Building Women Survivors as Advocates
  • The Firebird (n. female Phoenix, the bird that rises from the ashes) is a pioneering new initiative of RAHI Foundation that trains women survivors of incest/CSA to be advocates for the cause. This is the first time in the history of CSA work in India that a program has been specifically designed and tailored to equip CSA survivors to become ambassadors for the cause.

  • The Firebird is a unique combination of training, healing and advocacy and is born out of RAHI’s work with survivors over the last 15 years. It is based on our understanding of the recovery needs of survivors and is founded on the principle and our belief that social action is a powerful and meaningful way for survivors to transform their trauma.

    We select survivors from different walks of life and train them as Firebirds. Our training gives them a thorough grounding on the issue of child sexual abuse. They also learn the art of listening to a friend talking about her sexual abuse experiences, how to manage group discussions, make presentations and function as a team. The training is rounded off with some practical goal setting and a concrete plan of action.

    The Firebird Project is an example of how survivors of incest and child sexual abuse can come together and create a space where personal abuse experiences can be transformed into meaningful social action.

    What Firebird offers?

    A 2-day workshop combining group work and theoretical information that allows survivors to meet other survivors, share and learn with each other, make meaning of their abuse and gain knowledge on the subject that will help them become advocates. During the workshop participants draw out a plan of social action according to their interests and skills. The workshop is followed by ‘Firebirds’ conducting these activities in their communities. The process continues to be therapeutic and a mentoring support for them.

    Who can be a Firebird?

    Women survivors of incest/CSA above the age of 21 who wish to channelize the pain of sexual abuse through contributing to its prevention and healing. Prior counseling or therapy is not a requirement but will be helpful.

    Application and Selection Process

    Those interested can complete the application form. This will be followed by an interview. Our team of mental health professionals will conduct personal interviews with survivors to assess and ensure readiness for this program to keep the program safe and empowering for them. Strictest confidentiality will be maintained.

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