Fellow Since 1995
This profile was prepared when Isabel Coral was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1995.
The New Idea
After more than a dozen years of political violence and huge flows of displaced people to Lima (and, in lesser measure, other urban centers), the violence and attendant exodus have waned, and substantial numbers of people are now returning, or seeking to return, to the communities from which they had fled. Isabel Coral believes that the success of the return process is of crucial importance not only for the hundreds of thousands of people directly affected but also for the revitalization of the country's south-central Andean region, which was the focal point of the violence, and for national political harmony over the longer term. She also recognizes that the return process and broader recovery efforts pose immensely difficult challenges that will make heavy demands on limited financial resources and on the skills and imagination of everyone involved.Working through a small organization that she established more than a decade ago to address the needs of people displaced by the violence, Isabel is mapping the major elements of the returnee resettlement and recovery processes and developing pilot undertakings to address many of the most difficult dimensions of those processes. In those endeavors she is placing heavy emphasis on community participation and spurring the creation of "community rebuilding and development committees." She is also working closely with government agencies and other nongovernmental organizations engaged in resettlement and reconstruction work and helping guide their endeavors.