The Rainbows programme

In 1983, Rainbows was formally established in Chicago, USA by Suzy Yehl Marta following a personal divorce. She could not locate any services to support her children at that time. Thus, the Rainbows programme and service was founded to provide support for children and young people, experiencing a significant loss through death and separation or divorce. The programme and service has grown and developed across the USA, into 28 countries and at present is growing and developing in Africa, Japan. Rainbows is well present in The UK, Canada and Australia.

In 1988, Rainbows was formally established as an organisation in Ireland by the Presentation Sisters. Sr Elizabeth Maxwell, Sr Cecilia Molloy trained in the USA to deliver the Rainbows programme. On returning to Ireland, thirty six volunteers were trained to act as Registered Directors, competent to train facilitators and coordinators throughout the country.

Since then Rainbows has been grown and developed in over six hundred locations throughout the country. These locations are predominantly in school settings, family resource centres, parish centres, youth projects and other social agencies. The National Office was established in 1997 in Loreto Centre, Crumlin Road, Dublin, to handle the overall administration of Rainbows in Ireland.

On January 8 Th 2013, Suzy Yehl Marta died very unexpectedly in Chicago, following a serious illness. The work of Rainbows continues to grow and develop at the International Headquarters of Rainbows in Chicago. The vision and mission of its founder lives on.

Rainbows Ireland

While Rainbows Ireland is affiliated to Rainbows International, Rainbows Ireland operates within the ethical, cultural, professional and national guidelines and standards of service delivery in Ireland for voluntary organisations.