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Culturally Adapted Programs for Emotional and Physical Safety

Which of our working models is best for you?


Our programs  combine cultural assessment, culturally-adapted program design and instruction and sustainability through local staff training and supervision. Based on the following working models, our programs are customized to your needs and resources.

The Emergency Safety Model


This model enables us to increase the sense of safety  of people in transitory and disaster areas by providing culturally-adapted emotional safety and physical defense programs.

Case Study: Programs for Refugees in Greece. Sponsor:  Imagine (NGO)


We taught 19 workshops for groups divided by age and gender: men, women, young girls and young boys. Each group had 8-15 participants.

These workshops included:

1.   Psycho-education about PTSD and its symptoms in the mind and body. We combined identification tools with techniques for reducing PTSD symptoms, and increasing participants daily capacity for rest and relax.

2.    Physical self-defense: We selected the most relevant techniques for life  in the refugee camp (based on preliminary research). We taught methods for ending fights quickly emphasized the difference between provoking and promoting violence and self-defense to stop a violent act. For women, we taught strategies to stop harassment, unwanted touch, and sexual assault. For men, we focused on dealing with armed assailants, and managing violence over  religious conflicts and over resources (food, books, bus , etc.

3.    Safe communication strategies: Participants engaged in exercises  experimenting with body language and tone of voice to stop problematic dynamics at the earliest possible stage.

4.    Resilience building -We applied a field-tested Israeli resilience building model that facilitates a supportive, sensitive and empowering group process.

5.    Bystander intervention strategies: Alumni of our lessons were instructed in strategies for helping others in the camp facing threats, violence or harassment.

The workshops were adapted to the specific everyday dynamics and situations in the camp revealed by research we conducted preliminary to designing and teaching the workshops.

The Women’s Empowerment Model

Through our years of experience in international development settings, we observed that women who feel unsafe forfeit educational, social and economic opportunities. We created CAPE to give women the proven-effective personal development and empowerment tools of personal safety training to enable them to access all the opportunities offered to them.  


Case Study: In the Dominican Republic we offered women's personal safety classes and trained local women to be personal safety instructors.


The 60 women we taught later reported of successful use of their new skills in their everyday lives. The six instructors we trained in the summer of 2016 are still teaching courses today. SO far, they have taught more then 24 workshops in the Dominican Republic, Chile and Cuba, and have reached more than 330 women. You can find their Personal Safety Instruction Facebook pages here and here.

Many of the local safety strategies for this program came from the students themselves: The research we conducted guided both content creation and pedagogical activities.


For example:

1. The Church appeared as a positive force connected to female gender identity in the village. So, the church became part of the safety strategies we created there.

2. We adapted the model of Feminist assertiveness to assertive communication methods better suited to urban Dominican women habits and gender performance norms.

3. Our findings revealed a step-by-step dynamic of gender-based violence best addressed in class while combining strategies from couples therapy.

4. The class simulations we used were completely localized and specific to the everyday dynamics in the lives and culture of our Dominican students.

​The System Reset Model

In this model, we work within community,  educational and organizational systems as part of an existing ongoing process of system wide change .

We begin by providing personal safety and bystander intervention workshops to all the members of a particular community, organization, school, etc.  

Then, we use the newly-learned safety language and skills to evaluate current threats, harassment and/or violence in the system.

Finally we conduct a community-wide process of applying safety skills to create, practice and commit to community safety strategies.


This project initiates a long-term community development and empowerment process that support harm mitigation and risk reduction, and changes social and cultural norms regarding safety.


The process is based on the findings of preliminary research, and includes sustainability planning through training community people to continue the process long-term..

The Women's model
The Emergency
System Reset
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