RAINBOWS IRELAND, a registered charity, is a peer-support programme to assist children, youth and adults who are grieving a death, separation or other painful transition in their family. Founded in Chicago, USA in 1983 by Suzy Yehl Marta, RAINBOWS was established in Ireland in 1988. Today RAINBOWS operates in all thirty two counties of Ireland.
RAINBOWS helps by providing a safe setting in which children, youth and adults can share their feelings, emotions and struggles with others who have similar experiences. They are supported in this process by a trained facilitator. RAINBOWS helps by providing materials: journals, story books, games and activities – which form a structured programme leading the participants gently through the grieving process.
RAINBOWS helps by:
Supporting children youth and adults to re-build their self esteem. Enabling participants to name, understand and come to terms with the emotions they feel. Reassuring participants who have anxieties or feelings of guilt. Encouraging participants to move towards forgiving those people whom they feel have caused their pain.
RAINBOWS operates in a site, that is a location that is registered to run the programmes. A site could be a school, parish, community centre, pastoral centre or other social agency. After deciding to become a site, facilitators are recruited and attend a training programme. On completion of the training programme, information and invitations are sent to anyone wishing to take part in the twelve week programme. When there are sufficient participants interested the programme is run.