters:

  • John Carlos ter Maat
  • Anaisa Cornejo

With the Generous Support of: 

The Trafigura Foundation and Faber-Castell International


This is a mission led by Dr Mercedes Ballbé ter Maat, a Red Pencil Ambassador and former President of the American Art Therapy Association (AATA), in 2019. Dr ter Maat is a Board-Certified and Registered Art Therapist and a Licensed Professional Counselor. She holds a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision, M.Ed. in Counseling, M.A. in Art Therapy and B.A. in Psychology and Studio Art.

The main objective of the mission was to implement an arts based therapeutic programme called Start-Up! (Empecemos!) for the benefit of the children under the care of FIC, as part of their existing after-school programme called “Tiempo Fuera”, which runs in 3 centres in El Callao called Puerto Nuevo, Ramon Castillo and San Juan Bosco.

The Start-Up! Programme was originally developed by art therapists, Linda Chapman, MA, ATR-BC, and by Carey MacCarthy, MA, ATR-LPCC. It was designed to aid the healing of indigenous Native American children in a classroom setting and has been used successfully with many different indigenous populations. It is a year-long classroom intervention which can be adapted to any culture or ethnicity as long as it is delivered in a culturally sensitive and neutral way. The programme is designed to help children and adolescents reduce anxiety, depression and aggression and guard against substance abuse, violent behaviour and suicide. It encourages calmer emotional regulation and can improve their attention span and test scores.



Type of mission

Art therapy residency

1 April – 1 October, 2018 (6 months)


Ayacucho, Peru

Partner organization

Diamanta (Solid Peru)

Beneficiaries : 

137 youths (15-19 years old) 

40 staff/caregivers (Train-the-Trainer Programme)


Mr Simon Murray


The Red Pencil (International) partnered with Diamanta, an organization based in Ayachuco, Peru, to help bring the benefits of art therapy to youths, young girls and women who have suffered the aftermath of war and conflict. The political conditions of the country and especially this region have left deep scars in the lives of the local people. They are always living in fear experience and consequently they trust no one.

According to the partner organisation, people tend to hide their trauma and choose not to voice their experiences in a view to forget all of it. Many victims do not process the horrific experiences and as a result many suffer from substance abuse, post-traumatic disorder and anxiety issues. Additionally, intra-familial violence is reported in the communities of Ayacucho, which include violence among spouses, violence against children and cases of rape.

The mission brought together a multi-disciplinary team working alongside the art therapist to enhance the psychosocial support of participants at different centres. The intention was to integrate this form of therapy into Diamanta’s framework of support to the youths and young women. The therapy sessions that were conducted used group art therapy modality followed by Train-the-Trainer sessions. The mission was a Residency one that took place in a time period of 6 months.



Our work here

Number of missions: 2

Global impact in Peru: 206 children, 137 youth and 59 staff


Image result for diamanta ayacucho


  • Start-Up!
  • Art therapy residency