Current Projects

Woman drawingShakti Samuha Nepal


In 2008, The Art2Healing Project started working together in partnership with grassroots anti-trafficking NGO Shakti Samuha in Nepal. Shakti Samuha is unique because it is run by Nepali women who have been rescued from slavery and forced prostitution in India, and returned to Nepal. Having struggled to regain their lives, they are reaching out to help other returning trafficking survivors, by providing shelter, prevention campaigns, education, legal aid, vocational training and counseling.


Due to the large scope of their work, and the limited resources that they have, Shakti Samuha has an urgent need for its social workers to be trained in psychological and emotional intervention. This includes being trained in basic counseling skills, creative arts therapy training, and different models of psychological development, so that they can provide a high quality of care and ongoing psychological support to the survivors of trafficking in their 3 shelters in Kathmandu, Pokhara and Sindulpalchok.


The Art2Healing Project is committed to supporting them in the area of education, creative arts therapies, women's health and supervision. Through this collaboration, the project will support Shakti Samuha in improving their effectiveness in creative art therapy and counseling skills with their client group. This will cover prevention and educational campaigns with the communities and schools, and the trafficked victims in the shelters.


For more information on Shakti Samuha, please see their website


In 2009, The Art2Healing Project is commencing a 1 year training project with Shakti Samuha, and is currently needing urgent financial support for this project. The 1 year training will include:


  • • Capacity building and training in basic counseling and creative art therapy skills with Shakti Samuha social workers and caretakers


  • • Art therapy programs in after-care shelters for trafficked victims in the 3 shelters in Kathmandu, Pokhara and Sindulpalchok


  • • Caring for care workers workshops. Supporting the social workers by exploring self-care techniques


  • • Supervision and counseling for the social workers


  • • Women's Health Education



The project will employ creative art therapies such as the visual arts, dance and movement, drama, creative writing, as well as yoga and meditation. Through these resources and training, the social workers will be encouraged to explore their emotional, physical and spiritual selves, and therefore be better equipped to assist other vulnerable women and children at risk.


Responses from past workshops and trainings have been:


“I have learnt the skills to recognize my feelings and to love myself. I want to thank you very much for providing such a wonderful training.”

- Art Therapy Participant, Shakti Samuha Art Therapy Training, 2008.


“Through the training, I have learnt how to understand myself, my body, how to help myself and how to help other women too. The most interesting thing for me in the training was expressing my feelings and emotions through pictures and imagery. The training has built up my capacity, and has also built up my confidence in myself and my abilities. Similarly, I also received the opportunity to express my pain and grief. The training will help me to provide counseling to other women and trafficking survivors.”

- Art Therapy Participant, Shakti Samuha Art Therapy Training, 2008.


The Art2Healing Project and Shakti Samuha Art Therapy Training - Module 1 2010


Shakti Samuha NepalOn the 1st of March 2010, The Art2Healing Project delivered a 5 day Art Therapy Training module to 12 staff members of Shakti Samuha Nepal, a 2 day art therapy workshop to trafficking survivors, and one-to one counselling and supervision to all the Shakti Samuha staff and survivors of trafficking.

This 5 day training is one of the 4 parts of a 1 year “Foundation in Arts Therapy” Certificate Training.

Shakti Samuha is a non-government organization that empowers sex trafficking survivors, providing them food, shelter, education and assistance, amongst other programs. Shakti Samuha is a very unique organization because its founding board members are trafficked survivors themselves, and at the moment they have more than 200 members, made up of mostly trafficking survivors.

The main aims and objectives of this training were:

  1. To build the capacity of social workers in basic counselling skills and art therapy in response to the psychosocial issues of survivors of trafficking.
  2. To assist the social workers in self-care techniques and self supervision to create a more sustainable approach of working without burn-out
  3. To build on the capacity of the social workers in women’s reproductive health.

The 5 day training taught the social workers self-care techniques such as yoga and meditation to assist them in their work, as well as allow them to teach these techniques to the survivors of trafficking that they work with to help in relieving stress and anxiety.

Shakti Samuha NepalThe training had an experiential approach, and the trainees learnt basic communication and active listening skills, as well as the basic theories of art therapy.

Part of the training also included exploring women’s reproductive health, pelvic care and the mind and body connection. Emphasis was put on supporting the trainees to learn how to sustain themselves in the high stress job of caring for survivors of trafficking, and ways to care for themselves in such an environment.

Some of the highlights of the program were the one-on-one supervision and counselling with the trainees and the survivors of trafficking.

Due to the  lack of psychosocial support at Shakti Samuha,  it was very important for the trafficked survivors who are members of the organization to receive some counselling and art therapy.
Some of them disclosed that they have never had the opportunity to have individual counselling and art therapy, and that they needed it in their lives and in their work.