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The Emerge Centre for

An Experiential Reintegration Programme for Survivors of Sexual Abuse who Have Aged Out of Government Care at Age 18

In 2016, after more than decade of serving survivors of child sexual abuse, Emerge developed its pioneering Emerge Centre for Reintegration, Sri Lanka’s first aftercare programme specifically designed for survivors of sexual abuse who have aged out of state-run shelter care. Emerge collaborated with professionals from across different spheres (mental health, education, government, and private sectors) to design a multi-pronged, aftercare programme. The Centre supported young women aging out of state-run care in their continued psychological healing and developing practical skills, community, and connections for sustainable independence. 

The Emerge Centre for Reintegration ran successfully for four years with local funding, referrals from Sri Lanka’s Department of Probation and Childcare Services, and successfully placed 86% of participants into local employment. Unfortunately, however, in 2020 the Centre closed its doors due safety concerns with COVID-19.

Emerge is re-launching its Centre in May of 2024 with an updated structure and revised curriculum based on extensive analysis of impact from its previous 4 years of operation. 

The Emerge Centre for Reintegration model has evolved based on participant input, feedback, and outcomes over time and consists of four pillars:

  1. Mental health and wellbeing

  2. Community of support

  3. Practical and experiential knowledge of independent living

  4. Professional or educational placement to support independence

The Reintegration Centre model : 

Centre Model.png

The model takes 6 months to complete, with the first three months of the programme taking place in the Centre and the following taking place in the community. With one Centre, Emerge is able to work with approximately 36 youth per year, accommodating three cohorts per year (12 youth per cohort) at the Centre.

Centre Timeline.png

For four years, the Emerge Centre for Reintegration served as a safe haven for participants, a welcoming home, full of the love and support of a family and community. The most meaningful services that we provided at the Centre were interpersonal, lasting, relationships, in a space which is consistent, safe, and welcoming. Alumni are always welcome back to the Emerge Centre, and specially gather at the Emerge Centre during reunions of previous cohorts to reconnect with peers and collaborate together on the successes and struggles that independent life brings. Additionally, Emerge does not fail in assisting participants with medical emergencies, job transitions, and educational paperwork. From 2016 to 2020, the Emerge Centre for Reintegration placed 86% of its 74 participants into gainful employment, such as at Brandix, MAS, Selyn, Joseph Fraser Memorial Hospital, Gerard Mendis, Ninewells Hospital, and Shangri La. In addition to participant placement rate, the Emerge Centre for Reintegration tracked participant progress on mastery of educational concepts taught, levels of PTSD experienced, satisfaction with the programme, and participation in activities.

The Impact:


“After coming to the Emerge Centre, not only was I able to talk about my issues, but I was able to change my life. Due to the counseling sessions I got used to good personal values, anger management, controlling self-harm, and nurturing happiness within myself.”

Emerge Centre Batch 06 Participant


“Counseling was my favorite part of the program. I have never been able to talk to a counselor before. When I feel sad, or am having bad thoughts, I can talk to the counselor. After talking I feel like I can be present again, I feel release.”

Emerge Centre Batch 04 Participant

Virtual Tour of The Centre

Our space is full of color, love, learning, and lots of individualized support to make transitions from shelters into the community a success...

Photos coming soon!

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