Malarkal #weekly updates (27th Jul – 1st Aug)

We continue to provide psychosocial support over phone and reached 11 adolescents and their families during the week. Post relaxations of the lockdown, the chief issue faced by most families in the locality is their inability to pay rent and lead their lives under the threat to be evicted from the house. Out of our interactions, we understood that one family could not manage the situation and was in dire need, and so we have offered to pay Rs.2000 towards rent.

Global Fund Response to Key Population Groups Worldwide

Dear colleagues,
We are pleased to share below the Global Fund response to the petition published and shared with the Board Leadership and Board Members in July 2020.
Kind regards,
Sent on behalf of the Board Chair and Vice-Chair

Global Fund Response to Key Population Groups Worldwide

The Global Fund takes note of the call for accountability and action from Key Population Groups Worldwide published on July 2020.
The Global Fund is deeply concerned about the catastrophic impact COVID-19 is having on the most vulnerable communities in India and around the world. We stand with our civil society partners in the fight against HIV in India during this challenging crisis. The Global Fund recognizes the suffering experienced by millions of people in India during lockdowns and other restrictions due to COVID-19. We empathize with the millions of people in India who were left in need of food, shelter and protection during the lockdowns, particularly key populations who are disproportionately vulnerable to HIV.
We also recognize and applaud the leading role that many community-based organizations and faith-based organizations played in bringing relief to many vulnerable people, including key populations stranded many miles from home during the lockdowns. In addition, we recognize the substantial role the government of India has played in providing Direct Benefit Transfers (cash) and dry rations to many vulnerable people in the country.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 emergency, the Global Fund has acted swiftly to support countries to respond to COVID-19 and mitigate its impact on HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. In India, the Global Fund approved a funding request by the India Country Coordinating Mechanism to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on existing HIV, TB, malaria programs, reinforce the national COVID-19 response and fund urgent improvements in health and community systems. The Global Fund encourages the India CCM to submit an additional funding proposal including funding for key populations.
The Board of the Global Fund has emphasized that all C19RM applications must be fully endorsed by stakeholders on the CCM. We note that an HIV and Malaria Stakeholder’s Consultation meeting took place on 29 April 2020 to consider the CCM’s application prior to its submission. We further note that the CCM’s application to the Global Fund under the C19RM mechanism did not include items for key populations relating to food, shelter, and protection from gender-based violence. In accordance with our fundamental principle of country ownership (as set forth in the Global Fund’s constitutional Framework Document) the Global Fund approves funding for activities based on the request submitted by the CCM. The Global Fund did, however, approve funding for 100 HIV Care and Support Centers (CSCs) where medical treatment to patients is provided, as this was specifically requested in the CCM’s application.
Noting that further funding under C19RM worth US$10 million may be made available in India, the Global Fund invites India CCM to submit another funding request. The Global Fund believes that the involvement of civil society and community leadership is imperative in ensuring that key populations and marginalized groups are not left behind in the fight against diseases.
Technical Guidance on what may be requested can be found at https://www.theglobalfund.org/en/covid-19/technical-guidance/

Attention Global Fund (21st July 2020)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attention Global Fund – Urgent Call for Accountability and Action 

From Key Population Groups Worldwide   

We, sexworkers, men who have sex with men, and people who inject drugs, otherwise known as ‘HIV key populations’ demand immediate and direct support for basic survival during the COVID pandemic.

Despite the promises made by multilateral agencies of “ leaving no one behind”, that is exactly what is happening. We have lost our jobs, are losing our homes, and are scared sick about how we will survive until we start working again. Yet no government, no multilateral agency, no UN organization – in fact not one of those who signed on to that promise has allocated any resources to ensure access to emergency rations, shelter, and medical care, which are critical to help us survive through this period.

Instead, in our name, millions of dollars are being spent on COVID testing equipment. For example, the Global Fund approved a USD20m COVID response fund for India that has no direct support for at least 1.5 million KPs, despite repeated, evidence-based demands by civil society.

