The work plan for this commitment begins with the identification of local partnerships in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Maharashtra State, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. This is a strategic commitment plan aimed to build upon and develop pre-existing Community Based Organizations (CBOs). Keep a Child Alive intends to establish a presence through multi-purpose safe-house sites, each near a government hospital affiliated with The National AIDS Control Organization (NACO). They will fully capacitate these sites and develop their successes and strengths. They will staff these sites and establish partnerships with local food projects, micro-finance organizations and other complementary relationships to turn each site into a comprehensive 'Safe and Sound' location. They will purchase at least one vehicle per site for regular transport to treatment centers nearby, and to use in emergency situations. The safe-house structure will foster an environment where vulnerable women and children can feel safe and supported with the medical treatment and care that they need, educational opportunities they would otherwise not have access to, and programs that will help them build skills they can use to sustain their daily lives.
Keep a Child Alive has identified three organizations in India to begin working with to fulfill this commitment. FAITH is based in Rajasthan and is dedicated to care and support for children living with HIV/AIDS. FAITH established its first Care Home in 2007, creating a safe place for Jaipur's orphans to live, eat, take their medication and go to school, and seeks to expand its care home to take in as many more children as possible over the next five years. The Rajasthan Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS works to represent the needs of HIV/AIDS patients in the community through awareness programs and advocacy initiatives, and is embarking on a new initiative to create a holistic care home for children infected and affected by HIV/AIDS and a safe home for women living with HIV. Sahara Centre for Residential Care and Rehabilitation in Delhi currently operates a shelter for women and children particularly vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, and plans to set up a similar safe-home structure in Pune to care for more women and children in need. We intend to begin working with these CBOs located in Delhi and Rajasthan, and then will further expand our work into Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra State and Tamil Nadu upon identifying other projects in need of Keep a Child Alive's support.
The key issues that this commitment seeks to address are: the trauma of the AIDS pandemic in India, the cruel impact of the virus on the lives and futures of women, and the heartbreaking stories of abandoned HIV+ children and orphans. The safety of mothers and children is jeopardized in India by pervasive stigma and inadequate social welfare structures.
The trauma of HIV/AIDS in India is quickly intensifying. Since the first case was identified in Chennai, Tamil Nadu in 1986, the virus has spread so that India accounts for one third of all people living with HIV/AIDS on the continent of Asia, and one tenth of the people living with the virus worldwide (Global Fund). India also has the third highest number of infected people (almost 4 million) in absolute numbers, of any country (Global Fund). People living with HIV comprise an entire 1% of the population of Maharashtra State. Within Maharashtra State is Mumbai, a city often referred to as the 'AIDS capital of India.' 10% of people living with HIV/AIDS are in Andhra Pradesh, the state with the second highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS among India's states. The state of Rajasthan is the largest state in India, with an estimated population of 90,000 people living with HIV. The state of Delhi has traditionally been classifed as low-risk for HIV prevalence, but the most recent NACO report indicates a steady increase in the number of people living with HIV. The rapid population growth in these five states is cause for concern that the disease will continue to proliferate, exposing more and more women and children to this dreadful disease.
Women already account for 39% of the Indian HIV/AIDS burden. Of the 27 million annual pregnancies in India, at least 100,000 occur in HIV positive women, and an estimated 170,000 children under the age of 15 were living with HIV/AIDS in 2001 (Global Fund).
There are, according to many sources, more orphans in India than anywhere in the world, although the exact number of AIDS orphans in India is not accurately recorded. Children of infected parents are heavily discriminated against, and are regularly forced into a life of street-living, crime, prostitution and violence.
Recent developments in India have made this commitment timely and sure for success. The National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) in India and its National AIDS Control Program (NACP) outline the national response to the pandemic. The third phase of NACP (2007-2012) is underway and focuses on the universal provision of pediatric ART, PMTCT, etc. 'Safe and Sound' would be a regional complement to this national framework. We will provide transportation for these vulnerable women and children at our safe-houses to nearby hospitals and clinics to receive government sponsored treatment, and provide state-of-the-art care, support and attention to everyone who seeks our help or is referred to us for protection.
Keep a Child Alive continues to seek partners with financial resources and an interest in helping to scale-up the current work of their implementing partners, and expand to serve many more vulnerable women and children affected by HIV/AIDS in India. KCA is also eager to work with CGI Members with the expertise and passion for orphaned and vulnerable children in India, access to and quality of HIV/AIDS treatment services in India, the provision of proper nutrition for people living with HIV/AIDS, and skills training and capacity building for people infected and affected by AIDS in India.
SEEKING: financial assistance, implementing partners. KCA is seeking financial resources in addition to the generosity of their partner Mr T Forstmann, in order to capacitate the 'Safe and Sound' project and establish its services. They are also seeking implementing partners who specialize in micro-finance, local food projects and other complementary services.
OFFERING: financial assistance, implementing partnership, best practice information, media and marketing assistance. Depending on the organization/individual seeking partnership, any or all of the above could be offered. KCA can provide the financial resources to scale up CBOs as per their commitment plan. They can also be an implementing partner in India as specialists in orphan care and surrounding care for people living with HIV/AIDS. KCA can provide, as a result, Best Practice Information. Furthermore they can provide media and marketing expertise as a fundraising strategy for the scaling up of CBOs as per their commitment work plan.