Building Women Survivors as Advocates
  • The Firebird (n. female of the Phoenix, the bird that rises from the ashes) is an initiative of RAHI Foundation that trains women survivors of incest/child sexual abuse (CSA) to be advocates for the cause.

  • A unique combination of training, healing and advocacy, this programme is born out of RAHI’s work with survivors over the last 20 years. It is based on our understanding of the recovery needs of survivors and is founded on the principle that social action is a powerful and meaningful way for survivors to transform their trauma.

    The Firebird has four phases: healing through group work, information and knowledge building, training and survivor social action.

    Group Work - Healing Workshop: This is a two day workshop and prepares the ground for the following phases

    The overall objectives of the healing workshop are:

    • To use the power of group for healing
    • To provide the participants an opportunity to explore together the effects of abuse on their lives, honour themselves by talking, listening and responding to each other as survivors
    • To help them move forward in their individual healing in a safe space
    • To strengthen the sense of community amongst each other which helps them prepare for the Firebird Project.

    It uses therapeutic interventions such as:

    • Bodywork- helps participants to heal through body work with the help of art and craft
    • Inner Child Work- this provides a contained space for the participants to comfort their inner child and helps them to reflect on how sexual abuse has affected them as well as learn about long term effects.
    • Guided Imagery- the participants are a part of an experiential exercise to feel relaxed, get in touch with their bodies which in turn lead them to feel a positive sense of their bodies
    • Disclosure session through support group format- to provide a space for participants to talk about an important aspect of abuse
    • Psychodrama- helps the participants to experience the power of psychodrama which will start a shift in positive thinking about themselves

    Following the healing workshop, survivors are provided with resources to do individual work with a therapist and/or go through a facilitated support group.

    Information and Knowledge Building: This is a one-two day workshop to equip participants with information and knowledge on the subject. With the help of RAHI, the participants also set goals and chalk out a plan of action to take work on this issue forward.

    Training: This includes hands-on training for participants to meet the goals they have set and take social action. It will depend on the individual as well as the collective strengths of the group, where we equip our Firebirds to conduct training programs, talk to the media, give their personal testimony in our workshops, give education lectures, form support groups, conduct public campaigns etc.

    Survivor Social Action: This is the phase where survivors implement their action plan and go out to spread the message of prevention, hope and recovery through the activities they have outlined for themselves. RAHI mentors them and continues to provide input as and when required.

    To know more about being a Firebird, reach out to us at

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