There is undeniable evidence that KP leadership has scripted  the success of HIV prevention efforts both in India and the world over. And while, organisations such as GFATM and UNAIDS have gained credibility and financial viability based on our struggles and hard-fought successes, key populations have themselves been left alone to mount yet another struggle to merely survive during these trying times.

We are shocked and hurt beyond measure that we have been abandoned at this time of crisis, even as People Living with HIV have some assured allocations for access to ARVs and other vulnerable people such as migrants have received some help.

The COVID pandemic has also exposed the continued lack of attention of global HIV programme planners to address  structural issues that made us disproportionately vulnerable to HIV – Around 62% of new HIV infections occurred among key populations and their sexual partners, including gay men and other men who have sex with men, sex workers, people who inject drugs and people in prison, despite them constituting a very small proportion of the general population. The same failure is now again making us disproportionately vulnerable to COVID.

Therefore – we have two demands:

–        In the short term, requisite allocations be made for our basic survival – food, shelter, emergency medical care and safety from violence

–       In the medium and longer term,  the CCMs should stop the tokenistic use of civil society; and that the Global Fund should stop actively facilitating the appropriation of the CCMs by governments

We await a speedy and positive response.

In solidarity,

Sex Workers against Traffickers

SIAAP and Vadamalar, join the National Network of Sex Workers to reinstate that sex workers are against traffickers and trafficking, and that we are all together in the war to combat trafficking.
#SexWorkersAgainstTraffickers
#SexWorkersCombatTrafficking
#2020WorldDayAgainstTrafficking
NNSW Statement
NNSW Statement p2

Malarkal #updates 20th – 24th July

  • 11 families from Ernavoor were reached out to and given mental health and psychosocial support via phone calls.
  • 3 School going children were given information about education sessions on TV, and about higher education options, via phone call.

Malarkal – update on support during COVID (July)

As part of our COVID response, we continue to be in touch with people over phone and have extended the following support in the past 15 days:
  • Mental health and psychosocial support via phone calls to 44 people from Ernavoor
  • One family, who survived with kanji alone was reached out and a grocery package worth Rs. 1000 was brought to them to help them tide over their current situation
  • Community members shared their fears of being put under isolation if test positive for COVID-19, and had concerns about access to food, and about neglect and stigma from the community. We assured them about the government services and the improving recovery rate. We also suggested them to talk to people who had recovered and returned from quarantine/hospital care.
  • We resumed Parents’ Advisory Committee meetings via conference call. The members shared that it was a new experience and that they felt heard and supported by SIAAP calls despite lockdown.

Family strengthening to enable reintegration

Family strengthening services is one of the key ongoing activities of the Reintegration programme aiming to demonstrate a replicable model of reintegration of children in institutional care back to their families. Improving the economic status of parents/ guardians of the institutionalized children (of a government children’s home in Ranipet) is taken into serious consideration.

We identified the existing social entitlements with the parents/ guardians and their need for access to social protection schemes like widow pension, destitute pension etc. Linkages of families to the schemes are mobilized through the District Child Protection Units. This is being done along with our tele-counselling services to ensure holistic psychosocial support to children and families, and towards successful reintegration of children to family based care.

Global Fund Response to Key Population Groups Worldwide (6th Aug 2020)

Dear colleagues,
We are pleased to share below the Global Fund response to the petition published and shared with the Board Leadership and Board Members in July 2020.
Kind regards,
Sent on behalf of the Board Chair and Vice-Chair
Global Fund Response to Key Population Groups Worldwide
The Global Fund takes note of the call for accountability and action from Key Population Groups Worldwide published on July 2020.
The Global Fund is deeply concerned about the catastrophic impact COVID-19 is having on the most vulnerable communities in India and around the world. We stand with our civil society partners in the fight against HIV in India during this challenging crisis. The Global Fund recognizes the suffering experienced by millions of people in India during lockdowns and other restrictions due to COVID-19. We empathize with the millions of people in India who were left in need of food, shelter and protection during the lockdowns, particularly key populations who are disproportionately vulnerable to HIV.
We also recognize and applaud the leading role that many community-based organizations and faith-based organizations played in bringing relief to many vulnerable people, including key populations stranded many miles from home during the lockdowns. In addition, we recognize the substantial role the government of India has played in providing Direct Benefit Transfers (cash) and dry rations to many vulnerable people in the country.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 emergency, the Global Fund has acted swiftly to support countries to respond to COVID-19 and mitigate its impact on HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. In India, the Global Fund approved a funding request by the India Country Coordinating Mechanism to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on existing HIV, TB, malaria programs, reinforce the national COVID-19 response and fund urgent improvements in health and community systems. The Global Fund encourages the India CCM to submit an additional funding proposal including funding for key populations.
The Board of the Global Fund has emphasized that all C19RM applications must be fully endorsed by stakeholders on the CCM. We note that an HIV and Malaria Stakeholder’s Consultation meeting took place on 29 April 2020 to consider the CCM’s application prior to its submission. We further note that the CCM’s application to the Global Fund under the C19RM mechanism did not include items for key populations relating to food, shelter, and protection from gender-based violence. In accordance with our fundamental principle of country ownership (as set forth in the Global Fund’s constitutional Framework Document) the Global Fund approves funding for activities based on the request submitted by the CCM. The Global Fund did, however, approve funding for 100 HIV Care and Support Centers (CSCs) where medical treatment to patients is provided, as this was specifically requested in the CCM’s application.
Noting that further funding under C19RM worth US$10 million may be made available in India, the Global Fund invites India CCM to submit another funding request. The Global Fund believes that the involvement of civil society and community leadership is imperative in ensuring that key populations and marginalized groups are not left behind in the fight against diseases.
Technical Guidance on what may be requested can be found at https://www.theglobalfund.org/en/covid-19/technical-guidance/

Attention Global Fund (21st July 2020)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attention Global Fund – Urgent Call for Accountability and Action 

From Key Population Groups Worldwide   

We, sexworkers, men who have sex with men, and people who inject drugs, otherwise known as ‘HIV key populations’ demand immediate and direct support for basic survival during the COVID pandemic.

Despite the promises made by multilateral agencies of “ leaving no one behind”, that is exactly what is happening. We have lost our jobs, are losing our homes, and are scared sick about how we will survive until we start working again. Yet no government, no multilateral agency, no UN organization – in fact not one of those who signed on to that promise has allocated any resources to ensure access to emergency rations, shelter, and medical care, which are critical to help us survive through this period.

Instead, in our name, millions of dollars are being spent on COVID testing equipment. For example, the Global Fund approved a USD20m COVID response fund for India that has no direct support for at least 1.5 million KPs, despite repeated, evidence-based demands by civil society.

There is undeniable evidence that KP leadership has scripted  the success of HIV prevention efforts both in India and the world over. And while, organisations such as GFATM and UNAIDS have gained credibility and financial viability based on our struggles and hard-fought successes, key populations have themselves been left alone to mount yet another struggle to merely survive during these trying times.

We are shocked and hurt beyond measure that we have been abandoned at this time of crisis, even as People Living with HIV have some assured allocations for access to ARVs and other vulnerable people such as migrants have received some help.

The COVID pandemic has also exposed the continued lack of attention of global HIV programme planners to address  structural issues that made us disproportionately vulnerable to HIV – Around 62% of new HIV infections occurred among key populations and their sexual partners, including gay men and other men who have sex with men, sex workers, people who inject drugs and people in prison, despite them constituting a very small proportion of the general population. The same failure is now again making us disproportionately vulnerable to COVID.

Therefore – we have two demands:

–        In the short term, requisite allocations be made for our basic survival – food, shelter, emergency medical care and safety from violence

–       In the medium and longer term,  the CCMs should stop the tokenistic use of civil society; and that the Global Fund should stop actively facilitating the appropriation of the CCMs by governments

We await a speedy and positive response.

In solidarity,

(List of 238 signatory organisations below)

Networks:

  1. National Network of Sex Workers (NNSW),  India
  2. All India Network of Sex Workers (AINSW), India
  3. Indian Drug Users Forum (IDUF), India
  4. Indian Network for Sexual Minorities (INFOSEM), India
  5. Assam Network of Positive People (ANP+), India
  6. Telangana Intersex Transgender Samithi, India
  7. Taaras coalition, India
  8. Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP), UK
  9. Sex Workers & Allies South Asia (SWASA), India
  10. The African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA), Kenya
  11. Sex Workers Education & Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT), South Africa
  12. COAST SEX WORKERS ALLIANCE (COSWA-KENYA), Kenya
  13. Eldoret Sex Worker Alliance (KESWA), Kenya
  14. Acção de Solidariedade e Saúde Comunitária ASSC, Angola
  15. Kiambu Sex Workers Association, Kenya
  16. Action Humanitarian pour la Santé et le Development Communautaire, DRC
  17. Bar Hostess Empowerment and Support Program, Kenya
  18. Kisumu Sex workers Alliance, Kenya
  19. Eurasian Network of People who use drugs, European Union
  20. National Users Network of Nepal (NUNN), Nepal
  21. Asian Network of People who Use Drugs (ANPUD), India
  22. Asia Pacific Alliance for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Bangkok
  23. Association of Drug Users Manipur (ADUM), India
  24. Purvanchal Drug User Samiti, India
  25. Western Harm Reduction Network, India
  26. Nagaland Users Network, India
  27. Haryana Drug User Forum, India
  28. ADUM-Association of Drug Users Manipur, India
  29. Meghalaya State Network of Positive People, India
  30. Punjab Network of Positive People, India
  31. Mizoram State Network of Positive People, India
  32. Women’s Network of Keys Communities, India
  33. PEMA , Kenya
  34. Bungoma KPs network, Bungoma
  35. SERA   Network, Bangladesh
  36. COSWA, Kenya
  37. Kenya Network Of people who use drugs ( KeNPUD )
  38. KENYA SEX WORKERS ALLIANCE
  39. Youth Association for Development (YAD), Pakistan

Community Based Organisations:

  1. Adharsa Mahila Mandali
  2. Anandam, Kolkata, West Bengal
  3. Annai Tharasa Makkal Sevai Maiyam
  4. Ashodaya Samithi
  5. Aarohan
  6. Amra Padatik
  7. Amrapali Mahila Samiti
  8. Anandam
  9. Beladingalu Mahila Okkuta
  10. Belaku Mahila Sangha
  11. Community Learning Center
  12. Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee
  13. Dibrugarh Self-employed Women Organization
  14. Dostana Safar
  15. Durgapur Mahila Samawaya Committee
  16. Durga Shakti mahila samste Davanageeri
  17. Ekta Mahila Mandal, Gujarat
  18. Gamana Mahila Samuha
  19. Ganika
  20. Gautam Buddha Jagriti Society
  21. Idhayam Thirunangaigal Munnetra Sangam
  22. Jeevan Jyoti Mahila Abhirudhi Samasthe
  23. Jeewanadhara Mahila Samiti
  24. JGLS
  25. Jivan Jyoti Prabodhini Sanstha
  26. Jalpaiguri Mahila Unnayan Samiti
  27. JMS
  28. Karnataka Sex Workers Union (KSWU)
  29. Kiranam Mahila Samaikya Sangam
  30. KMSV
  31. Kranti Mahila Sangh
  32. Kalyani Chetna Utthan Samiti
  33. Karamjibi Mahila Samiti,
  34. LBSDS
  35. Leaf Foundation
  36. Mahila Ekta Sangh
  37. Mamata network of Positive Women
  38. Manmilan Bahudeshiya Samajik Sanstha
  39. Milan Mahila Sangathan
  40. Mrignayani Seva Sansthan
  41. Muskan Sanstha
  42. Me and My World
  43. Mitra
  44. Mahila Jagruta Sevabhavi Sanstha
  45. Mahila Mukatagan Manadal Beed
  46. Mahilakranti
  47. Manmilan DMBS
  48. Mother Teresa Mahila Mandali
  49. Muktangan Mahila Mandal
  50. Naarisaksham mahila welfare association
  51. Namakkal Mavatta Sabarmathi Pengal membattu Sangam
  52. National Transgender Trinuvungai Hijra Kinnar Association
  53. Navchetna Yuva Vikas sanstha Yavatmal
  54. Navya Sri Mahila Welfare Society
  55. Nisarga
  56. Prema Sangam
  57. Q-Initiative
  58. Rudramadevi Mahila Mandali
  59. Rakshane Jilla Mahila Okkuta
  60. Saheli HIV/ AIDS Karyakarta Sangh
  61. Sangama
  62. Soukhya Samudaya Samaste
  63. Soukhya Samruddhi Samsthe
  64. Sakhi Jyot Sangathan
  65. Sakhi Sanghatan
  66. Salem Pengal Nalavazhu Sangam
  67. Salem Thirunangaigal Nala Sangam
  68. Samara society
  69. Sanjivani
  70. Sarvodaya Samiti
  71. Savara
  72. Shakthi AIDS Prevention Society
  73. Shakti Uday Sansthan
  74. Sindhur
  75. Sahodaran Community-Oriented Health Development Society
  76. SMS
  77. Soukhya Sanjeevini Samsthe
  78. Spandana
  79. Mythri Public Welfare Society
  80. Sri Lakshmi Pengal Munnetra Sangam
  81. Sri Mahila Sadhikarika Welfare Society
  82. Stri Shakti Bahuuddesiya Sanstha
  83. Sudharoli Pengal Munetra Sangam
  84. Sundhur
  85. Swadhar Sangh
  86. Swagathi Mahila Samaikya Sangham
  87. Sahyog Mahila Mandal
  88. Sarvodya Samiti
  89. Shakhya Foundation
  90. Shakti Udai Sansthan
  91. Shramjibi Mahila Sangh
  92. Silchar Mahila Sangathan
  93. Stri Shakti Bahu Uddeshiya Sevabhavi Sanstha
  94. Soukhya Samruddhi Samsthe Kolar
  95. Thanjavur Annai Therasa Makkal Sevai Maiyam
  96. The Humsafar Trust
  97. Thanjavur Women Tai Vizhudhugal Trust
  98. The God Therisa Mahila Mandali
  99. Theni Mavatta Pengal samuga Porulathara Munnetra Sangam
  100.    Transgender Resource Center
  101.   Uday Rekha Mahila Mandali
  102.   Usha Multi Purpose Cooperative Society
  103.   Uttar Karnataka Mahila Okkutta
  104.   Vadamalar Federation
  105.   VANITHA MYTHRI PUBLIC WELFARE SOCIETY
  106.   Vellore Pengal Membattu Sangam
  107.   Vidivelli Thirunangaigal munnetra Sangam
  108.   VAMP
  109.   Wada Seva Sansthan, Jhabua
  110.   Warembo Sasa

Civil Society Organisations

  1. Astitva Trust
  2. Ashraya
  3. Adarasha Trust
  4. Amrapali Mahila Samiti
  5. Aneka
  6. Anmol Samaj Sevi Sanstha
  7. Apna Ghar Kalyan Sanstha
  8. ASEPROVIC
  9. Aadhar Sanstha
  10. Aahe ki
  11. Aarju Foundation
  12. Amitie Trust
  13. AARTH
  14. Apsara Foundation
  15. BHAVYA
  16. Catalyst Management Services Pvt Ltd
  17. Centre for Social Reconstruction
  18. CREEIJ ASBL
  19. Chola
  20. Community Awareness and Development Foundation
  21. Damini Samiti
  22. Destiny
  23. Dostana Safar
  24. Darpan Foundation
  25. Ekta Foundation
  26. EMAC
  27. Empower India
  28. Forum Foundation
  29. Fortune Women
  30. Global Health Promise, USA
  31. Bandhan
  32. Hope Foundation
  33. Hopers Foundation
  34. HFRC
  35. Hoymas Kenya, Kenya
  36. HPLGBT
  37. Inigo Foundation
  38. Integrated Social work Organization
  39. Jalpaiguri Uttarayan
  40. Kayakalpa
  41. Kiaswa Initiative
  42. KNSW
  43. Koshish
  44. Kundhani
  45. Love Life Society
  46. LVCT Health
  47. Maa Foundation Samiti
  48. Maaygo CSOI
  49. Maharashtra Thrithiya Panthi Sangatana
  50. Malabar Cultural Forum
  51. Marg
  52. MDUF
  53. Maitri Trust
  54. MENANPUD
  55. Mothers for the Future
  56. Mrignayani Seva Sansthan
  57. Muranga Stars
  58. MYRADA
  59. Naibhor Society
  60. Nirangal
  61. Nirmaan Rehabilitation Facility
  62. Praxis
  63. Prarambh
  64. RETHUNYA
  65. RSO
  66. SANGRAM Sanstha
  67. Swasti
  68. South India AIDS Action Programme
  69. Sangini Foundation
  70. Sankalp Foundation
  71. Second Life
  72. Social Venture Partners
  73. Samarpan Trust
  74. Sankalp Rehabilitation Trust
  75. Sarathi Trust
  76. Shri Durga Jankalyan Samiti
  77. Saarathi Nepal, Nepal
  78. Sahara , Africa
  79. Sangeet Nritya Kalakar Sanstha
  80. The Freedom Foundation India
  81. The Naz Foundation (India) Trust
  82. The Banyan
  83. Transparency International
  84. True Vine Mentors
  85. Vidhayak Trust
  86. Women’s Initiatives
  87. Young Women and Girls Empowerment Program

Supporting children during COVID

We support children by listening to them during the lock down, and by enabling them to express their views and emotions, finding solutions to their problems and making decisions concerning their lives. This is done through tele-counselling support.

Most children (of the institution) are presently staying with their parents or guardians during the lock down, and few children continue to stay in the institution owing to personal circumstances. SIAAP staff speak to them everyday via audio and/or video calls. Sometimes we also make group calls to help children connect with their peers, and talk to parents to provide psycho social support and discuss parenting strategies . Such happy and constructive group discussions as well as individual counselling sessions has led to increased self-awareness, self-reflection, building better perspectives, thereby enabling children to make career choices, solve interpersonal conflicts with family members and peers, address their  behavioural issues, make key life decisions regarding higher education, opting for family based care, despite the challenging COVID19 pandemic crisis.

Apart from psycho social support, our team also interacts with the family to identify their needs. Through our interactions, we learnt that four families were in dire need  for dry ration. We immediately communicated with the DCPOs Chennai and Vizhupuram, who promptly coordinated and reached ration kits for two families in each districts. We will continue to work with the families and support through linkages and follow up.

Resource Directory

SIAAP has compiled local resources information, including the contact details of District Collectorate, PA to Collector, Rotary club, Lions club, local politicians, advocates, for easy and quick reference for women to approach people to seek support.

One woman in Theni had approached a local politician for ration support for women without ration cards. He has directed them to purchase ration from PDS shops using their aadhar, and if in case they had any issue, they were further advised to contact the Collector’s PA for further assistance.

Capacity building of Community Counsellors

During lock down, SIAAP provided refresher training for community counsellors (sex workers) to reach out to more women who were depressed due to loss of livelihood and income, and anxiety related to COVID 19.

Most women who undergo counselling share that they felt heard and supported. All counsellors have a routine to call women, introduce about themselves and the purpose of the call, and enquire in general about their well-being and focus on specific issues shared by them. They revert to SIAAP trainers for support in case they face challenges during the session, and/or for referral support.

During the current week, SIAAP trainers have introduced, ‘focused skill building’ sessions. Accordingly they will focus and strengthen on one core skill required for a counsellor. ‘Active Listening’ is the core skill selected for this month (July 2020). The counsellors will focus and practice ‘active listening’, and discuss the impact with the trainers during the review.